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Amazon Web Services: company gives new detail on the $5 billion business that is powering huge swathes of the internet

Published 27/04/2015

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. The company brings in brings in $5 billion a year from web services business (AP Photo)
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. The company brings in brings in $5 billion a year from web services business (AP Photo)

Amazon web services — which companies including Dropbox, Spotify, Netflix, and even the CIA use to make sure their videos, data and notifications work — has been discussed deeply in public for the first time.

Releasing its results last night, Amazon detailed for the first time just how much it was making from its huge server company.

CEO and founder Jeff Bezos described Amazon as “a $5 billion business and still growing fast — in fact it’s accelerating”.

That figure came from $1.5 billion of net sales in just the first quarter of the year, making a profit of $265 million. That means that it is probably at least the same size of and probably bigger than similar services provided by Microsoft, Google and IBM, and is almost certainly the largest of its kind in the world.

It was founded in 2006 and has a 27 per cent market share, compared with Microsoft’s 10 per cent, according to some predictions.

Amazon Web Services works using servers in huge data centres all around the world. It is thought to have over one million customers, including many of the world’s biggest websites and government agencies.

The product has more than just simple developer tools — it also includes technology like Amazon Machine Learning, which allows developers to use Amazon’s processing power and technology to let computers guess what humans are up to. The tool uses the same technology that the company’s 50 billion shopping predictions a week are made with, it said.

Independent News Service

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