Hot on the heels of the recent announcement that Amazon are attempting to break into the UK office supplies market with the launch of Amazon Business UK, another rumour surrounding the company’s future plans has continually circulated over recent months; a highly ambitious plan to go head-to-head with Microsoft in direct competition with one of their best-known offerings – their Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite.

Many companies over the years have tried and failed in this endeavour, with Microsoft seemingly having too large a monopoly on the sector to be toppled. However, Amazon’s expanding business portfolio and history of unexpected success in several ventures could well mean that if anyone were to succeed, it would likely be them.

The rumours have been circulating for several months, surfacing in a February report by The Information. The report, which spoke of details provided by two anonymous insiders who regularly do business with Amazon, revealed that Amazon Web Services (AWS) has apparently been “working on upgrades to its WorkMail email-calendar app and its WorkDocs file storage-collaboration app to make them more attractive to corporate customers.”

It was further stated that, “AWS has also told some large corporate customers it's considering bundling these apps with its recently launched Chime video conferencing apps into a new productivity app suite that will compete with Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365.”

When contacted by ITPro.com, Amazon themselves did not respond to request for comment on the matter. However, several IT analysts have stated that despite their initial scepticism, the notion of Amazon taking such a risk is plausible.

Commenting on the rumours in an email received by ITPro.com, Charles King, principal analyst for research firm Pund-IT, stated that, “I've heard rumours but initially discounted them. The list of challengers to Microsoft Office is pretty long but their results have been anything but pretty. Entering the fray would be difficult for anyone, including Amazon, but the company has a history of pursuing counter-intuitive strategies.”

“The market leverage that Microsoft and Google enjoy due to their respective productivity suites must seem extremely attractive. With few other 'magic bullets' on the horizon, Amazon's management may have decided that investing in offerings analogous to Microsoft's and Google's may be the only way it can fully compete against them,” King continued.


Overall, the general consensus seems to be that while Amazon will certainly be fighting an uphill battle should they decide to play Microsoft at their own game, they may just have the motor to reach the summit. We’ll try to keep you updated as more news comes to light on the matter.


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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