In preparation for the Crunchies this Friday, January 9, I’ve been asked to write 5 short summaries to cover the nominees for Best Enterprise. There are 3 cloud computing entrants – Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine, and Force.com – and 2 from the worlds of Twitter clone (Yammer) and Office is Dead (Zoho.) My personal cloud favorite, Live Mesh, did not make the cut, but it’s a finalist in the Best Technology Innovation/Achievement category.
Mike Arrington included both Yammer and Zoho in his 2009 Products He Can’t Live Without, so I’ll let him do those honors:
In the cloud department, Amazon Web Services has finally drawn Windows Azure into the game, with Google App Engine the sandbox for what I consider to be the heart of Google’s cloud strategy: Gmail Labs. AWS and its secret weapon the Kindle represent the major competitor to Apple’s iPhone/MacBook Air/Time Machine trifecta, and we’ll soon see the two microsystems lap the field as media and micromessaging merge.
Gmail Labs will expand and merge into Chrome as the browser goes cross platform, adding rich media video and realtime features as Gears modules, and in the process set up a showdown with Azure/Mesh and Silverlight Office. Meanwhile, Force.com will continue to partner with Google while using Adobe Flash as a hedge against Silverlight. Salesforce will in effect become the FriendFeed of the Enterprise, aggregating social media services through a steady rollout of API connectors.
And the winner is….