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As Forbes writes, cloud solution providers and the services they offer are set to undergo exponential growth in 2014. By year-end, American businesses are expected to pump over $13 billion into cloud computing, and why not? Making the switch to the cloud, as a recent study from Microsoft found, can greatly improve data redundancy and security. Cloud hosting options are widely considered to be far more customizable and affordable than their physical counterparts, making them even more attractive, both to small and large business.

Leading the charge toward a future where cloud solutions are the norm are Microsoft and Netflix. One company is tapping into state-of-the-art cloud computing solutions to recover from a sluggish start for its new product, while the other continues to expand its hold over North Americans’ living rooms. If ever there was any doubt that cloud computing was anything more than a fad, these tech giants are proof enough.

The Recovery of Microsoft’s Stumbling XBOX
According to Statistic Brain, Microsoft’s XBOX family of consoles has earned the company more than 60 million users. However, following the launch of its latest console, XBOX One, last fall, Microsoft has found itself waist-deep in hot water. The XBOX One has only sold four million units, a markedly lower number than the Playstation 4, according to Extreme Tech, which has moved 6 million units.

The problem, as Forbes writes, is the new console’s hardware. Whereas Sony’s gaming machine has been able to handle any sort of graphical requirements with grace and ease, Microsoft’s latest drops to a dismal frame-rate of 1 FPS in certain situations. However, a soon to be released function that allows XBOX users to tap into cloud computing servers to boost their system’s computing power could fix the slowdown and return Microsoft to its throne.

Netflix: The Cloud Computing Juggernaut
Netflix has rapidly become the biggest name in media streaming services. According to The New York Times, the entertainment and tech firm has more than 31 million paying subscribers, a fact which earned the company a strong $1.18 billion in revenues in Q4 2013. As Netflix continues to make deals with Time Warner for improved infrastructure and cloud streaming capabilities, the media giant, firmly rooted in cloud computing, is only estimated to grow as time goes forward.

Just as Microsoft is using cloud computing solutions to reclaim its rightful place in the Console Wars and Netflix continues to implement top-of-the-line cloud hosting and streaming services to monopolize the home entertainment sphere, so, too, can any business benefit from the use of cloud services. As the cloud becomes ever more functional and affordable and physical servers woefully continue their march to the junk pile, one thing is clear: the cloud isn’t going anywhere. Continue reading here.