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Cloud gets competitive

Google is entering the cloud services market.

Cloud computing just got a lot bigger.

On Thursday Google announced that it would offer computing as a service accessible over the Internet, much like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and others. Google said its prices would be about 50 percent below those of current market rates.

Urs Hölzle, the Google senior vice president for technical infrastructure, said Google was drawing off its own long history of managing millions of servers around the world. “We’ve solved a lot of the problems, and are passing on the savings,” he said. “It’s a natural step for us.”

As a demonstration of what the product, Google Compute Engine, could do, Mr. Hölzle announced a genetic mapping project that would use 600,000 computing cores, which are the processing units on a semiconductor.

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