Amazon to offer business email, taking on Microsoft

US online giant Amazon has announced plans to offer a cloud-based email and calendar service to directly compete with Microsoft Outlook and others.

The service dubbed Amazon WorkMail “enables users to send and receive email, manage contacts, share calendars, and book resources using the same email applications they use today” including Outlook and services like Google Apps.

The service appears aimed at corporate customers that currently pay for Microsoft Outlook or other services.

Amazon, offering the service through its cloud unit Amazon Web Services, will charge USD 4 per user per month and include 50 gigabytes of mailbox storage for each user.

The service may also be bundled with Amazon WorkDocs, a file storage service previously known as Zocalo.

The service “is fully compatible with Microsoft Outlook, and customers can quickly integrate Amazon WorkMail with their existing corporate directory, choose encryption keys, select the location where they want their data to reside, and pay only for the mailboxes they create,” Amazon said in a statement yesterday.

“Customers have repeatedly asked us for a business email and calendaring service that is more cost-effective and simpler to manage than their on-premises solution, more secure than the cloud-based offerings available today, and that is backed by the same best-in-class infrastructure platform on which they’re reliably running so many of their current (and future) workloads,” said Peter De Santis, vice president at Amazon Web Services.

“We built Amazon WorkMail to address these requests and to help businesses achieve agility and cost savings.”

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