Google wants to finally conquer the cloud business

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Google’s cloud should become safer, more private and cheaper. The attack on Amazon and Microsoft should still succeed with two key products. Google boss Sundar Pichai wants to convince customers and partners in an unprecedented, multi-week online marathon.

There are things that Google cannot change. At the beginning of March, the internet company bowed to the realities. The multi-day cloud conference “Google Next 20” planned for early April was canceled. Tens of thousands of visitors had been expected to San Francisco, and preparations were in full swing as the Covid 19 pandemic overturned all plans.

But the hotels were boarded up, the conference center closed, as were bars and restaurants. San Francisco was a ghost town. First of all, the participants should be reimbursed for travel and ticket costs and instead virtually follow an opulent digital conference, which also lasts several days, with various lectures, question and answer sessions and expert panels. Free of charge, of course. But that too initially ran in the digital sand of the corona crisis.

But Google wouldn’t be Google if you just put it down. Now the web search and advertising giant is launching an unprecedented “nine-week digital event”. From mid-July to 8 September, it is designed to lure customers and software developers all day once a week on Tuesday. The launch was held by Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Tuesday together with cloud boss Thomas Kurian, who was recruited from Oracle.

But will the frayed cloud next trade fair get the necessary attention in cyberspace? One is not sure about that. For example, Deutsche Bank has entered into a multi-year strategic partnership with Google to put the money house’s IT, which ex-boss John Cryan once described as “lousy”, on a new footing. Rivals like Microsoft or Amazon were able to out-boot Google boss Pichai, an important customer that is usually celebrated on Silicon Valley on a conference stage. But not 2020: As a precaution, the news was announced a few days before the conference, as was the win of the Renault car company as a customer.

Renault, like other automakers, is in a merciless race for the connected and ultimately self-driving electric car of the future that Tesla is currently leading. On the stock exchange, the electric car maker Tesla is worth more than Toyota, Volkswagen and Honda – together! Google and its auto subsidiary Waymo, along with Google Cloud, could help Renault catch up.

Google Cloud boss Thomas Kurian wants to accelerate the relatively successful catch-up to number two in the cloud market, Microsoft, and ultimately also to market leader Amazon, with a new data strategy. According to market researcher Canalys, Amazon’s market share (AWS) was 32.4 percent in February 2020, Microsoft was 17.6 percent and Google 6 percent. But Alibaba Cloud, the absolute market leader in Asia, is already at 5.4 percent distance from Google.

With “Confidential Computing”, Google wants to finally clear up one of the toughest prejudices that are raised against the group as a cloud provider: sniffing data. On the private customer side, everyone assumes that everything will be searched – from the search results to the email account. That would be taboo for business customers. Google vehemently denies any unauthorized access to customer data, but the flaw is liable. “Confidential Computing” now promises complete encryption of all data from start to finish.

Today, data is encrypted when it rests in memory or moves from one place to another. But for the actual processing, they have to be decrypted at short notice. Google now only wants to decrypt it in the CPU, the actual computing core of a computer, and encrypt it again immediately when it exits. Of course, this is also intended to protect the data from prying eyes from hackers and domestic or foreign government agencies.

But in the end, Google kills two birds with one stone. It remains to be seen whether that will be enough. Microsoft will host its previous major Inspire event on the web as a two-day digital continuous fire on July 21 and announce news about Cloud Azure. And if the Google presence is no longer enough, Pichai has time to reload until the end of Google Next in September. Amazon’s AWS conference “re: invent” traditionally takes place in December in Las Vegas. But nobody bets on that today.

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