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.

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

Enterprise File Sharing Solution Businesses have varying file sharing needs. Large, multi-regional businesses need to synchronize folders across a large number of sites, whereas small businesses may only need to support a handful of users in a single site. Construction or advertising firms require sharing and collaboration with very large (several Gigabytes) files. Financial services…

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data The modern enterprise is digital. It relies on accurate and timely data to support the information and process needs of its workforce and its customers. However, data suffers from a likability crisis. It’s as essential to us as oxygen, but because we don’t see it, we take it for granted.…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

The Catch 22 The very same year Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world, the Chief Information Officer of the United States was announcing a major Cloud First goal. That was 2011. Five years later, as both the private and public sectors continue to adopt cloud-based software services, we’re interested in this…

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

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…

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

Data Insecurity In The Cloud Today’s escalating attacks, vulnerabilities, breaches, and losses have cut deeply across organizations and captured the attention of, regulators, investors and most importantly customers. In many cases such incidents have completely eroded customer trust in a company, its services and its employees. The challenge of ensuring data security is far more…