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Unleashing a figure that may wound the pride of cloud computing boosters, Swiss global banker UBS has said Amazon Web Services (AWS) pulls in $500 million a year from its cloud computing endeavors. That's around 2% of Amazon.com's annual revenues, possibly somewhat less than the company makes on garden rakes.
Researchers broke the numbers out of Amazon's quarterly earnings reports from a lump total Amazon calls "other" revenue, distinct from its retail revenues. "Other" includes Amazon EC2, Amazon S3 and a handful of other services like packing and shipping goods. The researchers predict that AWS revenue might grow to $2.54 billion by 2014.
It's also a tiny fraction of worldwide IT spending -- about $365 billion a year right now, although that number is rising rapidly. While Amazon can get all due credit for inventing a computing services arm and making it competitive with some of the premier service providers in the world, the real story might be that public cloud computing is a lot smaller market than it's been made out to be.
Force.com proving hospitable to hotels
Libra On-Demand has launched a hotel-centric CRM platform on Force.com and claims it will sooth the fevered brows of reservation desk clerks and hotel managers everywhere. It should sweep away all that awful software hotels use now and replace it with 21st-century Software as a Service (SaaS) technology delivered from Force.com to monitors around the world.
Alert readers will question what happens to that rosy scenario when a hotel is cut off from the Internet by a sudden storm or freak accident; does Key Largo ring a bell?