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Microsoft, Google earnings shed light on cloud war

Matt Kapko | Feb. 4, 2016
While Microsoft currently has a significant lead over Google in the workplace productivity market, the companies' cloud-based offerings are just a small fraction of their businesses. However, both plan to invest heavily in Office 365 and Google for Work in 2016.

During the fourth quarter 2015 earnings call this week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company's cloud business is growing steadily and gaining traction among enterprises. "We plan to invest significantly in 2016," he said. "It will be one of our major investment areas."

In November, Google said more than 2 million businesses at that time paid to use its Google for Work productivity suite, but Pichai didn't specify how many businesses or individual subscribers currently use the service. Pichai also said the Google Cloud platform hosts more than 4 million applications.

Google is "very seriously committed to the space," according to Pichai, and it's earning business from retailers, government agencies and large healthcare providers such as Catholic Health Initiatives, which recently announced plans to move more than 100,000 employees to Google for Work.

"As time goes by, I think we are getting very competitive," Pichai said. "We are at a point now where the product is ready to be used at scale, and so I expect to get significant traction in 2016 … There's great buzz at Google around this area, and we continue to heavily ramp up investment here."


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