Welcome to The Cloud 5, our weekly feature where we scour the web searching for the five most intriguing and poignant cloud links we can find.

Before we jump into this week’s links, please have a look at one of our recent blog posts, Salesforce surpasses $10 billion run rate. Salesforce had another stellar earnings report this week, so good it even exceeded analysts predictions and put them firmly on a $10 billion run rate.

And without further delay, here we go with this week’s links:

In our new situational economy, the challenge is to stay human | Quartz

With a combination of smart phones, sensors, and the cloud, we are starting to see a world where we interact with commerce and sellers know what we are doing. If that results in better service and faster interactions, that could be good, but we still have to find a way to maintain the human touch in all of this technology.

Microsoft launches new Brainwave system to run super-fast AI | GigaBit

Microsoft announced a new cloud-AI product this week that allows developers to program directly at the silicon/chip level. This has the potential to increase processing speeds with what Microsoft is calling “ultra-low latency.”

Google introduces tiered cloud connectivity options | Data Center Knowledge

As the cloud price wars continue unabated, Google has introduced a new low-end pricing tier. There is a trade-off, however, in the form of slower performance and reliability. If your application can deal with that, it could be a way to save money, but it won’t be for everyone.

Does the IRS have a cloud strategy? | FCW

The IRS has often been criticized for inefficiencies, but one way to get faster and more agile is to move some operations to the cloud. Unfortunately, a new report suggests the agency lacks even so much as a cloud plan, and it didn’t even form a cloud working group until last July. Talk about slow on the uptake.

Microsoft, Google start to give AWS a run for its money with startups | Fortune

While AWS stands far ahead of the pack when it comes to Infrastructure-as-a-Service marketshare, it could be getting some competition in at least one market niche. According to Gartner, rivals could be scoring more startup business, the kind of business AWS used to get. Whether that has a material impact on marketshare over time remains to be seen.

Photo Credit: Ron Miller. Used under CC 2.0 license.

Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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