US e-commerce major Amazon.com has announced a new email service for corporate clients, posing stiff competition to Google and Microsoft.
The company's cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services (AWS), has developed the email and calendar service, dubbed WorkMail, which can be accessed via email clients such as Microsoft Outlook or a web browser.
Amazon will charge $4 per month for each inbox with 50GB of storage. Amazon WorkMail and Amazon WorkDocs, a text editing service, can also be purchased together for $6 per user per month. This option provides an additional 200 GB of Amazon WorkDocs storage for each user.
"Amazon WorkMail is a secure, managed business email and calendaring service with support for existing desktop and mobile email clients. Amazon WorkMail gives users the ability to seamlessly access their email, contacts, and calendars using Microsoft Outlook, their web browser, or their native iOS and Android email applications," AWS states on its website.
In order to address corporate concerns about internet security, Amazon will provide technology needed to encrypt messages in the new service.
"You can integrate Amazon WorkMail with your existing corporate directory and control both the keys that encrypt your data and the location in which your data is stored," the website says.
Amazon WorkMail scans all incoming and outgoing email for spam, malware and viruses to help protect users from malicious email, the company claims.
The corporate email market is largely dominated by Microsoft and Google that offer other office productivity tools along with the messaging service. With the new move Amazon intends to grab a slice of the large market.
In addition, this marks the ecommerce company's entry into the corporate technology market, which has the potential to generate a large amount of revenues.
"Customers are not happy with their current email solution," Adam Selipsky, marketing vice-president for Amazon Web Services, was quoted as saying by The Wall Street Journal.
"A lot of customers feel those solutions are expensive and complex."
Email services could bring Amazon $1bn in revenue annually, said Colin Sebastian, a Baird Equity Research analyst, based on his estimate of sales for Google's business software.
He added that Amazon could later broaden its offering to include other cloud, or Web-friendly, workplace productivity tools like the ones offered by Google and Microsoft.