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Amazon and Google are known for their data centers and cloud services, but the fastest servers around belong to Microsoft.

According to Ars Technica, the tech monolith's Azure cloud consistently provided quicker load times than Amazon's EC2 or Google's App Engine in a year-long test conducted by Compuware.

For the test, they set up a fake online retail site and employed the services of each company's cloud. The results:
The Windows Azure data center in Chicago completed the test in an average time of 6,072 milliseconds (a little over six seconds), compared to 6.45 seconds for second-place Google App Engine. Both improved steadily throughout the year, with Azure dipping to 5.52 seconds in July and Google to 5.97 seconds. Also scoring below 7 seconds for the whole year were the Virginia locations of OpSource and GoGrid along with BlueLock in Indiana. Rackspace in Texas posted an average time of 7.19 seconds, while Amazon EC2 in Virginia posted a nearly identical 7.20. Amazon's California location scored 8.11 seconds on average.
[Ars Technica via Geek]