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Salesforce Cloud Computing Ready for Takeoff

Salesforce.com (CRM) has gone live with cloud computing, for which pricing starts at $995 per month.

The offer is aimed at developers who want to build mash-up applications leveraging the Salesforce SaaS platform and Web services from Amazon (AMZN), Google Inc. (GOOG) and the like.

Offered with the cloud service are the abilities to create an online community for up to 250 customers, set up a contact center with up to five customer service reps, connect to up to five partners and tap the services of other sites, according to a piece from Information Week.

Of course, cloud computing has been one of the most talked about technologies in the past year or two. Fueling the excitement around the technology is the fact that it lowers the risk – aka capex and opex investments – for businesses, which is getting more important the lower the economy sinks; plus recent news about Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) launching a cloud computing service; and EMC Corp.’s (EMC) cloud computing strategy-related move to buy SourceLabs Inc.

Investment bank Merrill Lynch predicts cloud computing will comprise a whopping $160 billion industry by 2011. The firm said in a May 2008 report that the number includes $95 billion in business and productivity apps, and another $65 billion in online advertising.

In contrast, research firm IDC expects spending on IT cloud services to reach $42 billion by 2012.


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