Tag: Amazon

Server memory prices set to change

IntelOversupply of DRAM for servers led to a glut of product being available in the first half of this year and so causes price drops in memory.

But, according to market research company Trendforce, although that glut was caused because of general weakness in the notebook sector, sales of servers are very healthy.

Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft have all boosted demand in the server market, so pries of memory for this sector remained comparatively strong.

But growth in the server market is beginning to slow down, according to Trendforce, and a price gap between DDR4 and DDR3 memory is narrowing.

The analysts said that the averprice of DDR R-DIMMs fell between seven bu ine price but compared to DDR4, that’s nothing. Prices of this modules have fallen by close to 20 percent.

DDR4 will be the predominant memory product for servers by the fourth quarter of this year.

Trendforce thinks that demand will be stimulated later on this year because Intel is promoting new server processors later this year.

Many anticipated that data centres would revive the marketplace for servers but it appears that uncertainty about the global economic situation will slow down growth for the rest of this year.

E-commerce bans Confederate flag symbols

confederateMajor e-commerce outfits are pulling products with the Confederate flag on them after the US suddenly realised that people flying them tend to think the South should have won the US civil war and that African Americans should be slaves.

The US had a wakeup call in the wake of the racist massacre in a South Carolina church.

Amazon reportedly joined other e-commerce companies, such as eBay and Etsy, Apple and national retailers in pulling goods with symbols from their digital shelves.

Google followed saying it will pull paraphernalia with images of the flag from Google Shopping, its online marketplace, as well as its product listing ads.

A spokesGoogle said that it will “remove content containing the Confederate flag from Google Shopping and Ads… We have determined that the Confederate flag violates our Ads policies, which don’t allow content that’s generally perceived as expressing hate toward a particular group.”

It is a bit odd that no-one appears to have noticed this, given that originally the flag was placed on a white background and its inventor William T. Thompson said that: “As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or coloured race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause.”

Later the confederates added a red strip to the flag but kept the white background.

What most people see as the Confederate flag is just the left hand bit of the true flag also called the Battle Flag.

The Battle Flag was designed by William Porcher Miles. It was made famous because it was carried by Confederate War Veterans including one famous secret vigilante group formed in 1865 which targeted freed slaves and sought to restore white supremacy by threats and violence, including murder, against black and white Republicans. It was called the KKK.

European Commission probes Amazon

European flagThe European Commission formally opened an antitrust investigation by Amazon in relation to the distribution of e-books.

The Commission is taking a particular interest in the contracts Amazon makes publishers sign which make them reveal alternative terms or more favourable terms from competitor.

In a statement, the Commission said it was concerned that these kind of clauses made it hard for other e-book distributors to compete with Amazon.

The Commission will look into whether these clauses limit competition and also limit peoples’ choices.

If it finds that the behaviour violates EU antitrust rules, Amazon could end up with sanctions.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU commissioner who looks after competition, said” “It is my duty to make sure that Amazon’s arrangements with publishers are not harmful to consumers by preventing other e-book distributors from innovating and competing effectively with Amazon.”

Amazon will pay tax in the UK

cashOnline bookseller Amazon has shocked the American corporate world by agreeing to pay tax and not operate elaborate but “perfectly legal” avoidance schemes.

Amazon has become the first technology company to abandon controversial corporate structures that divert sales and profits away from the  UK in the face of a clampdown imposed by George Osborne.

The online retailer has started booking its sales through the UK, meaning resulting profits will be taxed. The group made $8.3 billion of worldwide sales from British online shoppers but for 11 years all these internet transactions have been booked in Luxembourg.

A spokesman said Amazon was “now recording retail sales made to customers in the UK through the UK branch. Previously, these sales were recorded in Luxembourg”.

The move is an indication that chancellor George Osborne’s new diverted profits tax, which came into law from April. It imposes a punitive 25 percent tax on groups deemed to be artificially routing profits overseas appears to have worked.

Amazon had for years denied that its UK corporate structures were artificial or tax-motivated.

“While we offer some of the lowest business taxes in the world, we expect those taxes to be paid,” he said.

A number of other countries are considering copying Osborne’s diverted profits tax particularly if others follow suit such as Google, which routes its sales through Ireland.

Amazon and Google come out worse from two scraps with the UK parliament’s public accounts committee over these arrangements.

Committee chair Margaret Hodge told Matt Brittin, Google’s northern Europe boss, that his company’s behaviour on tax was “devious, calculated and, in my view, unethical”.

Investment in cloud drives European growth

No clouds on the horizonA report from IDC estimates that enterprises spent $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of last year on IT infrastructure spending for the public and private cloud.

The cloud represented 32 percent of total capacity in the fourth quarter – that’s up 52 percent compared to the same period last year.

By 2019, IDC estimates the value of this market will be $10.8 billion, or 39 percent of the total market expenditure. The traditional market will be stagnant or declining.

In the European region, western Europe spent 82 percent on the cloud and data centre infrastructure rose by 15 percent in 2013 to 19 percent in 2014.

The public cloud grew more than the private cloud.

