Microsoft Windows Azure has topped a cloud service table analysing the four months to January.

According to the table, produced by Compuware, the Google App Engine is narrowly beaten into second place, followed by GoGrid.

In January alone, average response times globally on Windows Azure were 10.229 seconds, according to the data, followed by 10.263 on Google App Engine.

The data is taken from Gomez Last Mile tests, which analyse the average last mile response times from across the globe, accessing PCs of over 100,000 users who have signed up for the service in 168 countries. Tests are carried out every five minutes, using an application carrying out the same multiple step commands.

“Since these agents are running on real user machines, they represent the type of experience actual users might encounter while interacting with the test target application,” wrote Ryan Bateman, application performance product manager at Compuware.

Bateman said the data was useful for customers looking to test how effective their cloud services are.

“Let’s say you’re an application owner and you’ve been getting pressure from your CXO to “check out that cloud thing” they’ve been hearing about,” said Bateman, highlighting one scenario.

In another, “you’ve got users around the world who use your app today and usage is increasing while your user base is spreading geographically. How do you know which cloud service provider will provide optimal performance for the users in the regions you care about?”

The data was, however, different in the last 30 days. Globally, Google App Engine had the fastest response time, followed by Azure and Go Grid East.

CloudSleuth also offers a European breakdown of the data. In the last 30 days, CloudSigma offered the fastest response time on the continent, according to the data. It was followed by Amazon EC2, Google App Engine, Go Grid and Windows Azure.