Google Plays Catch Up in Cloud Computing

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When it comes to cloud computing, Google is in a very unfamiliar position: seriously behind.

Google is chasing Amazon and Microsoft for control of the next generation of business technology, in enormous cloud-computing data centers. Cloud systems are cheap and flexible, and companies are quickly shifting their technologies for that environment. According to analysts at Gartner, the global cloud-computing business will be worth $67 billion by 2020, compared with $23 billion at the end of this year.

“The world’s biggest maker of computer servers is making machines just for these guys,” said John Lovelock, a cloud analyst at Gartner. “It’s the nexus of things like big data, social networks and mobility, and the next big thing, which is artificial intelligence.”

For Google, a loss in cloud computing would be a rare misstep for a company that revolutionized media with its advertising business, and then made the world’s leading smartphone operating system.

A victory for Google, however, could change how we work, turning advanced computing into an everyday utility that we use to run factories, interact in virtual reality or read one another’s emotions. Given Google’s track record, it’s worth considering the prospect.
Read source at New York Times