Amazon Targets Microsoft’s Office Megalith

February 24, 2017, 8:38 PM UTC
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Amazon Web Services has made no secret of its ambition to provide far more than basic computing, storage, and networking services.

Tech news site The Information reported on Friday that AWS is readying its next step: a line of services that desk-bound workers spend their lives using like word processing, to compete with Microsoft (MSFT) Office and Google (GOOGL) G Suite.

The writing’s been on the wall for some time. Two years ago, AWS announced WorkMail, an email and calendaring app that competes with Microsoft Outlook and Google Gmail and Calendar. Last week, it followed with Chime, a competitor to Skype-for-Business and Google Hangouts for web conferencing.

Amazon has been on a pretty clear trajectory since branching out from online retailing ten years ago to supply basic computing building blocks that run in its own data centers and now more software for non techies.

Other examples of AWS moving “up the stack” from basic computing and storage services include homegrown database services like MySQL and PostgreSQL versions of Aurora, both of which compete with Microsoft (MSFT) SQL Server; and WorkDocs, a file-storage service that takes on Microsoft OneDrive and Google (GOOG) Drive.

So the only thing that would be more surprising than AWS working on full Microsoft Office killer would be AWS not working on a Microsoft Office killer. Such a bundle would ostensibly include word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software.

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The Information says work on the project is in early stages. Amazon (AMZN) had no comment for this story.

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But think about it: Microsoft and Google, which both have big applications businesses, are building their own massive public clouds—data centers full of gear around the world— to take on AWS. It only makes sense for AWS to return the favor and go after their breadwinners.


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