CNN talks up Amazon Web Services

In a CNN article published on February 1st they announce that Amazon is now selling “data center services”.

These services are Amazon’s Web Services offerings – found here.

The tone of this article is interesting in that CNN highlights Amazon’s track record of innovating their business model.

Critics thought it was over the top when Inc. expanded from books into music in 1998. When the Web retailer let competitors start selling things alongside its own inventory in 2000, they said Amazon had gone nuts.

In both cases, Amazon proved them wrong. Media sales now total in the billions each quarter, and third-party merchandise, more profitable for Amazon than its own wares, makes up nearly a third of everything sold through the site.

Now, Amazon is making an even greater stretch — selling storage, computing power and other behind-the-scenes data center services.

This track record shows an amazing degree of bravery and intelligent risk taking on the part of Amazon’s leadership.

More after the jump…

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Microsoft goes all Gordon Gekko and offers 44.6 billion for Yahoo.

CNN Money writer Paul R. Monica thinks this will kick off merger mania.

The New York Times Saul Hansell calls this an offer Yahoo can’t refuse.

I’m left wondering how this merger helps either company. Let’s face it folks… the bigger, more dominant the company the less likely that company is to innovate – and innovation is what will (eventually) cause Google to lose market share.

While the combined Micro-hoo will undoubtably garner economies of scale and be more efficient that the two companies as separate entities – I’m not sure that is the best path to taking market share back from Google.

The deal will result in a massive #2 in online search and ad-revenues, but at the same time will solidify Google and Micro-hoo as the “dominant platform” (see this post on innovation and dominant platforms) in online search and ad-revenues. This should lead to another advance in the usefulness of – what us geeks call – SEO.

My only question is – are Google and Micro-hoo good enough that the market is ready to shift innovation away from the platform? I’m not completely sold.

Happy Sunny DB? Sun aquires MySQL

Sun is paying $1 billion to MySQL and add to it’s stable of Open Source technologies. This move will allow Sun to offer a complete open source enterprise development/application platform to it’s customers with Solaris, Java and now a MySQL.

Full CNET article.

Schwartz also outlined a number of areas of technical integration designed to optimize MySQL’s flagship database–as well as MySQL’s Falcon storage engine–on Sun’s Solaris operating systems and servers.

More after the jump…

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More on Leopard…

It has been a few days and overall I’m pleased with the ease of upgrading my systems. The new 64 bit core really improves performance – particularly on my mac mini DVR (using elgato’s eyeTV software).

I have also resolved my Time Machine issue – although not as cleanly as I would like.

Time Machine will backup to afp shares on other OS X 10.5 (aka Leopard) machines. However, it will not allow you to put a backup on a afp share that is being hosted on a linux machine (via netatalk). This is disappointing as I had to go out a purchase a 1TB usb drive to attach to a mac mini. While this was not cheap it was less expensive than the alternative – buying a external drive for every Mac in the house.

Wal-Mart VoIP – Yep, it is a commodity.

An MSNBC article yesterday details a new alliance between Wal-Mart and Skype.

The dedicated Skype section will feature handsets, headsets and webcams designed to work with Skype, a provider of free and very cheap long-distance calls, including to phone numbers abroad. Wal-Mart will also sell the first prepaid cards for Skype calls to be sold in this country, the companies were announcing Monday.

This development highlights a dynamic we’ve discussed earlier – the commoditization of voice communications – or Phase 1 of the 3 part adoption pattern.

Continue reading “Wal-Mart VoIP – Yep, it is a commodity.”

Jajah picks up 20mm in Series C Funding

Our friends at TechCrunch announced today that Jajah has received 20 million in Series C funding. Jajah is tying to become a first tier VoIP provider – and their primary advantage is that they recognize and accept that the PSTN (publicly switched telephony network – you know, the one that gets you to any standard phone number) is the primary way customer’s use voice communicaitons today.

Original Post.

Additionally – and perhaps most importantly in light of the Verizon vs. Vonage patent suit, Jajah gets access to Intel’s VoIP patents. One assumes – since Jajah’s primary technical component is PSTN/VoIP interconnect – Jajah sees this as a practical MAD (mutually assured destruction) defense if targeted by Verizon or others.

Jajah is my favorite VoIP service for the average consumer… all I need is an account and a regular phone. Since the VoIP portion is “inside” Jajah they have far better quality than Skype, Gizmo, etc.

That being said, Jajah is still a simple cost reduction play (now I can make phone calls for less). While their add on features are nice… they are far from innovative.

Mitel acquires Inter-Tel

Big doings in the SMB VoIP equipment manufacturers space today. Mitel has aquired Inter-Tel for approximately 723 million dollars.

The merger creates a market leader in the U.S. and U.K. SMB IP communications markets with anticipated revenues of over $800 million, twice those of Mitel today. It combines the strength of the two companies in the IP communications market, providing increased scale to extend market share in the SMB sector and expand into the large business IP communications market.

Full Story Here

jaxtr – Nifty little Voice Application

Check out jaxtr (see widget to the right).

Jaxtr is a voice applicaiton designed to specifically target the social networking scene. It allows you to call, text or leave a voicemail for your friend right from thier page (or blog in this case).

Pretty nice… would great if presence (you could see if I’m available right now) could be published.