Tag: Google

Salesforce says Twitter Ye Not

frankie-loopmasters1Salesforce has said it has given up on its plans to buy social notworking site Twitter.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told the Financial Times his company has “walked away” from cutting a deal and he was pretty much the last one left.

Neither Google nor Disney plan to bid on Twitter, despite reports saying both were interested. Apple is long gone and Verizon immediately launghed off the speculation.

Facebook was said to be uninterested, and someone mentioned Microsoft but then realised that it made no sense for Vole which is becoming an increasingly enterprise-focused company.

This is going to put pressure on the social notworking site to work out a way to restart user growth and improve its revenue.

Twitter will update investors on its earnings again two weeks from now, on 27 October and it’s likely the company will either address or be asked about where any acquisition talks go from here.

Google buys Apigee for $625 million in cloud plan

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudGoogle is buying software development toolmaker Apigee for $625 million, to improve its cloud-based businesses offerings.

Alphabet’s Google has agreed to pay a 6.5 percent premium to Apigee’s shareholders and the deal will be completed by the end of the year.

For those who came in late, Apigee sells a platform that aids companies manage APIs to help developers build software that talks to each other and shares information without revealing the underlying code. APIs have become an integral part of cloud software development, allowing one application to pull data and use services from multiple other programmes.

Diane Greene, senior vice president of Google’s cloud business wrote in her bog: “The addition of Apigee’s API solutions to Google cloud will accelerate our customers’ move to supporting their businesses with high quality digital interactions.”

Apigee has customers which include Walgreens Boots Alliance, AT&T, Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and Burberry Group. Green said that Walgreens uses Apigee to offer APIs and analyse how the tools are being used.

Google has been improving enterprise-focused products, having lagged behind Amazon.  and Microsoft in flogging public cloud computing software.

The Apigee acquisition will also help support Google’s own set of APIs, which include ones that allow developers to pull information from YouTube as well as the Translate and Maps software to imbed in their own apps.

Google close to Paypal cloud coup

PAY-Lion-King-cloud-MAINGoogle is pushing into cloud computing and could be about to score PayPal as a key client.

PayPal is evaluating the other leading providers and hasn’t made any final decisions, but what is worrying for Microsoft and Amazon is that it has put Google into the running.

PayPal has some existing business with AWS, namely its Braintree and Venmo products, which the company acquired in 2013. In moving infrastructure to the cloud, big companies often start with test and development workloads before touching critical customer information, and that’s likely where PayPal will begin.

But cloud services would open up new technical capabilities that are difficult inside their existing infrastructure. If there are big shopping days, Paypal could obtain some servers on the fly.

There is a lot at stake, Google wants to prove that it’s a legitimate player in the rapidly expanding cloud infrastructure market and to do that it has to kick the leaders Amazon Web Services and Microsoft firmly in the nadgers.

Google has also been allocating cash to its cloud technology as well as the sales, marketing and support needed to meet enterprise standards.

But it looks like this particular battle will be settled by cost. AWS has dropped the price of a storage product by 47 percent, the 52nd time Amazon has slashed prices.

Google may use its cash mountain to start a pricing war which is an area where Amazon would not be keen to go.  Microsoft might be able to use its own cash reserves to take on the rival.

But technically Google needs to match or beat AWS in terms of speed and reliability while also winning on price against a company that’s grown up thriving on razor-thin e-commerce margins. It has a long way to go before it can give AWS a run for its money. AWS generated sales of $2.9 billion in the second quarter, almost six times the amount Google makes in an entire year, based on RBC’s estimates.

However, there are signs that things are getting better. At the beginning of the month the Synergy Research Group claimed that Google’s cloud revenue surged 162 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier. The company still only commands 5 percent of the market, but it is growing fast.

It has also poached some good clients including Snapchat, Spotify, Home Depot and Walt Disney. Getting PayPal would represent another feather in its cap.

