Product Launches and Missed Guidance This Week in the Cloud

Since Monday two software firms introduced game changing products, and VMware, the top dog in virtualization, reported financial results together with its parent company EMC.

On Monday, BitTorrent unveiled an experimental file sharing service in response to the launch of Mega, the spirited successor of Kim Dotcom’s now defunct Megaupload. Codenamed Sync, BitTorrent’s cloud locker sports a very minimalistic interface in its current pre-alpha release. The company made it clear that it intends to add more features in the coming months, and said that mobile support is one the top priorities on the list.

The second major update this week came from Microsoft, which launched the latest version of its flagship productivity suit.  Office 365 abandoned the one-license-per-machine paradigm for a subscription model that gives paying customers access to the software from all their devices for a limited period of time.

For an annual fee of $99.99, you get the consumer edition of Office 365, access to product updates, 20GB of SkyDrive space and 60 Skype minutes per month.  The price shoots up to $149.99/year for business users, but the deal includes extra perks such as  25GB Outlook mailbox, built-in teleconferencing capabilities and free hosting for site builders.

VMware also had some news this week. A few days ago the company reported earnings for Q4 2012, one of its best quarters to date with better than expected profit and revenue. The virtualization company boasts strong growth in a tough global economy, but posted a pessimistic revenue guidance for 2013 that failed to meet the Street’s estimates.

VMware’s stock tanked by as much as 21 percentage points in after-hour trading as investors digested the pessimistic outlook. In the aftermath, EMC’s shares plummeted as well.