The power that Amazon Web Services wields over its cloud partners illustrates the new business reality brought about by pay-as-you-go rentable IT – and it's not a pretty picture. Last week we reported on allegations made by Amazon partners that the cloud king was using its third-party ecosystem as a proving ground for products …
Still, seems like it'd be slightly less impolite to offer to buy the companies for a fraction of their worth:
"Take the offer; you'll be out of business shortly anyway. Asshole."
Business as usual
I've been involved in large "OEM" partner programs as a small partner, and what Amazon is doing is not unusual. This is why OEM's have partner programs! If its not a patented idea, expect to have it 'knocked off" if its successful enough to get onto their radar.
And this shit
is exactly what patent law is supposed to PREVENT. If Apple can patent round-cornered rectangles, why can't these startups patent their cloud applications and be rewarded for their innovation? Oh, that's right; the law only exists to serve the interests of mega-corporations and the super-rich that run them. Silly me, I forgot how this world really works for a moment there.
Re: And this shit
Can you patent something that you have revealed to Amazon by running on AWS?
Do you have an NDA with them, what's the contract with all their partners?
Do you feel like going up against Amazon's lawyers in East Texas court to be the test case?
Re: And this shit
Software methods are much more difficult to patent and far easier to implement via other methods. If patents are overly broad you get Amazons trying to patent web shopping carts in any form. When you run a product on someone elses service/product you are at their whims. Look up the history of Microsoft and Excel.
Limited time offer perhaps?
This article does seem to rehash what was reported several days ago, so has Amazon put together a formal response to there slimy behavior without overly generalizing it?
Off subject, but is the "cloud" really more than a gigabit connection and a few computers running in parallel? Sure, you can beef up the specs, but couldn't companies manage there own as they did for years with work servers? I will say this for me particularly: *if* I had a gigabit connection right now, I'd have these i5/7 machines clustered with OpenMP or what not and have my own damn cloud.
Anyways, I'm curious to what Amazon's response is going to be.
Re: Limited time offer perhaps?
I thought the whole cloud business goal was so that companies do not have to manage their own hardware.
Bit of a scummy way to operate, if you ask me. It's like your phone service provider listening-in to your phone calls for some gossip or money-making plans - and going off and selling the gossip of using said money-making plans.
To be fair, you make it sound like Amazon cloned Opsworks from one of their partners but in this case they did actually acquire a parter, Scalarium.
Self defeating, and not exactly good marketing either..
Amazon is cooking up a number of problems here.
First of all, any activity like this reduces trust in the company and adds to the impression that especially US companies consider flat out theft as a perfectly acceptable business model (information, IP, your personal details, your money you name it). This is not exactly going to help attracting business.
Secondly, they are not alone in this sphere, so they leave themselves open to companies that *do* manage to keep their hands out of someone else's inventiveness and maybe even *pay* for a good idea. No forget that, the latter isn't gonna happen in the current climate. But it means they may fall out of favour with startups and their investors (which is where the money is).
Thirdly, not all startups are too bereft to drag them through court. It may even a competitor sponsoring it. If you need help understanding that this is a time bomb, look up "Microsoft" and "Stacker".
Last but not least, a track record like this will greatly reduce their ability to expand outside the US. Regulators are (justifiably) already all over cloud services, so creating an impression that they cannot be trusted represents a business risk.
The question is thus if the short term gains from IP theft outweigh the harm to profit overall. Personally, I won't touch them with a barge pole (or a new idea) if my own checking of these stories confirms we're dealing with a Cloud based Microsoft, and I doubt I'll be the only one.
All 'foundation' businesses operate this way. My family made its money selling and installing hundreds of thousands of CD players for car dealers when the transition from cassettes to CD was underway. People were migrating to CD but most new car inventory couldn't use them. Web found a need and we filled it. Made scads of money for about a decade.
Then most new cars started coming with CD players so our business was made irrelevant. There was no longer a need for our service/product.
It is only logical that this happen if you are building on top if someone else's product. The car manufacturers decided it was insane to offer what is positioned as a quality product (new car) then have the owner or the dealer upgrade it the second it was purchased. So they started putting in their own CD players. (The same argument can be made for Keyless entry systems or shiny wheels, etc...)
Point being that if you are building on top of someone's product and you have a quality offering it is inevitable that the foundation product manufacturer will emulate your product/service. You'd do the same if everybody upgraded your product as soon as it was sold...
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