Amazon WorkMail, a new email and calendaring product, was unveiled by Amazon on Wednesday. It is being described by the Wall Street Journal and many in the tech media as a direct competitor with Microsoft’s and Google’s front-end email services. However, it is more geared to existing enterprise clients of Amazon Web Services (AWS) than to companies being targeted by Google and Microsoft for their web-based email and work productivity applications.

Amazon WorkMail is designed to appeal to companies with the internal IT resources to manage in-house, on-site email servers. But WorkMail provides a cloud-based alternative to on-site servers, precisely the model that has worked so well to grow Amazon’s corporate technology services.

For most small businesses, Amazon WorkMail isn’t the right fit. However, for tech-oriented businesses already using Amazon Web Services, it appears to be a natural extension of AWS.

Amazon WorkMail Features:

Security

Amazon WorkMail automatically encrypts data with encryption keys customers control, using AWS Key Management Service.

Outlook Compatible

Amazon WorkMail provides native support for Microsoft Outlook on both Windows and Mac OS X, so users can continue to use the email client they are already using without needing to install any additional software, such as plug-ins for Microsoft Outlook.

Web Access

Users can synchronize their mailboxes with iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, and Windows Phone devices (using the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol). the service also comes with a web client (browser-based email dashboard) for users to access their email, calendar, and contacts.

Pricing

Amazon WorkMail costs $4 per user per month which includes 50 GB of storage per user.