Amazon and Microsoft are the cloud kings

PAY-Lion-King-cloud-MAINAmazon Web Services and Microsoft are the rulers of the public cloud, according to beancounters at Gartner.

The research firm’s “Magic Quadrant” annual report surveys the amount and type of cloud computing services offered for rent by big companies. However this year it appears to be a two horse race between Amazon and Vole. Amazon is coming first, probably because it was first out of the gate,  while Microsoft continues a strong push at second.

Google, IBM, VirtuStream (part of EMC), CenturyLink, Rackspace and VMware all have a horse running but are a long way down the field.

Amazon’s poured shedload of cash into its $10 billion a year business. AWS “has the largest share of compute capacity in use by paying customers — many times the aggregate size of all other providers in the market,” according Big G.

Last year, AWS ran more than 10 times the cloud compute capacity as the next 14 cloud players combined. Asked whether that means Amazon’s dominance has held steady, grown, or decreased year over year, Gartner IT managing vice president Rakesh Kumar said that the research firm does not have the exact comparable figure, but that it is “reasonable to assume” that AWS has maintained the same lead this year.

Last week, Gartner released another report showing Amazon dominating the cloud storage market as well.

Google has been trying hard to win market share from the other two powers and to prove that it is serious about the public cloud market. Google remains the third largest player by Gartner’s measures, but it has slipped a bit relative to the top.

Google’s strengths lie in its big data analytics and machine learning technologies that it has used internally and is now offering to the public at large. Even AWS supporters love to use Google BigQuery and Bigtable, to parse and explore big amounts of data, for example.

Google has also made some strides entrenching its view of container management, as embodied in Kubernetes, to outside players. Containers, are a modern way to combine all the services needed for a software application into a portable unit that can, in theory, run on a company’s internal servers, on Google, or some other public cloud.


Google patents sticky bonnet

Screen-Shot-2016-05-19-at-12.48.39-PMSearch engine outfit Google has been awarded patent number 61911853 which could help prevent pedestrian injuries by sticking those who step infront of its autonomous cars to the bonnet.

The idea is that if a car hit a pedestrian, the person would be glued to the car instead of flying off and this will prevent a secondary impact between the pedestrian and the road surface or other object.

Google explains that an “adhesive layer” would be placed on the hood, front bumper and front side panels of a car. A thin coating would protect it until an impact occurred.

Google patent shows how a self-driving car could protect pedestrians with a fly-paper-like coating.

The double-sided tape concept could mitigate some pedestrian injuries, the concept is far from ideal if it pinned a victim between the car and another object.

“Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents,” a Google spokeswoman said in a statement.

Google targeting Office 365

google-ICGoogle is getting more agressive in its attempts to lure customers to Google Apps from Microsoft Office 365 after its initial programme was successful.

An incentive which allowed midsize businesses locked in contracts with other vendors to use Google Apps at no cost until those contracts expired was started in October and expired on April 14.

But Google has decided to maintain the incentive until the end of 2016, while also making it easier for smaller companies to qualify.

Writing in his bog, Neil Delaney, sales director for Google Apps said that the programme, which also helps fund migrations to Google’s cloud is doing rather well.

More than 20,000 midsize companies took advantage of the offer since October, launching 200,000 new Apps seats they wouldn’t have to pay for until licenses with other software vendors expired.

The original iteration of the programme applied to companies with between 250 and 3,000 employees. Delaney said Google fielded so much interest from smaller customers that it reduced the threshold to 100 employees for the extension period.

The programme aims to induce companies locked into an Enterprise Agreement (EA) to switch to Google Apps.  It gives new customers the opportunity to influence the move to Apps and gives decision makers the final incentive to make the switch.

Google wouldn’t name specific competitors from whom it sees the programme siphoning customers.  But it is pretty obviously talking about the sort of volume license offered by Microsoft for certain products, including Office 365.


Google expands its cloud offerings worldwide

Google's Eric "Google Glass" SchmidtSearch Engine Google is expanding its data centre operations worldwide, announcing more than 10 new Google Cloud Platform regions to take on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The first two new regions are set for Oregon in the United States and Tokyo in Japan, and are expected to be up and running by the end of 2016. The rest will follow in 2017.

