back to article Google's cash problem: There's just so much of it

So much for the "Big Tech backlash". The "surveillance" model of data slurping used by behavioural ad giants Google and Facebook has never been under such focus as it is today. And they've never made as much money. Last week Facebook, and this week Google reported almost obscene numbers. Google's main problem is spending its …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google is not third in cloud. Depending on who you believe or how you count it, fourth at best (behind Alibaba) or sixth (also behind IBM and Oracle, how embarrassing).

    There remains a very real danger that Google Cloud goes the way of Google Plus. That’s killing them, no one wants to take that risk. So it might become self-fulfilling.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      .. all depends what you call cloud

      Lots of devs make use of some google apis / tools

      Arguably this is "cloudy" (e.g. mapping based APIs, play store, google drive, google pay etc.) - devil is in the definition of cloud - just looking at running VMs, databases, apps etc. in the "cloud" is but one interpretation.

      .. Being serious, really hard to pin down whats meant by cloud - ask different people, typically get different answers (obviously depending on their use knowledge & experience) - some people I know who use social media such as FB, Instagram to promote their small businesses ("makers" so sell stuff that photographs nicely so social media images a good promotion tool) regard that as cloud...(after all its hosted externally, FB even lets them make sales so is cloudy ecommerce as far as they are concerned)

      I'm sure there probably is some "official" (to some degree) definition somewhere, but its not obvious in real world usage of the term cloud.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Yep, Google Cloud Slurpages is great for performance. Because no one else is using the capacity.

      The are hiring lots of increasing desperate sales people that cant find anyone that isn't already going to Azure or AWS.

      I have visions of a datacentre with tumbleweed rolling down the deserted aisles!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

    It's really hard to break into the mainstream from so far behind the leaders

    If you look at the Marketplace for AWS and Azure, especially AWS, then you have 1000's of ISVs and hardware vendors releasing products specifically for these two platforms. Most vendors would only bother to make this investment if they can see a return in investment and that's simply not there in Google. This means AWS and Azure are able to offer lots of solutions to make up any areas that are weak in their platform. This drives more people to the top two and ultimately, as others have said, Google may at some point just say enough is enough and stop investing.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's "one of the fastest-growing businesses across Alphabet"

    "Cloud does continue to deliver sizeable revenue growth," said Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat. It's "one of the fastest-growing businesses across Alphabet" was as much as we got.

    Lets examine that statement. If Cloud grows from one customer to two customers, thats a 100% increase, and probably makes it one of the fastest-growing businesses across Alphabet. Same fore the "revenue growth" statement. If my revenue grew from $1 to $2, that's 100% revenue growth.

    both statements are meaningless without numbers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's "one of the fastest-growing businesses across Alphabet"

      Oldest marketing trick there is. It's the law of big numbers.

      When you have a small amount of revenue focus on % growth and only reveal the real numbers when its large enough to break out. Its the same as Azure - which grew 76%....76% of what? We don't know.

      On the flip side, when you get massive it is hard to keep growing at a high percentage so now focus on how much revenue increased or market share that your holding.

  4. M.V. Lipvig

    I still don't understand...

    ... this big attraction to cloud computing. Netflix and Hulu routinely add new shows, and kill old shows. They don't care that you're in the middle of a TV series or not. When it's no longer profitable to maintain the show, they wipe it for something more profitable.

    Now instead if TV shows, it's your data.

    It may not be there this minute, but rest assured that when they have enough companies not buying servers that server manufacturers are out of business except for the ones that deal exclusively with cloud hosts, that those electronic user agreements will be updated to reduce or eliminate their liability for your data. That's when you must either be profitable enough to pay the cloud or your business will disappear as fast as you can say "Delete disk? Y/N"...

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: I still don't understand...

      The attraction is in the lower running cost if you know how to manage it. Here is an example: I am running a few websites (as a hobby, there is only "cost" side and exactly zero revenue from that, not even ads). These websites are not on my home internet connections since that would subject them to the vagaries of Openreach infrastructure (even AA ISP cannot guarantee 100% connection uptime, especially if there is no redundancy). So instead I pay for a virtual machine in some datacentre, where these websites are hosted, and that's one attraction of the cloud. The other is that I do not actually have to pay for a whole virtual machine if I've spent a little time to re-architect these websites - I could run them on containers which would be cheaper. Yes, it would be nice if I could ship my own machine to some datacentre and have someone keep it up and connected, but that would be more expensive than renting a small(ish) VM or running a container. Then there is a matter of off-site backups - we all need them, right? But where do we keep these backups? The cloud is an ideal solution, just rent some disk space somewhere and sync your daily backups there. Granted it is not "computing" but "storage", yet the underlying incentive is the same - access to another datacentre for stuff which is too expensive to maintain on your own, properly.

      Icon appropriate for paying for this cloud stuff, every month, because it *is* cheaper not having off-site backups and running websites on home internet connection rather than in some datacentre.

  5. shawnfromnh

    Also is the problem people like me don't care for google/youtube political tactics so we avoid those platforms for other video sites and duckduckgo that don't mess around and give honest feedback on results. Also Facebook is garbage and Zuckerburg and his censoring platform will start to fall in value as other sites take the people that leave. I see the leftist business tech companies are going to start to increase in the amount of people leaving. They are both overpriced stocks by far and the NASDAQ will fall hard when their values plummet but since I would never invest in some internet company that puts ideology ahead of great and honest business dealings and users data is sold off without regard. No it's great they're taking a hit and hopefully they'll teach other tech that politics and business do not mix when the number of users of every persuasion and belief uses them.

  6. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Alphabet's moonshots are often erratically killed off far too soon, which would be ok if they replaced it with a better version, which they don't.

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