back to article AWS is on the threshold of adulthood, but is nowhere near grown up

Heading into Christmas 2005, could you have imagined that 16 years later a new player would have rewritten the rules of how business tech is delivered? Could you have conceived of the notion that this new contender would already have swatted aside attempts by Cisco and HP to mimic its approach, trampled IBM, and forced …

  1. Steve Button

    approaching 16 years of age and therefore we'd have a fair idea of its trajectory and prospects

    Said no 16 year old, ever.

  2. Korev Silver badge

    It is possible that by Christmas 2037, 16 years hence, AWS will have settled into a disillusioned fourth decade.

    By which point everyone will be running on-prem again looking back at the Cloud as we do to Mainframes today...

  3. captain veg Silver badge

    what I don't get

    Why is it bad for ordinary businesses to lock up capital in the computing resources they require, but for the likes of Amazon it's just peachy? It's not as if it were anywhere near their core business (selling books and spamming people) back in 2005.


    1. Jason Hindle Silver badge

      Re: what I don't get

      I think Amazon would argue elasticity and being able to ramp up (or down) a service on a whim in response to unpredicted changes in demand. Considering the lead times for buying new equipment or (worse) renting more data centre space or (far worse) building data centre space, what Amazon, Microsoft and friends offer is compelling for many businesses.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what I don't get

      Regarding the core business, one analysis of Amazon's success concluded that the sheer scale of their infrastructure supporting the bookstore (along with the reviews and recommendations) meant that they had already accumulated much of the experience and infrastructure for AWS)

      In short, Amazon ca. 2003 was a massive technology company that happened to also sell books.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: what I don't get

        Accounts vary, but if that one is true the question remains. Why didn't it make sense for the bookselling business to rent its computer resources rather than build it? Could it possibly be that conventional wisdom is bollox?


        1. runt row raggy

          Re: what I don't get

          in 2003, from whom would you suggest amazon have rented its compute and object store?

      2. YetAnotherJoeBlow Bronze badge

        Re: what I don't get

        Or, their IT got so large Bezos said, "can't we lease out some of that space to recapture some costs?"

        The cloud was born again...

  4. MarkMac

    For the same reason its bad for ordinary businesses to lock up capital in property or furniture. Its not their core competency, and its difficult to be sure how much you will need, for how long, and where. If you're starting a company, do you buy a building, or rent it? The latter of course, because then if it gets too small you can move somewhere bigger, and if income falls you can cut your losses. Cloud brings that same flexibility to computing resources.

    As for their core business: in 2005, Amazon essentially invested in a startup. If it had not paid off, they'd have sold or shut it down. Also bear in mind that Amazon the retail giant and AWS the cloud giant are not the same company. They're owned by the same group sure - but Yodel and the Daily Telegraph are have common owners.

    1. msobkow Silver badge

      If someone tells you capital investments are bad, ask to see the business card for the leasing company they work for... :P

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Or see what car they're driving...

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