Today I received an email from Amazon touting the release of their new storage service, Amazon S3. This is a new addition to Amazon’s arsenal of Web services, dubbed AWS (Amazon Web Services). S3 (which stands for Simple Storage Service) offers online storage to users at relatively cheap prices. It is the latest in the Amazon Web Services tools which include Alexa Web Search, Mechanical Turk, and Alexa Top Sites, among others.
AWS used to refer to Amazon’s interface to its catalog of inventories. The moniker was later changed to Amazon E-Commerce Service (AES), while AWS became the umbrella label for the various services it offers today and its future Web Services.
By releasing S3 and other Web services, Amazon seems to be following in the footsteps of Google which has transformed itself from being a strictly search company, to one that offers multitude of online services. Just as before when it transforms itself from being strictly an online bookstore to a marketplace, Amazon seems to be chasing new revenue models by morphing itself into a one-stop shop for various Web products.
Whether the new S3 service can become a successful venture depends on what other competitors might have up their sleeves in the coming months. For example, Google is rumored to be working on its own online storage offering which would become a rival to S3. Google shook up the online email market a few years back by offering Gmail which gives users a gigantic amount of storage with a slick interface.
If Google decides to enter the online storage market, one might guess that it could make it a free service supported by advertising. In that case, while Amazon may have bragging rights for being first, Google might steal the show with its cost-free model and a more user-friendly interface.
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