Google Not so Concerned with Microsoft in the Realm of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing today really has only one important player and that is Google. The internet giant who defined what online search should be has already been into cloud computing since 2007 when it launched Google Apps as a business service.
In its inception, there were nine different applications that anyone could access from the internet. The most prominent application that forms part of Google Apps is Google Mail or Gmail.
An exciting feature of Google Apps is an online office suite, which is essentially a form of software as a service, or better known by its palindrome acronym SaaS. Google Docs and Spreadsheet were the first apps that Google released into the cloud and today are the state of the art in online office productivity software.
From the initial nine applications that started out as Google Apps, is now more than 90 applications that works inside the web browser. Such an impressive number makes Google the leader it is today in cloud computing. As anyone with a Google account will tell you, it is now possible to make a document, spreadsheet, or a presentation with software that runs on a server somewhere in the internet. Inherent in an application that can be accessed via the internet is the possibility of truly worldwide collaboration.
Microsoft has been talking about the Windows Azure platform as it prepares to replicate its highly popular Microsoft Office Suite into the cloud. Google acknowledges that in the frontier that is cloud computing, Microsoft is the only competitor right now in the horizon. They grant that with the millions of users of Microsoft Office, a significant number of those who will adapt to cloud computing will be the users of the software suite. However, Google sees one major hurdle that Microsoft has to overcome. Microsoft makes money via traditional software licenses and this model is simply inefficient when the same is applied to cloud computing. In Google’s case, where all the applications run inside the browser, running Google Apps is as simple as clicking on a link.
Aside from Microsoft, other companies that are trying to make a dent in cloud computing include CISCO and IBM but Google is not considering them serious competitors.
Google’s claim is no idle boast. Google currently has more than 2 million businesses utilizing the applications that form Google Apps. Additionally, more than 3,000 sign up every day and most of them belong to Fortune 1000 companies. When the Google Chrome operating systems finally become a reality, the desktop will disappear and everyone will be able to work on files using software that live somewhere on the internet.
Users of Google Apps will see a lot of interconnectivity between the applications that are found in the online suite like the ability to chose a picture in Picassa and embed the same into Google Docs. Expect to see a lot of the features present in today’s desktop software in tomorrow’s online applications which, if we take Google’s word, is not too far away.