Cloud computing: A new path for firms

SAN FRANCISCO - Todd Pierce recently put his job on the line. To meet the computing needs of 16,300 employees and contractors at Genentech Inc., a pioneering biotech company, Pierce took a chance and decided not to rely entirely on business software from Microsoft, IBM or another long-established supplier that would have let Genentech own the technology. Instead, Pierce decided to rent these indispensable products from Google Inc.

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