IBM is all set to launch take on Google in the next wave in computing – cloud computing or utility computing. Big Blue will unveil a basic 'cloud computing' email service Lotus Live iNotes, on Monday that will undercut an offering Google has been pushing to prod businesses switch to applications available as services over the internet.
LotusLive iNotes comes at $3 per month, per user on a yearly basis, with month-to-month payment options weighing in at $3.75 per month. A free 30-day trial period is also available to companies that want to test drive the service before signing on the dotted line.
All plans come with access to webmail, 1 GB of storage per user, mobile device support, built-in spam and antivirus protection, round the clock monitoring and administration tools.
Additionally users have the option of going in for 100 GB of storage for at an extra charge.
With the offering IBM squares off with Google whose cloud-based offering Gmail has gained immense popularity since its introduction in 2004 and also confronts Microsoft which is already firmly entrenched in the space with a number of web-based e-mail products, including an online version of Outlook and the free, Windows Live Hotmail program.
Tehnnology vendors are increasingly seeking to leverage the internet as a delivery platform to migrate their applications, which they claim offers several advantages like low-cost, ease of administration and accessibility of information from any web-connected device.
Washington D C, under federal government's CIO, Vivek Kundra has already migrated the bulk of local government's applications to the web through Google Apps.
Cloud computing, is however, not an unmixed blessing and has its own share of detractors who cite organisations' vulnerability to outages and other service interruptions as huge negatives of the model. Others point to potential 'lock-in' if it becomes difficult to move data from one vendor's service to another's.