Varun Sakalkar, Google Cloud’s product manager said that the outfit was opening these new regions to help Cloud Platform customers deploy services and applications nearer to their own customers, for lower latency and greater responsiveness.

“With these new regions, even more applications become candidates to run on Cloud Platform, and get the benefits of Google-level scale and industry leading price/performance,” he said.

The cloud business is getting more cutthroat with AWS, Google, and Microsoft engaged in a bitter price war in recent years, attempting to undercut each other in order to attract customers.

Google has made moves this year to boost its cloud infrastructure strategy and is thinking of buying a number of cloud companies for acquisition, endeavouring to diversify its software and infrastructure offerings to match those of Microsoft Azure and AWS.

Interestingly, AWS has 12 regions globally, the same number Google today announced it was targetting. IBM will soon have 15 major data centres around the world.

Google has just four cloud regions, but with that sphere of influence set to quadruple into new markets across the globe, international customers are about to have a much tougher choice when it comes to choosing a public cloud provider.


Eastern ODMs take bite out of server market

hp_serversUnless you are HPE, everyone appears to be doing well out of the global server market,  but it seems that the Asian ODMs such as Quanta and Wistron are continuing to bite out a larger share of the global server market.

According to beancounters at Gartner’s the global server market grew 8.2 percent in shipments and 9.2 percent in revenues in the fourth quarter on an annual comparison.

Those outside the top five saw revenues beef up 18.9 percent to $4.75 billion and shipments increase 16 percent to 1.26 million in Q4.

Between them they have between 31.4 and 42.5 percent of the market in revenue and shipment terms, respectively.

Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner said that this demonstrates that the growth of hyperscale datacentres, like those of Facebook, Google and Microsoft, continues to be the leading contributor to physical server increases globally.

Meanwhile Market leader HPE’s shipments were hit by global weakness in Windows-based x86 servers, while its revenues were affected by a drop in RISC/Itanium Unix server sales.

HPE’s share of server revenues dropped from 27.9 to 25.2 percent however it is still  10 points ahead of closest rival Dell, which grew revenues 4.5 percent. IBM grew revenues 10.3 percent, Lenovo 2.9 percent and Cisco 20.2 percent.



Google and Amazon will win cloud wars

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudBeancounters from Forrester believe that the future of cloud computing belongs to Amazon and Google.

Analyst John Rymer says “public cloud services,” which is where the future lies and even Dell’s EMC purchase can’t change that.

Amazon and Google now offer their own infrastructure to the rest of the world as cloud computing services. This will be bad news for Microsoft which is bigger than Google at the moment.

Forrester’s report, which draws on interviews with vendors and customers across the market, looks exclusively at “public cloud services” rather than private clouds.

Rymer and Forrester now call the public cloud a “hyper-growth” market. Its new report predicts that this market will grow to $191 billion by 2020. That’s 20 percent more than they predicted in their previous report, back in 2011.

“The adoption among cloud among enterprises, which is really where the money is, has really picked up steam. It’s a big shift. The cloud has arrived. It’s inevitable.”

The report encompasses a wide range of services, like Amazon’s EC2, which serves up virtual machines where you can run practically any software you want and Microsoft Office 365, a suite of pre-built and configured software applications you can tap into via the ‘net.

It said that companies like Amazon and Microsoft and Google continue to expand across all these areas. Amazon just introduced a sweeping array of new services last week.

According to the report, “cloud platform services” like Amazon EC2, where you can build and run your own software, will be a $44 billion market by 2020. Meanwhile, back-end business services will reach $14 billion, and cloud software applications will hit $131 billion.

“A lot of businesses are now saying: ‘I want to move my operational application, back office applications, into public clouds. That’s a big deal. In the past, so many people said: ‘I’m never going there.’ Now they’re actually working at it.”

