Microsoft beats Amazon to open the first cloud data center in Africa

Good news for South African gamers.

Microsoft has become the first major cloud provider to open a data center in South Africa. Its two new Azure facilities in Cape Town and Johannesburg have been in the works since 2017, and while they were originally slated to go live in 2018, their arrival still pips other big players to the post -- Amazon plans to open a data center there in 2020, while Huawei announced back in November its intention to deliver on the continent later this year.

Microsoft hasn't disclosed the exact value of the investment, but it's hoped that the arrival of reliable cloud services will help boost the country's economic opportunities, allowing for faster business operations and access to next-generation technology. Plus, it's good news for gamers in the region who have traditionally had to rely on servers from further afield, facing huge pings and tedious lag spikes when playing online. Game makers will, of course, need to provide support for these new servers, but with Microsoft already live and Amazon soon arriving, things are looking up for multiplayer gamers.