AWS shows Cloud is NOT a high-margin business

AWSearningsLast week Amazon.com was the first of the large cloud service companies other than Rackspace to finally break out revenue and expenses for its cloud operation. The market was cheered by news that Amazon Web Services (AWS) last quarter made an operating profit of $265 million with an operating profit margin of 19.6 percent. AWS, which many thought was running at break-even or possibly at a loss, turns out to be for Amazon a $5 billion business generating a third of the company’s total profits. That’s good, right? Not if it establishes a benchmark for typical-to-good cloud service provider performance. In fact it suggests that some companies — IBM […]

Try editing your images in the cloud via Mainframe2

This may be the future of computing in the post-PC era. Embedded in this page is a fully functional copy of Adobe Photoshop running in the cloud using the Mainframe2 interface to Amazon Web Services’ EC2 graphical cloud that I mentioned last week and the week before.

You can’t (yet) upload your own pictures to this demo but you can open pre-loaded files and manipulate them as you like. Try it on Windows or Mac using Safari or Chrome for now (more html5 browsers coming including those for Android and iOS). No plugins!  Let me know how it works for you. And remember this application was ported to the cloud in about 10 minutes.

I’ll be […]

No Flash in the Pad

Apple has been criticizing Adobe Systems lately for what Cupertino perceives as poor performance and design deficiencies in Adobe’s Flash web media technology, which it darned well wants to keep off the iPhone and iPad. Adobe, in turn, has been defending Flash, however gently, citing it as a great enabling technology that has got the web in large part to where it is today. Both companies are correct, and that’s the point that seems to be missed by most of the pundits standing around pointing at the fight. Flash has been vital to the success of the web, but Flash is old.

Apple’s preferred media architecture, HTML5, is the future of the […]

By |February 22nd, 2010|2010|204 Comments

Authentication is Secondary

As we’ve all read, Google recently experienced a massive attack on its network, probably from China, and has threatened to leave the Chinese market as a result. I’ve written about that aspect before (Google taking its ball and going home) but this column is about the attack itself and Google’s internal plans for how to deal with future such problems, because of course this will happen again. I’m frankly trying to understand what Google is up to in its response to the Chinese threat — a response that doesn’t make much sense to me given the details of the attack as published.

First reports of the attack blamed a security flaw in an […]

By |February 4th, 2010|2010|67 Comments

Google Taketh Away

gadobeThis morning Google announced it was spending $106 million in stock to buy On2, a maker of audio and video compression software.  The very logical question I don’t hear being asked, though, is why would Google spend money for something it is already getting pretty much for free?  It’s to turn yet another partner into a competitor, this time Adobe Systems.

Google already uses On2 codecs in Adobe’s Flash video, which is the very heart of its YouTube video streaming service.  On2 powers YouTube’s so-called High Quality or HQ service, which due to competitive pressures on YouTube is likely to soon become YouTube’s standard codec.

It is important to remember that Flash video was not a significant […]