The public cloud won’t take over the whole IT market, Rymer says, but this is where the big growth lies. According to Rhymer, software-as-a-service offerings such as Office 365 are growing the quickest at the moment.

The biggest winner here will likely be Amazon because it has a massive customer base and they’re been at it longer.

Amazon has revealed that its cloud operation is now a $4.6 billion business, and the company expects it to grow to $6.23 billion by the end of the year. The next-biggest player is Microsoft. In April, Redmond said it’s on track to reach $6.3 billion in revenue this year, including sales of its Office 365 and its Dynamics customer relationship management service. Google, in many respects, has a technical lead on Amazon and Microsoft, but it was slower to market. IBM, with its acquisition of a company called SoftLayer is also a presence.

Services from Google and IBM may not grow as quickly as Amazon’s. But they will grow. It’s where the world is moving, the report said.

Google increases targeted advertising power


google-ICGoogle has released a new advertising project called Customer Match, lets advertisers upload their customer and promotional email address lists into AdWords.

The new targeting capability extends beyond search to include both YouTube Trueview ads and the newly launched native ads in Gmail.

It is the first time Google has allowed advertisers to target ads against customer-owned data in Adwords. Google matches the email addresses against those of signed-in users on Google. Individual addresses are hashed and anonymized. Advertisers can set bids and create ads specifically geared to audiences built from their email lists.

In the past Advertisers could serve ads to site visitors and customers with display ads using retargeting lists captured in Google Analytics. Another product, Retargeting Lists for Search Ads (RLSA), allows users to bid on and serve ads tailored to audiences when they search on Google. Retargeting lists are built with cookies, which users can delete or block and aren’t suited for mobile. Email addresses and user sign-ins, on the other hand, are more stable across devices.

The Customer Match offering brings Google into line with those available from both Facebook and Twitter. Enabling CRM uploads and targeting has been incredibly successful for Facebook, and Twitter and advertisers have been pushing for Google to do the same.

In addition to reaching existing segments such as newsletter subscribers, recent buyers or loyalty program participants, advertisers can target new prospects with an expansion of Similar Audiences.

To get started with Customer Match, advertisers upload their email lists to Audiences within AdWords either manually or via the API. There is no limit to the number of lists.

EU denies it is “anti-American”

euThe EU has denied US corporate claims that it is “anti-American” in its recent wave of litigation against top American tech companies.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s accusations of anti-US bias over her decision to go after Google for abusing its internet search dominance and Apple over an Irish tax deal, saying such talk was a fallacy.

The US media fails to understand why all the cases on Vestager’s agenda all happen to be big companies from the Land of the Free – Google, Apple, Amazon and Starbucks. The feeling is that regulation is for non-American companies and the US should be allowed to do what it likes in its colonies.

Vestager told the Foreign Policy Association in New York that the nationality of companies played no role in her assessment.

“Yes, US companies are often involved when we investigate the digital industry. But you will also see many Japanese firms in our car-part cartel cases,” she said.

The European Commission is now studying Google’s response to antitrust charges of favouring its Google Shopping service over rivals. It is also investigating the company’s popular Android operating system for smartphones.

Amazon is in the EU’s crosshairs for a Luxembourg tax deal and Starbucks for a Dutch tax arrangement.

The EU is also wondering if it should ban cloud connections to the the US while its intelligence agencies insist that they have the right to steal it.

Google partners have another Cloud product

LOD_Cloud_Diagram_as_of_September_2011Google is adding another product in its range of big data services on the Google Cloud Platform today.

Dubbed the Cloud Dataproc service, the product is in beta, but Google Beta products normally stay that way for years.

The service sits between managing the Spark data processing engine or Hadoop framework directly on virtual machines and a fully managed service like Cloud Dataflow.

This allows the partner to orchestrate data pipelines on Google’s platform.

