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 […]

Lessons from Redmond

Once DOS became the de facto PC desktop standard in the 1980s, Microsoft perfected a technique called “embrace and extend” and sometimes “embrace, extend, and extinguish.” The idea was to adopt outside technologies, extend DOS to include them, then eliminate as a competitor  the original developer of the technology. This was before Microsoft figured out that it actually needed third-party developers.

Lots of utilities became part of DOS and later Windows this way (remember Stac electronics?). They were initially provided for free to Redmond by their authors with the idea that users would upgrade to a paid version, only users mainly didn’t upgrade because good enough was, well, good enough. So the originating companies then tended to […]

By |March 14th, 2012|2012|52 Comments

Collaborize, Rinse, Repeat

I’d been putting-off going to startups.cringely.com to finally read all 286 entries so far in this summer’s Cringely (NOT in Silicon Valley) Startup Tour.  But when I finally went to the site, I couldn’t get in.  The page timed-out.  This was not good.  Or maybe it was very good in that the site was so busy.  But even that’s not good because I don’t like turning readers away.  So which was it — good or not good?

Not good.

Twelve hours later, when I still couldn’t get in I called the CTO at the company that hosts that site — Democrasoft.  You haven’t heard about them, believe me, and I’ll […]

By |March 23rd, 2010|2010|72 Comments