From a timely cloud computing market dynamics snapshot
"There are over one million servers in each of the big clouds of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, executives at those companies say. For new entrants, one limit is that capital spending costs more than $1 billion a year. Another is engineering know-how; how the future works will be in just a couple of thousand heads, at most.Cloud Computing Is Forcing a Reconsideration of Intellectual Property - NYTimes.com
Everything, be it software and networking or power, is different when so many computers are spread across the globe. The pace of innovation is so quick, and the number of players so small, that in some cases, the players elect not to patent inventions, wary of what they’d disclose about themselves in the application."