Microsoft Corp (MSFT) - Get Report on Wednesday announced its latest challenge to Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Report Google on the cloud: the Azure Container Instances tool, CNBC reported.

The new tool provides access to a container, or a highly-efficient virtual slice on a physical Microsoft server, within seconds. It charges based on the number of seconds that container is used, offering a cheaper alternative to container services that charge by the minute or by the hour.

Google's Container Engine service uses the Kubernetes open-source management software that the company has come to specialize in within its cloud business. Microsoft's venture into containers is seen by some as an effort to compete with Google and even Amazon.com's (AMZN) - Get Report Amazon Web Services.

Microsoft said its Azure revenue increased 97% year-over-year last week. Microsoft stock traded slightly down midday.

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