WEB 2.0 - Amazon Web Services losing money

Amazon.com's IT infrastructure services business hasn't achieved profitability yet, but CEO Jeff Bezos is sure it will succeed.

Amazon.com's Web services business isn't profitable, but it's growing very rapidly and the company expects it to make money eventually, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said Monday.

Amazon Web Services, launched in 2004, provides hosted IT infrastructure services for developers in areas like storage and server computing. It is Amazon's newest business and Bezos is convinced it will succeed because there is rising demand from companies large and small for offloading IT infrastructure work to a third party, Bezos said at the Web 2.0 Expo event in San Francisco.

For example, S3, a hosted storage service, has grown exponentially, from having 800,000 objects stored in mid-2006 to over 5 billion today, Bezos said, the first time he has disclosed usage figures for the service.

"Managing bandwidth, buying servers, negotiating with hosting companies: none of this stuff helps your idea be any better or gets your product faster to market," said Bezos in a keynote speech during which he also answered questions from Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, one of the event's organizers.

Instead, Amazon is an expert at these tasks, and can provide them on-demand, charging customers only for the storage or server capacity they use, he said. Amazon Web Services' clients currently range from global companies like Microsoft to tiny startups who have decided to delegate back-end tasks on Amazon like hardware provisioning and software maintenance.

What Amazon doesn't like others to do is to grab data from one of its Web services without permission, as has been the case with the Alexa Internet division, responsible for some of the company's best known Web services for developers. When O'Reilly urged him to patch up Amazon's differences with the Statsaholic Web site, the normally cheery Bezos got defensive.

Statsaholic displays graphs on demand using data from Alexa, an Amazon division that tracks and ranks Web sites' popularity. Amazon and the Web site locked horn last month, initially over Statsaholic's original name: Alexaholic. Bezos said the Alexa division objected to the name on the grounds of trademark violation. Although the name was changed, Statsaholic continues to own the domain Alexaholic.com, from where it redirects traffic to its new domain, so the issue isn't resolved, Bezos said.

Moreover, Statsaholic uses graph data that Alexa hasn't made available for access by third parties via application programming interfaces (APIs), which is why Amazon also started blocking the Alexa graphs from appearing in Statsaholic., he said.

In a blog posting on March 26, Ron Hornbaker, creator of Statsaholic, defended his position.

"Why hasn't Alexa made the graphs part of their official API and charged per request? They've done it with their website thumbnail images, and with data, but why not with the graphs? I would be their first customer for such a service, as long as it was priced appropriately," he wrote.

Alexa has had other problems recently. In November, Alexa's Web experienced serious availability and performance problems, logging over 18 hours of downtime.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?