Google, looking to lure startups away from the ever-popular Amazon Web Services cloud, announced a cut in its cloud storage and access rates, effectively kicking off a price-undercutting war with Amazon that seems likely to leave other, third party cloud providers in its wake. On one level, competing with Google and Amazon on a price to features and scale ration seems impossible for companies without their financial clout. To startups, the new progressive pricing models and features mean that Rackspace and Amazon are now only on par with – or indeed less attractive than – Google’s service. As more and more business is done on the cloud, watching the price for access and services is integral to keeping pace with how digital business develops; don’t expect this to be the last time this story crops up in the media this year.
Amazon Web Services announced a new Simple Notification Service for Apple, Google, and its own Fire devices that allows developers to send notifications to all of these platforms via one, unified API. The new service is free for up to one million notifications per month, and then $0.50 per each additional million messages published. This move comes on the back of analysis that reveals that users want to be updated about things that they care about, even when they’re not in the app itself. Indeed, Microsoft is pushing Windows Azure as a platform for mobile services, including push alerts, so expect to see more news around development push notifications in the coming months.