Far be it from me to spread gossip and rumor BUT… well, yesterday when we took a look at the new upgrade to v2.1 of IBM’s SmartCloud, we came across a number of referencesto the fact that Google is building a c loud computing offering that is to compete with Amazon’s EC2 cloud.

Microsoft’s Cloud?

It appears that the origin of the rumor is a report in the tech site Gigaom, which citing inside sources said that the new cloud offering will be ready by the end of the year.

But that’s not all. It seems that Microsoft is alsoon the cloud bandwagon and is rushing ahead with plans, too, that are supposed to be close to fruition.

Again this has NOT been confirmed by Microsoft itself, but there is something in the works, as on the Microsoft Azure website we are told that there is something big being announced in San Francisco on June 7. There’s no indication as to what this might be, but even if the product is not ready and this is only a forward announcement, it’s still one up on Google.

Google’s Offerings?

So going back to Google, according the rumors Google will be providing rental options for virtual server instances by the end of the year that would fit in nicely with the its PaaS offering in the shape of AppEngine as well as the storage offering with Google Cloud Storage that was announced as generally available in early March and launched in early April.

Learning Opportunities

That Microsoft is gearing up for something sooner rather than later is not exactly news. As early as January of this year, there were reports that Microsoft is preparing to launch a new persistent virtual machine feature on its Azure cloud platform.

This would effectively introduce the possibility of renting Windows and Linux virtual servers by the hour.

Google and Microsoft have been at each other’s virtual cloud-based throats for quite a while in one shape or another; at a business level this manifests itself through the standoff between Office 365 and Google Apps -- we know they’re not the same, but it’s the principle -- and with the kind of money that sloshing around the IaaS space, it would make sense for one or other, or both, to start stealing cookies from the Amazon jar.

Let’s see what June 7 brings and we can speculate a little bit more!