According to analyst Giorgio Nebuloni, Europe is still lagging behind the USA and in China. “In 2014 it [Europe] went through a phase of considerable datacentre investments as US multinationals like AWS (Amazon), Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce expanded [their] presence to serve customers with regionally located data centres.”

Local players fought back.

The cloud has given impetus to the IT business, according to Nebuloni.

Amazon makes $22.72 billion

Jeff Bezos, Amazon - pic Wikimedia CommonsAmazon sold $22.72 billion worth of kit and services during its first financial quarter – up from the $19.74 billion it made in the same period last year.

But, like other US corporations, it took a hit of $1.3 billion because of the strength of the US dollar against other currencies.

Nevertheless, its net sales rose by 22 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

It made a net loss of $57 million in its first quarter.

CEO Jeff Bezos – pictured – pointed to the success of Amazon Web Services in a prepared statement.

Bezos said: “AWS is a $5 billion business and still growing fast. Born a decade ago, AWS is a good example of how we approach ideas and risk taking at Amazon.”

As we reported yesterday, Amazon Web Services poses a real threat to old guard players such as IBM and Microsoft.

During the quarter it introduced unlimited cloud storage with its Cloud Drive. SWS also introduced marketplace for desktop apps which lets customers choose from over 100 applications and pay by the month.

Despite the fact that Amazon appears to continue to make losses, its share price stood at $389.99 at close of play yesterday on Wall Street.

* Amazon introduced a shopping app for the Apple iWatch today.

Microsoft astonishes Wall Street

surprised-newspaper-readerSoftware King of the World Microsoft has surprised the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street by making piles more money than expected.

Microsoft reported that sales of its hardware and cloud-computing services helped to offset a decline in the company’s core Windows business and that it was going to party like it was 1999.

While sales of Windows to computer manufacturers to install on new PCs fell 19 percent in the quarter, that decline was offset by higher revenue from its Surface tablet, back-end server software and cloud-related offerings.

The company said its commercial cloud-related revenue for the quarter more than doubled, and was now running at $6.3 billion a year.

Microsoft’s overall revenue rose six percent to $21.7 billion, above Wall Street’s average forecast of $21.1 billion.

If the US dollar had not been so strong revenue would have risen nine percent, Microsoft said. Still you can’t have everything. Besides a huge pile of Microsoft cash is sitting in off-shore bank accounts waiting for the day that the dollar will be worthless again.

Microsoft survey says IBM is cloud supremo

IBM logoA survey of 2,000 enterprise cloud people commissioned by Microsoft has named IBM as the firm most likely to win cloud hosting projects.

The people surveyed were primarily from IT operations and administration around the world.

Eighteen percent of cloud projects were likely to be won by IBM, 11 percent would choose Microsoft and six percent would choose Amazon Web Services.

Amazon is the one to watch in this race to win cloud projects. It has come from nowhere to seriously threaten the old guard. It’s estimated it is turning overcools to $6 billion a year from its web services business.

The survey showed that 50 percent of current public cloud users are moving workloads to private clouds, and 52 percent will do so in the future. The reason for the move is primarily security.

Meanwhile, IBM also announced that it has opened a second cloud data centre in the Netherlands, just outside Amsterdam.

NoSQL market set to soar

coinA report on the global NoSQL market appears to indicate that by 2020 revenues will hit $4.2 billion.

Between 2014 and 2020, according to Allied Market Research, usage of NoSQL will register a compound annual growth rate of 35.1 percent.

Use of NoSQL both in web applications and data storage and analysis are the major driving forces. North America will represent two fifths of overall industry revenues by 2020.

But the Asia Pacific region is also set to generate serious revenues, growing at a CAGR of 41.3 percent during the same period.

Allied said that document databases are the most used application. Couchbase, MongoDB, Amazon and MarkLogic are signing partnerships.

The report said companies including MongoDB, Riak and Amazon are offering their NoSQL databases for download at no charge. Licences come later.

Tech companies are a threat to banks

Databroker_scrooge_mcduck-346x260The Royal Bank of Canada claims that technology companies pose a competitive threat to established lenders.

RBC Chief Executive David McKay said he was positioning Canada’s largest bank to compete with technology firms that have expanded into the money-moving business but don’t “bear the financial and social costs of being a bank.”

In other words the banks are heavily regulated because they have a nasty habit of crashing and asking the government for huge hand-outs while the technology companies do not.

“Many of these new entrants are excellent competitors – innovative, driven, and responsive to their clients, but they also may distort the financial system with unintended risks that regulators cannon clearly see,” he told the bank’s annual general meeting in Toronto.

Of course the Tame Apple Press insisted he was talking about Apple’s new Apple Pay service which is falling from favour with retailers and needs a plug, however he was more likely to be talking about Amazon and Paypal.

McKay said RBC was prepared to partner with small venture firms to develop applications for banking through mobile devices.

“It’s how do we apply the world of banking to the mobile phone? Not only from a payments perspective, but from pure banking perspective, how to you pay? How do you transact in general?” he told a media briefing.

“A second area where we’re certainly looking at technology to help innovate is in our processes, in the back office.”