"Colin Sebastian of Robert W. Baird estimates that Google's cloud business is generating about $1 billion in annual revenue now, while AWS generates about $2 billion a year and is expanding at least 50% annually. Neither company discloses financial details about their cloud businesses.HEARD ON THE STREET: Amazon Sees Sunshine in a Cloudy Play - WSJ.com
Given Amazon's high valuation of more than 150 times forward earnings, with Google at a far more modest 20 times, it is tempting to see price pressure from Google as a big negative for the fast-growing AWS business. But this business is still nascent with large growth opportunities; 451 Research predicts the so-called infrastructure-as-a-service market will more than double to $10.2 billion by 2016."
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Excerpt from a snapshot of the non-robotic/drone part of the Amazon/Google competitive landscape
Walt Mossberg is not a fan of the latest Dell Android tablets
"So, what exactly do you get from a $150 name-brand tablet?Review of Dell Venue 7 Tablet - WSJ.com
The answer: You get a lower-quality device with weak battery life, which might suffice for a first-time tablet buyer with a tight budget."
There's an Amazon-versus-Google science fiction movie plot in here somewhere...
"If Amazon can imagine delivering books by drones, is it too much to think that Google might be planning to one day have one of the robots hop off an automated Google Car and race to your doorstep to deliver a package?Google Puts Money on Robots, Using the Man Behind Android - NYTimes.com
Google executives acknowledge that robotic vision is a “moonshot.” But it appears to be more realistic than Amazon’s proposed drone delivery service, which Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, revealed in a television interview the evening before one of the biggest online shopping days of the year."
Some insights into a site/app development nightmare
"In particular, the project was doomed by a relatively late decision that required applicants to open an account and let the site verify their identity, residence, and income before they could browse for insurance. That meant the site would have to interface in real-time with databases maintained by the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies.Diagnosis for Healthcare.gov: Unrealistic Technology Expectations | MIT Technology Review
“You could put 100 Google engineers on it, and it’s not going to fix [the fact] that the scope of the project is flawed or fix the IRS system if it’s slow,” says John Halamka, chief information officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “You don’t want to query 10 downstream systems and be reliant on their performance, because you are only going to be as good as the slowest one.”"
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
It'll be interesting to see if Google can leverage its big data-related innovations for Amazon and Microsoft commodity cloud competitive differentiation
"Google already runs much of the digital lives of consumers through email, Internet searches and YouTube videos. Now it wants the corporations, too.Google Joins a Heavyweight Competition in Cloud Computing - NYTimes.com
The search giant has for years been evasive about its plans for a so-called public cloud of computers and data storage that is rented to individuals and businesses. On Tuesday, however, it will announce pricing, features and performance guarantees aimed at companies ranging from start-ups to multinationals."
Monday, December 02, 2013
Sign of the times; see this Amazon page for more details
"Amazon.com Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said the online retailer is developing pilotless flying vehicles he calls “octocopters” that can deliver packages within a half hour of customers placing an order.Amazon’s Drones for Deliveries - Digits - WSJ
Bezos showed Charlie Rose an early version of the drone in development on an episode of the CBS news program “60 Minutes” aired Sunday evening. He said it was possible Amazon could introduce the drones within four to five years, depending in part on Federal Aviation Administration approvals."
Excerpt from a timely e-media reality check
"Books are dead. Long live the book.Out of Print, Maybe, but Not Out of Mind - NYTimes.com
Even as the universe of printed matter continues to shrivel, the book — or at least some of its best-known features — is showing remarkable staying power online. The idea is apparently embedded so deeply in the collective unconsciousness that no one can bear to leave it behind."
Friday, November 29, 2013
Excerpt from a timely cyber-currency reality check
"The system is now straining at the seams. Its computational underpinnings have collectively reached 100 times the performance of the world’s top 500 supercomputers combined: more than 50,000 petaflops. Bitcoin’s success has revealed three weaknesses in particular. It is not as secure and anonymous as it seems; the “mining” system that both increases the Bitcoin supply and ensures the integrity of the currency has led to an unsustainable computational arms-race; and the distributed-ledger system is becoming unwieldy. Will Bitcoin’s self-correcting mechanisms, and the enlightened self-interest of its users, be able to address these weaknesses and keep Bitcoin on the rails?"Bitcoin: Bitcoin under pressure | The Economist
Profile of Aaron Levie, Who Is Trying to Make the Startup Box Vital for Work | MIT Technology Review
Interesting that there isn't a single instance of "social" in this extensive and melodramatic Box profile -- perhaps the industry is reverting back to more meaningful words, including "communication" and "collaboration"
"In this way, Levie threatens more than just other cloud storage providers. He’s shoveling coal into a locomotive of cloud-based enterprise services that promises to mow down any software company if it can’t translate its desktop offering into a sleek mobile app that interacts with its users’ data anytime, anywhere, on any device.Profile of Aaron Levie, Who Is Trying to Make the Startup Box Vital for Work | MIT Technology Review
“The cloud is going to drive a new way of working,” he says after the conference. “The ability to deliver medical research from a lab to a doctor in seconds, or from an educational publisher to a student—it’s about real-time, collaborative, synchronous information sharing. It’s going to change work. Not just the technology of work, but work itself.”"
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
More on Microsoft's latest classy ad campaign
"Microsoft's anti-Google Scroogled campaign is showing no signs of slowing down. Its latest target is Google's Chromebook. Microsoft has enlisted the stars of the successful reality TV series Pawn Stars to lampoon what it wants you to perceive as the Chromebook's limitations (“It's not a real laptop!”)."Microsoft Enlists Pawn Stars To Mock Google’s Chromebooks | TechCrunch
Xbox One: Digital Home Base for the Living Room - Katherine Boehret - The Digital Solution - AllThingsD
Final paragraph of an Xbox One review; also see New Sony, Microsoft game consoles in changed world (Boston Globe)
"Though the Xbox One is still geared toward gamers, it will appeal to a broader audience with its variety of apps and ways of watching TV. Just be ready for a potentially frustrating experience when you try talking to the Xbox One."Xbox One: Digital Home Base for the Living Room - Katherine Boehret - The Digital Solution - AllThingsD
Excerpt from a Microsoft/Google competitive snapshot
"The anti-Chromebook effort spotlights how Microsoft is grappling with competition in areas where for years it held a virtual monopoly.Google’s Chromebooks Winning Over Some Businesses - Digits - WSJ
Some corporate-technology officials and analysts say Chromebooks are catching on for some road-warrior workers, retail-sales employees and other business users that can make do with limited computing features.
“Windows PCs aren’t going anywhere,” said Forrester Research analyst J.P. Gownder. “But for some use cases at some companies, Chromebooks fill a legitimate niche.”"