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The Cloud, Week In Review: November 9th, 2012
The presidential elections and the aftermath of hurricane Sandy have turned the past week in one of the most significant weeks of this year. These events have had a significant influence on most of our lives and some of them have even influenced the existence of the Cloud as we know it. If the results of the elections may not have had that big of an influence on the Cloud, other types of politics did emerge this week from Amazon that directly influence our perception of what the cloud is. And also we are beginning to see more and more evidence of how Microsoft is trying to make a significant mark on the future of the cloud.
Amazon Proposes New Closed “.cloud” Domain
Perhaps the most significant news about the cloud this week is the proposition from Amazon for a new closed registry .cloud gTLD. To put it simply Amazon proposed that they would manage a newly created top level domain such as .com, .net or .org but with a difference: the .cloud domains would not be purchased by third party companies or individuals. Instead the domains would remain under the complete control of Amazon. The new domain would be used by Amazon to promote their own brand and protect their intellectual property. Furthermore the new platform would allow them to create an entirely new architecture that would provide a more stable and secure environment.
Sandy Proves the Importance of the Cloud
The hurricane Sandy has certainly been one of the most destructive phenomena to hit the US this year and yet, due to the security measures set in place by Google, Apple, Amazon, Dropbox and Netflix all of whom currently operate large data servers in the areas that were scheduled to be hit by the hurricane. Every security measure possible had been set into play before the storm hit including the installation of massive power generators. Thus, even if the storm had taken out the power grid functionality of the data servers would not have desisted.
And nowhere was the importance of the cloud more obvious for business continuity than in New York. Here companies that had moved the majority of their business to the cloud were able to continue operations without any interruptions. Others, however, were forced to completely shut down their servers to prevent damage and suffer hours of downtime. And last there were companies that did suffer partial downtime but who were able to communicate with their business partners and their employees via email.
Microsoft to Start Selling Answers in the Cloud
After Microsoft has announced plans to release a very inexpensive student version of their Office package including the 365 online apps and a license for the computer based system, they are now talking about introducing an intelligent software capable of using the algorithms that are now analyzing textual, behavioral and sensorial data to form predictions and patterns that are currently powering Bing. But the new system would only develop on those features, integrating them with the entire Microsoft infrastructure to produce answers to questions that people or smaller companies simply could not produce. The service would exist in the Azure Marketplace and would be accessible to every company needing its services.
The Acquisition of Ariba by SAP Is Concluded
SAP decided to purchase Ariba this spring paying $4.3 billion in the hopes of developing their cloud income. Currently their online revenue accounts for only 2% of the company’s profit but the simple incorporation of Ariba will give them a boost. Furthermore they are hoping to turn Ariba, which is currently a marketplace for businesses selling to other businesses into a type of business Facebook. The only difference is that here the status updates will be about new products, status of payments or situation of products still in transit.
Microsoft May Enter the Cloud TV Market
Lastly Microsoft may also be interested in entering the Cloud TV market. Following the success stories of such well known companies as YouTube or even Netflix, Microsoft has started recruiting engineers to work on the new platform. It may be just an attempt to test the market but if Microsoft has proven anything in the last decade or so is that, if they want to launch a new system, they do have the capability and the financial stability to do so.
By Luchi Gabriel Manescu