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Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report plans to open data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa next year to serve customers of its Azure cloud computing software.

Data research firm International Data Corp. estimated that cloud revenue in South Africa was $243 million, with that number expected to grow 20% annually through 2021. 

Microsoft, Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com Inc. Report and Alphabet  (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Report , the top three players in cloud services, spent a combined $31.54 billion in cloud computing capital expenditures in 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal

Microsoft shares were up 0.57% in morning trading Thursday. 

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