Amazon announces business email service

SAN FRANCISCO – Amazon on Wednesday announced a new email service called WorkMail, aimed at businesses.

With the freshly unveiled corporate email and calendar feature, Amazon is driving into a market dominated by Microsoft and Google.

After defining online retail in recent decades, Amazon has gone on to experiment in other fields, with varied success. The company now offers streaming video – with even some original programming – and has even released a smartphone. Amazon has also pushed into the corporate technology sector, providing the server power for expansive operations like Netflix.

Sensing growing dissatisfaction with email in the business world, Amazon is selling WorkMail on security and accessibility, according to reports published in The Wall Street Journal and Forbes.

WorkMail mostly replaces the unseen backend of enterprise email and allows users to keep composing on email software they are comfortable with, like Microsoft Outlook. By doing this, Amazon contends, the product solves the thorny issue of employees having to switch to a foreign email client.

Amazon also stresses privacy, claiming that WorkMail messages are encrypted the moment they are sent and then unscrambled once they reach their target. Only Amazon controls the encryption codes and clients can decide where they want Amazon to store data.

Clarifying the geographic location of email storage and emphasizing security will most likely appeal to European companies concerned about the National Security Agency surveillance revelations made by Edward Snowden in 2013.

Unlike Microsoft and Google, though, WorkMail doesn’t offer any word processing or other document creation software.

For pricing, WorkMail starts at $4 per 50-gigabyte inbox per month, which is in step with competition from other email providers. If bundled with 200-gigabytes of Amazon’s document storage service Zocalo, it costs $6 per user per month.

Amazon expects to launch WorkMail in the second financial quarter of 2015.

Copyright © 2015 Anadolu Agency