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The week in cloud: Google and Microsoft spar while IBM and SAP play hot hands

Google I/O, which saw the public launch of Google(S goog) Compute Engine, also spawned a “I know you are, what am I,” slapfest between two companies that would like to unseat Amazon(s amzn) Web Services as the king of public cloud. Apparently Google CEO Larry Page doesn’t think the company’s “Don’t be Evil” mantra applies to trash talking rivals. LarryPageGoogleIO2013-3 And someone should clue in him in that a billionaire whining about how other billionaires have done his company wrong is a tad unseemly. Especially coming as it did after Page bemoaned the “negativity” in press reports about Google technology.

“Every story I read about Google is us versus some other company or some stupid thing. Being negative is not how we make progress. The most important things are not zero sum.” Page said Google struggles “with people like Microsoft,” he said. As for Oracle, which is suing Google over Android’s use of Java, Google has “a difficult relationship with Oracle, including having to appear in court … Money is obviously more important to them than any collaboration.”

In comments emailed to, Microsoft responded:

“It’s ironic that Larry is lending his voice to the discussion of interoperability considering his company’s decision — today — to file a cease and desist order to remove the YouTube app from Windows Phone, let alone the recent decision to make it more difficult for our customers to connect their Gmail accounts to their Windows experience.”

Page’s words came a few days after Microsoft announced interoperability between its email service and Gmail and just after word came out that Google demanded that Microsoft rip its home-built YouTube app from the Windows store (and remove the app off the Windows Phones that were already running it.) So, who’s the winner in this melee? Neither vendor comes out looking good. For Microsoft to complain about Google’s business practices is laughable given its own track record. But for Google to claim it’s not evil while restricting consumer choice is also awful. Consumers might just say a pox on both their houses.

IBM spreads Watson around …

ibm-rometty-pr-photo2Watson, the natural-language-understanding software that played (and won) at Jeopardy, will be made more broadly available to third-party software makers, IBM CEO Ginny Rometty said last week. Thus Watson technology could be used perhaps even by IBM competitors, to build self-teaching computer systems, according to Bloomberg News. IBM has made the most possible PR use of Watson capabilities, working to embed that intelligence in medical and other applications. Last week, IBM took its show on the road to Washington D.C. last week to show Congress the progress Watson has made in healthcare applications.

… as SAP doubles down on HANA

German enterprise software giant SAP, in a move you could see coming miles away, said this week that HANA, it’s in-memory analytical database, will be the brains of its ERP software going forward, according to InformationWeek and other  outlets. SAP_2011_logoRunning do-or-die ERP and CRM applications on HANA is a big step up from data warehouses because ERP and CRM cannot go down for hours or a day without severe blowback. And yet at the annual SAPPHIRE conference last week SAP announced general availability of its core Business Suite applications on HANA. Or, as CRN put it, it “bet the farm” on HANA.

From around the interwebs:

Top 5 data center stories of the week, from Data Center Knowledge.

AWS is the McDonalds of cloud, who’s the Burger King? from GigaOM.

Tableau, Marketo software IPOs soar to cloud from Business Recorder.

Windows 8 is an enterprise non-starter because IT sees no value in changes from ComputerWorld.

3 Responses to “The week in cloud: Google and Microsoft spar while IBM and SAP play hot hands”

  1. Google’s request for Microsoft to remove their home-built Youtube app is legitimate because the app disabled ads. How is it fair for Microsoft to let Google handle all the expenses of hosting the videos (and sometimes even producing them), while denying them the resultant ad revenue?

    Another way that Microsoft has been negative towards Google is by charging a fee on every Android phone made by manufacturers like HTC.

    In contrast, Google has always competed with Microsoft fair and square. Nothing negative or underhanded about how Google competes with Microsoft.

    It is not fair to equate the two companies when it comes to negative attitudes.

  2. Jack N Fran Farrell

    Wrong take on ‘slap fight’. A historical perspective would say that we are witnessing the demise of ‘knockout sales tactics’ invented by NCR around 1900 but raised to an artform by Thomas Watson. At NCR Watson became a super-salesman by a variety of unethical practices, up to and including physical sabotage of competing cash registers. If Microsoft learned anything from IBM, it was how to put sand in the gears of competing products.