When it comes to the popularity and usage of cloud platforms in enterprise software development, Amazon (AMZN) Web Services is out ahead of the rest, but the lead isn't as far as AWS would probably like. In fact, hot on its heels is Microsoft (MSFT) Windows Azure, according to data recently released from Forrester Research.

A Forrester indicated that enterprise software developers are choosing AWS more often than other platforms, but the percentages between first and second place appear to be fairly narrow. And just behind second place is Google (GOOG) Cloud. So if ever you thought a particular cloud platform provider had the edge over its competitors was running off with the majority of business, get that thought out of your head right now. The leading position in the industry isn't a given, and there are a handful of cloud providers that could steal that top position.

James Staten, Forrester's vice president and principal analyst serving infrastructure and operations professionals, noted in a spring blog post that when it comes to public cloud platforms, the winner isn't simple, and it's not always AWS.

It's also far from a two-horse race, he noted. The top leaders may be evident, with double-digit percentage points representing those who are implementing, expanding or planning to implement their cloud services, but don't count out the providers further down on the top 15 list, either.

Rackspace (RAX) Cloud, Red Hat (RHT) OpenShift, CloudFoundry and others may not be at the top of the list, but they are still forces to be reckoned with and have gained strong followings.

What works best for an individual cloud customer depends on what they're looking for—and that includes whether PaaS or IaaS best suit their goals and needs.

The next couple of quarters should be interesting to watch as the big boys of cloud computing continue to carve out their markets and niches while looking for the magic formula to attract customers.