Dataproc users can create a Hadoop cluster in under 90 seconds and Google will only charge 1 cent per virtual CPU/hour in the cluster. It is top of the usual cost of running virtual machines and data storage, but you can add Google’s cheaper preemptible instances to your cluster to save a bit on compute costs. Billing is per-minute, with a 10-minute minimum.

Users can set up ad-hoc clusters when needed and because it is managed, Google will handle the administration for them.

It is compatible with all existing Hadoop-based products, and it should be a doddle to port existing workloads over to Google’s new service.

Some punters want total control over their data pipeline and processing architecture and are more likely to want to run and manage their own virtual machines. Dataproc users won’t have to make any real tradeoffs when compared to setting up their own infrastructure.

All roads lead to Chrome – at least in schools

chromebookPeople mocked when Google’s high-priced Chromebook Pixel laptop was released. 

After all who would buy a $999 Chromebook Pixel 2 which seemed to do most of its work on the internet running lite services like Google Docs and Facebook but not traditional PC software like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.

The Dell Chromebook 13 starts at $399 for a laptop with a metal exterior, carbon fibre cover, 13-inch 1,920×1,080 screen, Intel Celeron processor, 2 gigabytes of memory and 16GB of storage. Prices range up to $899 for models with touch screens.

However it did rather well and Dell was so impressed that it designed a much cheaper version of its own.

Google’s Rajen Sheth told CNet the schools market was driving a move to Chromebooks.

They accounted for 8.1 percent of portable computer shipments in the first quarter of 2015 in the United States. That figure is predicted to rise to 10.6 percent for the full year and rise further to 12.4 percent for 2016.

Schools like Chromebooks because the hardware is cheap and teachers can control what they provide to the kids and restrict what kids can access.

Chromebooks have low management costs and are centrally managed so teachers don’t waste time handling tech support, he said.

The devices are easily shared, with students’ data and settings stored in the cloud and retrieved when they log in. And Google Apps for Education, free to schools and now with more than 45 million students using it daily, offers low-cost software for word processing, email, file sharing, presentations and chatting.

Now, Google hopes to push Chrome OS more into businesses, too. The low purchasing and management costs are a big part of the sales pitch there, too.

“There are 4 billion working adults in the world, but only about 750 million PCs,” Sheth said. “With the Chromebook, companies are able to expand the population of users who have access to those devices.”

Google buys Samsung 3D NAND

edefectoSearch engine Google is rumoured to be signing up for Samsung’s 3D NAND in its data centres in a move which is similar to its rival’s Amazon. 

Samsung’s 3D NAND is currently used in Kaminario K2 all-flash arrays and is being tipped for MacBooks.

Neither Google nor Samsung have commented but if it pans out then it means that stacking 32 layers of planar 2D NAND built using 39-30nm-class cell geometry in a die, is the way forward. It also means that Samsung must have a better price and performance advantage over other flash fabricators.

Samsung’s 3D NAND is generally available while its rivals are still at the sampling stage with GA late this year or in 2016. SanDisk is sampling a 48-layer chip, but Samsung is expected to match that soon.

Since it has signed big supply deals with Amazon, Apple and Google, Samsung clearly has its foot in the door. It also means that these big data centre operators will be buying less planar NAND than otherwise from the other flash suppliers.

Google loses over privacy settings

330ogleThe UK Court of Appeal has turned down an attempt by Google to overthrow a previous verdict that allowed people to sue it over privacy settings.

The case, according to the BBC, centres around allegations that Google got round security settings on the Apple Safari browser and threw advertising cookies on people’s websites to advertise stuff.

Google said it wasn’t pleased with the court’s decision. It had attempted to get the courts to prevent peole suing it because it claims people didn’t suffer financially.

But the judges said that the allegations raise serious problems which do merit a trial.

They continued: “The case relates to the anxiety and distress this intrusion upon autonomy has caused. They concern what is alleged to have been the secret and blanket tracking and coalition of information.”

Google’s motto is it does no evil. It claims it hasn’t done anything wrong.

But the US Federal Trade Commission has already fined Google $40 million, while 38 US states also fined the search giant.