While so many people have been focused on Google vs. Yahoo, it seems like Amazon has been releasing a number of services lately that deserve a lot more attention. Back in March, they announced their S3 grid storage offering that would easily allow anyone to buy storage space for online applications on a utility model. It was the type of offering we had thought Google would offer. Instead, they created something that was a whole lot less (though, they've finally started opening up their APIs for external developers, nearly a year after they should have done so). Today, Amazon took their offering even further by creating a similar offering for processor power at utility rates. To some extent, this isn't new. IBM, HP and Sun have been pushing grid or utility computing for years. However, true to their existing business model, they've mostly focused on selling it to IT folks for larger companies. The simplicity of Amazon's approach, combined with their name recognition may actually help them to attract younger developers looking to rapidly prototype a system. Combined with Amazon's Mechanical Turk solution, Amazon has basically developed quite the platform for anyone trying to develop a new internet service. The next level will be making the system even simpler to use so that non-developers can more easily develop applications (a holy grail for a number of companies). However, where this becomes really important is that it appears Amazon has recognized that the real battle to own the internet isn't in the latest advertising boom, but being the real platform for the internet. It's what Google should have done years ago when they were the obvious company to do so. However, having some real competition from Amazon can only help to speed this process along.
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