Google Cloud Grows With Target, Security, and Grammar Checker

Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene is making the pitch to corporations that the search giant’s enterprise business is a strong competitor to companies like Amazon and Microsoft.

Speaking Tuesday in San Francisco during Google’s Cloud Next conference, Greene said that years ago, “analysts said we were not enterprise ready.” This was in reference to the long-standing notion that Google’s (GOOG) core competency is a consumer-facing company that doesn’t understand the IT purchasing habits of companies.

Greene then bragged that several big analyst firms like Gartner and Forrester have been increasingly listing Google as a leader in cloud computing, behind Amazon Web Services (AMZN) and Microsoft’s Azure (MSFT) platform.

Although getting a reference from high-profile analyst firms like Gartner and Forrester is not an indicator of sales, it is noteworthy for Google considering the company has been investing heavily in cloud computing since Greene, who was a founder and CEO of enterprise company VMWare, became its chief in November 2015.

Greene also reiterated what Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on Monday during the search giant’s latest earnings call that Target (TGT) is now a major Google Cloud customer. Target was reportedly interested in weaning itself off of Amazon Web Services for its internal infrastructure, according to a CNBC report.

Earlier in July, Walmart said it would use Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service, signaling a trend of big retailers choosing not to sign up or at least cut back their use of cloud computing services sold by one of their biggest competitors, Amazon.

Pichai also made a brief appearance during the opening keynote, which was noteworthy as a symbolic gesture signifying that the search giant’s head leader considers cloud computing a crucial business.

He said that Google “creates open platforms” and shares its technologies with outsiders, citing the company’s Android operating system for mobile phones. He didn’t mention the European Union’s $5 billion fine issued against Google for antitrust allegations related to Android, but he reemphasized his prior arguments against the EU’s decision, saying that Android helps “bring everyone together to build phones.”

Prabhakar Raghavan, a Google vice president of its G Suite workplace tools, also discussed during the event some new features for Google’s workplace software. He said that Google would debut a smart reply feature to Hangouts Chat that will recommend people to say canned responses during chats to speed up communications.

The search giant is also introducing a grammar checker feature for Google Docs, similar to Microsoft’s Word online document tool. Some of the things that the new grammar checker will scan for include when to use articles like “a” or “an” in a sentence.

Google said in a blog post that its machine learning technology would help the grammar checker improve over time to detect “trickier grammar issues.”

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Google also said that it’s debuting a security feature that lets administrators see if any of their corporate G Suite users are working on computers that could be infected with viruses and if those users may have shared any potentially compromised files.

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