Software as a Service
Amazon Web Services is offering a new document sharing service with management and security features designed to appeal to businesses. Werner Vogels, Amazon chief technology officer, introduced the service, called Zocalo, at the AWS Summit, Thursday in New York City.
Microsoft will revamp its Office 365 lineup for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), adding features, dropping prices and increasing the flexibility to mix and match them with Office 365 plans for enterprises and with stand-alone applications.
The changes are the result of feedback from partners and existing Office 365 customers, and are intended to make the Office 365 application suite more attractive to SMBs and easier to market for channel resellers, Microsoft said on Wednesday.
Global spending on public cloud services reached US$45.7 billion in 2013 and will experience a 23 percent compound annual growth rate through 2018, according to analyst firm IDC.
Some 86 percent of the 2013 total came from cloud software, which encompasses both SaaS (software as a service) applications and PaaS (platform as a service) offerings, with the remaining 14 percent generated by cloud infrastructure, IDC said Monday.
Microsoft will bundle Yammer with more editions of Office 365, adding the enterprise social-networking product to the suite's editions for schools and midsize businesses.
Existing subscribers of Office 365 Midsize Business and Office 365 Education plans will get licenses for Yammer's Enterprise edition at no additional cost, the company said Monday.
Users of Dropbox for Business will now be able to share folders with colleagues without necessarily giving them rights to edit their content. Giving users read-only access to folders hasn't been possible until now: Dropbox for Business users by default granted edit rights to the people they shared the folders with.
Dropbox makes this move as it faces heightening pressure both in the consumer and enterprise cloud storage and file share markets from rivals like Microsoft and Google.
Being second isn't good enough for Oracle when it comes to cloud revenue, co-president Mark Hurd told investment analysts this week following the company's fourth-quarter and year-end earnings report. As part of its earnings announcement, Oracle trumpeted that at an annual cloud subscription revenue run rate of nearly US$2 billion, it is now the industry's second-largest cloud vendor behind Salesforce.com.
Microsoft's decision to boost free storage space to one terabyte for Office 365 subscribers is less a game changer for the rent-not-own concept than additional evidence that storage is transforming from a separate service to a feature, analysts argued today.
"Storage is a feature," said Wes Miller of Directions on Microsoft. "It's fast becoming a feature of the platform."
Under pressure from Microsoft's Office 365, Google has launched a premium edition of Apps with unlimited cloud storage and extra IT controls, and it has improved the Docs office productivity suite.
Although this new edition is essentially Apps for Business with an extra set of features, Google has branded it differently, shifting the spotlight from "apps" to storage by calling it Drive for Work.
Microsoft will dramatically increase capacity and lower prices for OneDrive, increasing pressure on other cloud storage providers and also sweetening the deal for prospective and current Office 365 customers.
The company will more than double to 15GB the storage capacity in the free, stand-alone OneDrive service for consumers. People get access to this free OneDrive storage also when they sign up for Office Online, the free, lightweight Web-based version of Office, and also when they sign up for Outlook.com, Microsoft's free webmail service.
Oracle is now the industry's second-largest SaaS vendor after Salesforce.com, but it made that announcement as fourth-quarter profits slipped slightly and on-premises software license sales ended the fiscal year flat.
Revenue for the fourth quarter, which ended May 31, rose 3 percent to US$11.3 billion, while net income fell 4 percent to $3.65 billion.
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