Google to Give Away Cloud Computing Services

Google going head to head with AWS (Amazon Web Services) in plan to give away cloud computing services to start-ups

Cloud computing has hit the headlines for many reasons this year, with Apple’s leaking of celebrity images and all the discussion of how businesses and individuals can cope with ‘big-data’ and related security hazards that can arise, but a particularly big buzz surrounds Google’s plans to give free services to business start-ups, which were announced at the Google for Entrepreneurs Global Partner Summit.

Google, one of the main players in the ever-diversifying cloud computing market has devised a strategy to give businesses free space on their cloud computing platforms through the Google Cloud Platform for Startups Initiative.

Read on to find out what Google plans to do in more detail and for a discussion of whether their marketing strategy is likely to be successful.

An old-fashioned marketing strategy?

The Google marketing strategy is very much in line with Google’s traditional internet marketing strategies to date, consisting of the giveaway of free products and services in anticipation of making profits from these people signing up for related paid services, down the line. As such the initiative reflects age-old Google strategy and harks back to the times when developers were given free access to Google technology like the Mapps software in an effort to attract their interest in a wider array of Google services. So, there is nothing really ‘new’ in this except the scheme is aimed at small businesses with scope for large scale, exponential growth, within a short timescale. The rationale is that these businesses will require sophisticated IT infrastructures which are more likely to be integrated with their existing service provider – Google.

The plan involves offering $100k in free credits of cloud computing services and other services to entrepreneurs, through a series of approved investors like VC funds. To qualify for the scheme, companies must have less than 5 USD million in funding and less than 500k (USD) in annual revenue.

How is this likely to affect cloud services competitors like Apple, Dropbox, Amazon, and smaller providers like

Analysts are calling this a major marketing drive from within Google to see off their major competitors in the cloud storage market, with the main perceived threats being from cloud storage competitors Amazon and Dropbox. However, some experts see the idea as risky given how easy it is for people to have multiple cloud storage accounts, and instead argue that Google need to offer more in terms of usability, security and features.

There is certainly evidence of this in the controversy surrounding Apple cloud storage in the aftermath of leaks of celebrity pictures and personal data. Experts have commented that if Apple don’t address security of their cloud system, they stand to lose customers in droves. So, do Google need to do more than merely deploy old-fashioned internet give-aways of ‘free stuff’ to consolidate their position in the cloud storage market? Many argue yes, particularly given how easy it is for cloud storage users to switch service providers and indeed hold multiple accounts with different providers. 

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