Thursday, September 07, 2006

WEB SERVICES:// branching out

There is a number of interesting developments around, outside the retail core.

1. Download services
We are waiting for Amazon Pages (books, announced November 3) and music (February 16). Today Amazon Unbox (movies/TV, announced March 10) is about to happen, according to the WSJ.

2. On demand services
On demand printing (with BookSurge) and DVDs (with CustomFlix).

3. Web Services
Amazon has recently launched S3 (storage, March 14), SQS (message storage, July 12) and EC2 (computing, August 24).

What makes interesting to me:
  • A focus on core business (which benefits from first-mover, scale and network effects). That makes it hard for anyone else to compete (except the likes of Wal-Mart, who inevitably lag Amazon's technological sophistication. Amazon is the default web store to refer to for many sites, including Google. Also, the likes of Google don't see Amazon as a threat. Plus, retailing is still moving online and Amazon is still adding stores.
  • At the same time, Amazon is entering new territories (see above) and hurting a number of players. Amazon employs thousands of engineers - there is lots more to come.
  • Amazon has surprisingly few partners. Microsoft is an S3 customer and supplies technology to the A9 search service. Only recently has Amazon started serving ads for companies that don't sell stuff on Amazon.
  • As Nicholas Carr previously suggested, Amazon could split the company. would be a client of

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