Today in APIs: Locator Centric Launches API Linking Products with Consumers

Location Centric offers an API to improve product visibility. Looking beyond the claim that Azure is bigger than Amazon Web Services. Plus: Parse releases SDK for PHP, and Yo! drops complaint against Oi!

Locator Centric Releases API to Focus Messages Depending on Customer Location

It used to be all about being on message. Now it's on message, at the right moment, on location. The location API drives customer awareness as they reach a nearby location.

locator centric

As the company commented, the API isn't just focused on locations within a certain country. Rather,

The location data offered in the API includes cities, postal codes, countries, states, provinces, regions, and points of interest such as sports venues and tourist attractions – nearly three million total locations worldwide.

The company also makes it possible for clients' customers to create their own profiles that list desired products and applications, giving businesses valuable data with which to serve them better. One huge area has been weather, connecting location, users, and impending weather events to help drive several lines of business. That's easy to understand--you can sell more ice cream in a heat wave and more raincoats in a thunderstorm.

Claims That Azure is Bigger than AWS Obscure Its Very Different Strategy

Reporting in Infoworld, Matt Asay refutes Nomura analyst Sherlund's prediction that Azure will hold the lead as the biggest cloud by the end of 2014. Despite commercial cloud revenue at Microsoft growing 147% in just the last quarter to an annualized rate of over $4 billion, Azure won't be "even close" to AWS, he argues. That's in no small part because that figure of cloud revenues includes not just Azure but the sales of cloud-based software. But behind the issue of cloud size is Microsoft's hybrid strategy for growing its cloud services.

Microsoft azure

As Asay comments,

Maybe, just maybe, it will become even harder to separate Azure growth from the rest of Microsoft's cloud business. After all, as Microsoft Technical Fellow Mark Russinovich told InfoWorld, "all roads lead to Azure" within Microsoft, "So there are parts of Office 365 that actually run on Azure today. The goal is to eventually have everything running on Azure."

In other words, a huge amount of Microsoft's cloud revenue is likely coming from selling software that runs on the cloud, not cloud services in the traditional sense of hosting and its add ons. This hybrid strategy of applications, platforms and infrastructure is proving alluring to companies moving to the cloud. From a business design perspective, this provokes a sense of deja vu. Apple competed against Microsoft by offering something Microsoft couldn't: a combination of hardware, software and services you could only purchase from Apple. Microsoft's software offerings were and still are largely filtered through third party OEMs. Apple rocketed ahead in part because Microsoft was stuck with its business relationships while Apple was free to construct clearly superior products, building a brand and products Microsoft's strategy couldn't match. In the same way, Microsoft is offering something Amazon will have a hard time competing against: cloud services combined with Office, the most popular office suite in the world. Amazon's AWS is bigger than Azure, perhaps in the same way that Windows dominated Apple for a decade--until it didn't. In today's cloud fight, is AWS the new Microsoft while Microsoft is the new Apple? Stay tuned...

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Be sure to read the next Location article: ​URBAN4M Releases aboutPLACE API to Shake Up Hyperlocal Product Design