If storage is the gateway drug for the Cloud, email is surely the next level of addiction.
Amazon has been working hard for a couple years to figure out its business services. What started as a way for companies to store data, has been molded into a service-heavy mechanism. As time has turned, Amazon has made good gains. The company offers ways for businesses to take advantage of its services, in part or in full, through Hybrid Cloud connectors that can reach directly into the private datacenter to extract data and make it available in Amazon Web Services (AWS). And, it goes much further than that. Amazon hopes that businesses will feel comfortable enough with its services and SLAs to move more of the company's assets to its Cloud, such as servers, services, virtualized environments, and applications.
Microsoft entered the Cloud-based email industry in 1997, with the acquisition of Hotmail. Hotmail had been running for only a year before Microsoft made the move. And, it was a smart move. Today, revamped as Outlook.com, the email service provides is a conduit to most of Microsoft's other Cloud-based services like Office 365, OneDrive, and others. Of course, many other companies caught the Cloud-based email bug after, including Yahoo and Google (Gmail). Online email is a popular service, but until the last year or so, has never really been seen as a viable solution for business.
Amazon yesterday, announced that it will be joining the Cloud-based email ranks with its new service, called "WorkMail." WorkMail is designed specifically for business and is intended to compete directly with Microsoft's Office 365 and Google's Aps for Business.
Some notable features include allowing customers to manage their own encryption keys and specify the region in which email is stored to aid in improving connection latency but also managing compliance and privacy regulations. Users can synchronize their mailboxes with iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, and Windows Phone devices (using the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol). WorkMail works with on-premises Active Directory credentials, provides native support for Microsoft Outlook on both Windows and Mac OS X, and allows direct migrations from on-premises Exchange.
WorkMail will cost just $4 per month per user, and offer a 50 GB mailbox, allowing the company to at least be competitive in price and storage. 200 GB of storage bumps the price to $6 per user. However, its early days. WorkMail is just in Preview right now. The Preview includes a 30-day trial for up to 25 users.
You can sign up here: Amazon WorkMail