The NY Times delivers word that HP plans to launch a cloud computing service in May. The project will be similar to Amazon's Web Services, but with more business-oriented features and more personalized sales and service.
“We’re not just building a cloud for infrastructure,” said Zorawar “Biri” Singh, senior vice president and general manager of H.P.’s cloud services. “Amazon has the lead there. We have to build a platform layer, with a lot of third-party services.” Among the first software applications available as part of the Hewlett-Packard cloud, he said, will be both structured and unstructured databases, and data analytics as a service.
“We won’t pull (Amazon’s) customers out by the horns,” he said, “but we already have customers in beta who see us as a great alternative.” He did not say how much the computing services would cost, but said “we are not coming at this at ‘8 cents a virtual computing hour, going to 5 cents,’” which even at the initial price could undercut Amazon. While Amazon tends largely to have a self-service model, Hewlett-Packard’s cloud will also offer more personalized sales and service, he said.