Amazon’s cloud computing infrastructure has seen tremendous growth and is silently becoming a core element of the Internet. According to research from DeepField Networks, one-third of the millions of users covered by the study visited a website that uses Amazon’s infrastructure each day, WIRED reported on Wednesday. While most people still think of Amazon mainly as an Internet retailer, the company is quietly becoming “a massive utility” that is responsible for 1% of all Internet traffic in North America, according to Craig Labovitz, the co-founder of DeepField Networks. “My mother, for example, has heard of Facebook. She’s heard of Google. She buys stuff from Amazon. But I don’t think most people realize just how pervasive Amazon is becoming,” he said. “The number of websites that would now break if Amazon were to go down, and the growing pervasiveness of Amazon behind the scenes, is really quite impressive.” The company stored 762 billion objects in its S3 storage cloud last year, three times the number of objects stored 2010, and it operates several data centers on the West Coast, across Europe, and in Virginia, Singapore and Tokyo. More →
Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman on Thursday said that the company has a bright future ahead, although it will take some time to rebuild after a year of disappointment, reports The Wall Street Journal. Within two to three years, Whitman expects the company to best be known for cloud computing, security and tools that help businesses better manage their data. Whitman also announced that the Palo Alto-based manufacturer plans to release a tablet later this year that will run Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system. The company’s previous tablet, the HP TouchPad, ran webOS and was canceled two months after its lackluster launch. As for how the company intends to position its upcoming tablet, Whitman believes the best way for HP to gain tablet market share is to focus on the enterprise market. More →
Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu sent a note to investors Wednesday that suggested Apple’s Mac and iPhone market shares could double or even triple in the next few years. “We believe [Apple] has opportunity to double or potentially even triple its market share in these end markets over the next few years, particularly with Greater China and international under-penetrated opportunities,” Wu wrote. He said there’s “plenty of headroom” for growth in the enterprise and consumer markets, and he thinks Apple can take advantage of “secular mega trends” including the mobile internet, cloud computing and the consumerization of technology. Shaw Wu ialso recently said Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 launch will be “bigger than expected.” More →
Greenpeace recently released a report titled How dirty is your data: A look at the energy choices that power cloud computing, which graded Amazon, Akamai, Apple, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo across three “green” categories: transparency, infrastructure siting, and mitigating strategy. While Greenpeace offered some praise to the Cupertino-based company for improving transparency and its efforts to move towards cleaner energy, it failed Apple in the “infrastructure siting,” category for choosing to build its new $1 billion iDataCenter — which requires enough energy to power 80,000 U.S. homes – in North Carolina.
“Apple’s decision to locate its iDataCenter in North Carolina, which has an electrical grid among the dirtiest in the country (61% coal, 31% nuclear) indicates a lack of a corporate commitment to clean energy supply for its cloud operations. The fact that the alternative location for Apple’s iDataCenter was Virginia, where electricity also comes from very dirty sources, is an indication that, in addition to tax incentives, access to inexpensive energy, regardless of its source, is a key driver in Apple’s site selection.”
Hit the jump for more, as well as the official report card. More →
A new job listing on Apple’s website reveals that the company is assembling a small team of engineers to build what the company refers to as “the future of cloud services at Apple.” The job listing, which seeks a Cloud Systems Software Engineer, calls for a programmer who will “explore the far reaches of the possible by joining the team building the future of cloud services at Apple!” Apple is rumored to be working on several new cloud-based offerings that may launch in the near future. Among the more recent rumors is rumblings that Apple will revamp its MobileMe service to include a digital locker that would allow users to store music and videos online and then stream the files to PCs and iOS devices. Amazon recently launched a Cloud Drive service that offers similar functionality. More →
What do you get when you combine Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online? According to Microsoft, you get the “next generation in cloud productivity.” The Redmond giant’s much awaited cloud-based Office suite launches today as a limited beta spanning 13 countries. Those lucky enough to sample the offering at this stage will enjoy much of the functionality that makes Microsoft Office the global standard with none of the local software keeping the rest of us tethered to our PCs. Kurt DelBene, president of the Office Division at Microsoft, had this to say:
Office 365 is the best of everything we know about productivity, all in a single cloud service. With Office 365, your local bakery can get enterprise-caliber software and services for the first time, while a multinational pharmaceutical company can reduce costs and more easily stay current with the latest innovations. People can focus on their business, while we and our partners take care of the technology.
Microsoft’s Office 365 site will go live today at 3:00 p.m. EDT, and customers can sign up there to learn more. Microsoft hasn’t announced a firm public release date for Office 365, though it did say that the suite would be generally available in 40 countries next year. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
“Developers, developers, developers, developers!” Steve Ballmer has just announced limited details about a new Windows Operating System: Cloud. Separate from the upcoming and highly anticipated Windows 7, Cloud is geared toward developers to aid them in writing web-based or cloud-computing applications. While Microsoft has primarily been a desktop-based software company, it is opening up to delivering software via the web, much like Google does. This makes the process less costly, easier for consumers and there is generally less maintenance. For the most part, Ballmer didn’t spill anything else for fear that it would sully the surprise. Thanks for that, Steve.