Google’s Plans on Expanding Its Cloud Offerings for 2010

After a few years spent plugging away in the cloud computing market, hosting its Google Apps collaboration programs for business and consumers, Google is embracing cloud computing even more in 2010. According to Google’s vice president of product management Bradley Horowitz, the company plans on focusing on Google Voice and cloud computing this year. Industry prognosticators predict that the Gizmo5 assets will boost the Google Voice phone management application and Google will be competing with IBM, Microsoft and Cisco Systems for market share in hosted applications.

According to one Google executive, we haven’t seen anything yet when it comes to Google Voice.  A phone management application which lets users route calls to all of their phones from one distinct number, Google Voice features tools like automatic voicemail transcription, conference calling, SMS support and low-cost international calling. Oh, and did we mention it’s free? That might explain why there are over 1.4 million users. While 1.4 million is a mere fraction of the 500 million people around the globe using Skype, that is about to change. Currently, Google Voice users are required to have a phone carrier to use the service, something no required by the popular VOIP all Skype, but in 2010 that is going to change.

In November 2009 Google acquired Gizmo5. The maker of so-called softphone software will allow Google Voice to operate similarly to Skype, by letting users place calls via the Internet from one PC to another or even from a PC to a mobile phone or landline. Although Horowitz, who jumped ship from Yahoo two years ago and currently oversees Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa and other Google Apps, has yet to outline specifics for how exactly Google will implement Gizmo5 with Google Voice, he appeared elated with the move during a recent interview with eWeek.com.

During the interview, Horowitz described the goal of the newly-improved Google Phone as a way to seamlessly combine telephony communication as it currently resides separate from user’s experience on the Web. According to Horowitz, Google sees essentially all computing services, for work and for play, funneling through the Web in the future.

Although over two million businesses have signed up for Google Apps, there remains a sizable faction of businesses that are hesitant to embrace the cloud. Web-based social networks like Facebook and Twitter, with over 350 and 60 million users respectively, became more and more popular in 2009, which shows an increasing trend towards accepting the cloud. Essentially, worries associated with cloud computing began to dissipate in 2009, which means there is a lot to look forward to for cloud computing in 2010.

One way that Google made cloud computing more accessible last year was by showcasing the Data Liberation Front to let users export data created within users’ Google Apps to apps outside of Google’s realm. Additionally, Google launched the Google Dashboard, which lets users see exactly how much data they were creating within Google to host. Horowitz believes that Google’s trust-taking measures will pay off.

Google won’t be the only company moving deeper into cloud computing, as a whole batch of rival companies have plans to forge ahead and mark new territory in 2010. Customers and businesses will gain from the competition within cloud computing as the rivalry between companies will mean more choices for everyone. For more information on Google Apps Migration, please visit Nubifer.com.

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