Google’s Cloud Service Expands Support for Microsoft Software

Google Inc.’s cloud service is expanding support for rival Microsoft Corp.’s software, as the Web-search company seeks to attract more business customers.

Customers of Google Cloud Platform will now be able to use the licenses that they already have for Microsoft server applications, including collaboration software Sharepoint, so that the services can be used together, said Brian Stevens, vice president of product management. Google is also making support for a Windows server product more broadly available for customers. The new Microsoft offering was enabled through a joint business and technical agreement.

“We’ve really been trying to make the cloud as usable as possible,” Stevens said in an interview.

The Mountain View, California-based company, looking beyond its core advertising business, is rolling out options to attract more customers to its cloud features, which lets users access computing power via the Internet. Last month, Google unveiled new networking tools for quickly accessing its features while also cutting prices.

Google, which doesn’t break out revenue for its cloud services, trails companies such as Amazon.com Inc. in the field. During the second quarter, it garnered less than 5 percent market share, lagging behind Amazon, Microsoft and International Business Machines Corp., according to Synergy Research Group.

Stevens, who joined Google from Red Hat Inc. earlier this year, said the new Microsoft updates show the company is filling out a lineup to help it make progress.

“We’re winding 2014 down on some really strong notes,” Stevens said. “We’re looking forward to 2015 as we scale and bring really the promise of cloud to developers and enterprises alike.”