More and more businesses are moving their computing platform to the cloud. Cloud computing is the term given to accessing computer and database services via or from a remote computing installation. Android has several cloud computing technologies built into it – if you use labels in Gmail, this is one example as your Gmail is sorted into the relevant label by the Google cloud system. It should come as no surprise that Google has experience when it comes to cloud computing technologies, but in the enterprise market, Google is not the market leader. Instead, it is chasing Amazon and Microsoft and is believed to be the third largest cloud computing company – although it is difficult to quantify the market as cloud computing providers do not detail their business numbers.
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We have seen Google adjusting and improving its cloud offering, such as incorporating additional technologies into the cloud platform and hiring Diane Greene to run the cloud computing business at the end of 2015. We’ve also seen Google supporting new server processor designs in the shape of Qualcomm; currently Intel has a stranglehold on the server processor market. These efforts, especially recruiting Diane Green, appears to have already made an impact on Google’s offering and positioning in the market. We are seeing reports that Apple have signed a deal with Google to use the Google Cloud Platform in a contract believed to be worth between $400 million to $600 million, although it is not understood if this is the annual or total value of the contract. Whilst winning Apple’s cloud business is important in its own right, Google has nabbed the business from the market leader, Amazon. It appears that Apple is splitting its cloud computing services between Amazon and Google. And the Apple deal is reported as being Diane’s work, following the announcement in February that Spotify is moving from the Amazon cloud to Google.
Apple are traditionally very private when it comes to these sorts of arrangements and has never publicly spoken of their cloud computing partners, but Apple have disclosed (via a security document) that they use both Microsoft’s cloud Azure and Amazon’s AWS (Amazon Web Services) for parts of their iCloud services, such as iMessenger and the iCloud backup. In February, Morgan Stanley estimated that Apple’s AWS annual costs are around $1 billion, so it is possible that that this cost is being split broadly down the middle between Amazon and Google. Given that the relationship between Apple and Google has not always been smooth, this news illustrates the benefits that Diane is already bringing to the cloud computing business.