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How AWS has become harder to predict and to beat


AWS used to be reasonably predictable in its public cloud focus. As AWS remembers its customer-centric mantra, it’s more difficult to know what the company will do next, and even harder to compete.


Pity those that must compete with Amazon, whether in retail or cloud computing. Amazon made its mark as an online disrupter of brick-and-mortar retailer, yet it has launched a variety of physical locations and is now sending out a printed catalog. Commenting on this latest development, venture capitalist Benedict Evans recently said, “Amazon has no dogma—it will push into every corner of the retail model regardless of whether it’s ‘supposed’ to do that as a website.”

In cloud computing, Amazon Web Services might be even less dogmatic, and more difficult to beat.


Faux cloud no more

This is largely because AWS has changed. The company, which has long insisted it focuses on customers rather than competitors, used to take a strident tone toward the “fake cloud” products like OpenStack that its customers kept buying. As AWS chief Andy Jassy declared, a private cloud was “not a ‘real cloud’ model.”

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