Google finally gains traction in cloud services

Google has long run a distant third behind Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud services business, but it finally seems to be catching some momentum, if the most recent quarter is an indicator of future trajectory. 

During an earnings call with Wall Street analysts, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that Google Cloud Platform continues to experience “impressive growth across products, sectors and geographies and increasingly with large enterprise customers in regulated sectors.” 

To be more specific, Pichai said Google closed three times as many $ 500,000-plus deals in the most recent quarter as it did in the same time period last year. Of course, that is kind of pointless without knowing the exact number. And given Alphabet, Google’s parent company, reported overall revenue of $ 25.8 billion for the quarter, it’s likely a few drops in the bucket. 

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Network World Cloud Computing

Google machine learning gains Kaggle and more

Google has already carved out a niche for itself in machine learning with projects like TensorFlow and Google Brain. Now, it’s adding data science provider Kaggle, which runs contests related to machine learning and provides services for data discovery and analysis, to the fold. The company also is moving ahead with other machine learning projects, including an API providing intelligence for video.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Amazon’s Alexa gains support for Outlook calendars

Users of Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant can now ask it questions about the contents of their Microsoft-hosted calendars. On Wednesday, the assistant gained the ability to interact with calendars from Outlook.com and Office 365, similar to how it works with Google Calendar.

Amazon didn’t make an announcement for the new feature. When asked about the change, a company spokesperson said that it was designed to only work with personal calendars.

That said, it was possible for me to connect my Office 365 calendar, which is provided through an enterprise subscription. When asked about what’s on my schedule, Alexa answered with the contents of my work calendar. It’s unclear if Amazon plans to continue supporting that functionality, and it may break at any time.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

WhatsApp gains 1,000,000,000 whippersnappers (and my lawn)

WhatsApp has one billion users. That’s how many active accounts it had last month, at least according to the Facebook subsidiary — an instant-messaging service for young persons (or so I’m told).

It won’t surprise you to know that Jan Koum, the Ukrainian-born CEO, is overjoyed. I dare say Mark Zuckerberg is also fairly happy.

Listen, kid: In my day, we made do with two tin cans, connected with taut twine. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers tut-tut about today’s youth. Not to mention: my lawn get off it)

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
[Developing story: Updated 8:27 pm PT with more comment]

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Apple, Intel cite gains in hiring women and minorities

Apple and Intel are both making progress in their efforts to hire more women and minorities, according to figures released by the companies this week.

In the first six months of the year, more than 43 percent of Intel’s hires in the U.S. were women and minorities, up from 32 percent at the end of 2014, the company reported in its first mid-year diversity report.

At 43 percent, Intel said it was surpassing the 40 percent diversity hiring goal it set for itself for the full year.

Apple, meanwhile, boosted its hiring of women by 65 percent globally over the past year, to 11,000, the company said in its second annual report.

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CIO Cloud Computing