Microsoft Ventures Big Into The Indian Cloud Market

Microsoft ventures big into the Indian cloud market

On April 12, Microsoft announced its biggest collaboration in the cloud segment by working with India’s AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) to setup up its Live@Edu cloud solution at over 10,000 colleges in India. This could potentially bring 7.5 million new users to its cloud and can portend a big expansion in this market in the future. Though Microsoft claims it as a corporate social responsibility initiative as the solution is given for free, it is a smart business move that could open up a huge market for cloud computing.

Live@Edu, targeted at the growing education market, includes a hosted Exchange solution with Outlook live, 25GB Skydrive subscription for file storage and a suite of collaboration and office tools. It is already a leader in the US education market and closely competes with Google Apps for Education. However, in a single stroke this new venture could increase the user base by more than 30%.

For Microsoft, this venture could be a turning point as they have been constantly losing mindshare and marketshare in one of the fastest growing tech markets. In India, Google’s applications have a much bigger brand name while Microsoft’s ventures such as Bing, Zune and Windows Phone are almost non-existent. Moreover, Openoffice & Linux have built a strong user base in the student community while Apple is also making more inroads with the Mac and iPad at the upper end of the student segment. A good chunk of the remaining Microsoft users run pirated versions of Windows and Office. This requires Microsoft to battle hard to fight for survival.

Why India could be the next big battleground for cloud applications?

  1. The broadband penetration is rapidly growing and by 2015 India will host the third biggest Internet population in the world. Broadband is needed for most cloud applications and the rapid growth of broadband users provides a good scale for the cloud players.

  2. Software piracy is still rampant in India and application providers are fighting hard against the menace. By moving their application to the cloud, piracy could be curtailed to a great extent. This could increase the revenues of the leading software providers.

  3. Many Indian businesses are highly averse to big capital investments on technology. In addition to that, Indian technology market is still young & maturing, and there is very less number of legacy applications and solutions to worry about. This makes cloud apps more attractive as they require a very little initial outlay.

  4. India has a very young population compared to the other major technology markets – US, China, Japan, Europe and Korea. Given the rapid growth in this tech savvy young population that is increasingly getting prosperous, cloud players are seeing an opportunity to turbocharge their customer base by targeting education and fun centric apps.

  5. Indian consumers and even business users are more comfortable with using the smartphones than PCs and many Indians are expected to skip the PC revolution to directly move to the mobile devices. Given the limited processing power and durability of the mobile devices, mobile cloud applications become a necessity.

I expect to see other cloud players follow Microsoft and pay an increasing attention to the new opportunities offered by India’s market.

By Balaji Viswanathan

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Infographic: 9 Things To Know About Business Intelligence (BI) Software

Infographic: 9 Things To Know About Business Intelligence (BI) Software

Business Intelligence (BI) Software  How does your company track its data? It’s a valuable resource—so much so that it’s known as Business Intelligence, or BI. But using it, integrating it into your daily processes, that can be significantly difficult. That’s why there’s software to help. But when it comes to software, there are lots of…

Cukes and the Cloud

Cukes and the Cloud

The Cloud, through bringing vast processing power to bear inexpensively, is enabling artificial intelligence. But, don’t think Skynet and the Terminator. Think cucumbers! Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) conjures up the images of vast cool intellects bent on our destruction or at best ignoring us the way we ignore ants. Reality is a lot different and much…

Ransomware’s Great Lessons

Ransomware’s Great Lessons

Ransomware The vision is chilling. It’s another busy day. An employee arrives and logs on to the network only to be confronted by a locked screen displaying a simple message: “Your files have been captured and encrypted. To release them, you must pay.” Ransomware has grown recently to become one of the primary threats to…

InformationWeek Reveals Top 125 Vendors Taking the Technology Industry by Storm

InformationWeek Reveals Top 125 Vendors Taking the Technology Industry by Storm

InformationWeek Reveals Top 125 Vendors Five-part series details companies to watch across five essential technology sectors SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — InformationWeek released its list of “125 Vendors to Watch” in 2017. Selected by InformationWeek’s expert editorial team, the companies listed fall into one of five key themes: infrastructure, security, cloud, data management and…

Part 1 – Connected Vehicles: Paving The Way For IoT On Wheels

Part 1 – Connected Vehicles: Paving The Way For IoT On Wheels

Connected Vehicles From cars to combines, the IoT market potential of connected vehicles is so expansive that it will even eclipse that of the mobile phone. Connected personal vehicles will be the final link in a fully connected IoT ecosystem. This is an incredibly important moment to capitalize on given how much time people spend…

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Hybrid Cloud Environments After several years of steady cloud adoption in the enterprise, an interesting trend has emerged: More companies are retaining their existing, on-premise IT infrastructures while also embracing the latest cloud technologies. In fact, IDC predicts markets for such hybrid cloud environments will grow from the over $25 billion global market we saw…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Connecting With Customers In The Cloud

Customers in the Cloud Global enterprises in every industry are increasingly turning to cloud-based innovators like Salesforce, ServiceNow, WorkDay and Aria, to handle critical systems like billing, IT services, HCM and CRM. One need look no further than Salesforce’s and Amazon’s most recent earnings report, to see this indeed is not a passing fad, but…

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

Get Ready For Virtual Reality and the Cloud

Get Ready For Virtual Reality and the Cloud

Virtual Reality Cloud We’re lucky to live in an era where virtual reality is no longer relegated to the confines of a sci-fi movie universe. Thanks to technology introduced by products like Oculus Rift, consumers now have access to virtual environments with fully immersive graphic capabilities. As a result, companies have only just begun to…

Cloud Infographic: IoT For Automotive Deconstructed

Cloud Infographic: IoT For Automotive Deconstructed

IoT For Automotive Deconstructed The IoT automotive industry is moving rapidly with many exciting growth opportunities available. We’ve written about some of the risks and benefits as well as some of the players involved. One thing for certain as that the auto industry is starting to take notice and we can expect the implementation of a…

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud

Disaster Recovery And The Cloud One of the least considered benefits of cloud computing in the average small or mid-sized business manager’s mind is the aspect of disaster recovery. Part of the reason for this is that so few small and mid-size businesses have ever contemplated the impact of a major disaster on their IT…

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring One of the hottest topics in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the Internet of Things (IOT). According to the report of International Telecommunication Union (2012), “the Internet of things can be perceived as a vision with technological and societal implications. It is considered as a…

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology: Where To Next?

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology: Where To Next?

M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology Profiling 600 companies and including 553 supporting tables and figures, recent reports into the M2M, IoT and Wearable Technology ecosystems forecast opportunities, challenges, strategies, and industry verticals for the sectors from 2015 to 2030. With many service providers looking for new ways to fit wearable technology with their M2M offerings…

5 Predictions For Education Technology

5 Predictions For Education Technology

Education Technology Although technology has fast influenced most sectors of our world, education is an area that’s lagged behind. Many classrooms still employ the one-to-many lecturing model wherein the average student is catered for while a few are left behind, and others bored. Recently, there’s been a drive to uncover how to use technology successfully…

The Future Of Cybersecurity

The Future Of Cybersecurity

The Future of Cybersecurity In 2013, President Obama issued an Executive Order to protect critical infrastructure by establishing baseline security standards. One year later, the government announced the cybersecurity framework, a voluntary how-to guide to strengthen cybersecurity and meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to approve the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), moving it one…