The battle for the cloud computing market, between Google and Microsoft, is heating up fast. Yesterday, Microsoft announced their new suite of Office Products and began to take pre-orders, for Office 2010. Microsoft will make their Office Web Apps available on June 15, 2010. That is also the date for stores to start selling the Office 2010 products. A battle of who will reign in the cloud SaaS market, for business and other applications continues to be waged. Microsoft has raised the stakes with the recent announcements, of their cloud based offerings.
Google has been out in front, trying to move customers to their Google Apps platform. Their premise of using Google’s servers and software, at a per user cost less than Microsoft’s, is a sound one. Google has been having success in both the educational and enterprise markets. One of the big obstacles for Google is the installed user base that Microsoft holds. Some estimate it at over 80 percent of the desktop market. The large number of Microsoft resellers and consultants give the people at Microsoft, another advantage.
Regardless of which cloud computing platform you choose, disaster comes without warning, so if you have lucked out so far, don’t delay any longer. The key to successful use of cloud computing is availability. Having a plan for when delays or outages occur is very important. You can backup email offline in Gmail, Hotmail and other web based email programs, for free. If you want to store your backups on cloud based server services there are some free ones. The storage amount given is not large, but good enough for important emails and other files. You can always buy more storage if needed. One service that has garnered good reviews is Backupify. Backupify will back up your online accounts with services like Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and more. Right now you can get an account with 2GB of storage for free. Prices go up from there. You can visit their website at Backify.com for current pricing.
Another choice that has been popular for offline backup is Dropbox. Dropbox also offers 2GB of storage for free. Dropbox customers can sync files of any type and size, share files, access via a web connection on your computer or mobile device, and schedule automatic backups. Paid versions are also available.
The next few months, and remainder of this year, will be an interesting for Google and Microsoft. Consumers need to do their own research. Cost benefits and reliability are key. Regardless of the outcome, have a solid disaster recovery plan of your own. Did I say backup?