Amazon chief: Web Services ready for takeoff

Launched five years ago, Web Services business "is an investment," says CEO Jeff Bezos.Video: Bezos kicks off Web 2.0 Expo
Written by Elinor Mills, Contributor
SAN FRANCISCO--Amazon.com isn't profiting from its foray into Web services yet, but will as the market matures, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said Monday at the Web 2.0 Expo.

"We certainly intend to make money on this," he said in a keynote session at the conference, which is being held here this week. "We're not making money today. It's an investment."

Amazon launched its Web Services business five years ago in an attempt to use its existing data center and computing-intensive infrastructure to offer per-usage services that developers at start-ups and other companies could use to save time and costs in deploying Web applications. "For 12 years we've been building a Web-scale infrastructure called Amazon," Bezos said.

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Video: Bezos kicks off Web 2.0 Expo
Amazon.com CEO talks to conference attendees about the growth of the company's S3 on-demand storage service.

The services include: Simple Queue Service, or SQS, which is hosted messaging for Web applications; Elastic Compute Cloud, called EC2, which provides virtual private servers; and Simple Storage Service, dubbed S3, which provides a Web services interface that developers can use to store and retrieve data on the Web. The goal is to establish a separate line of business from its consumer and merchant operations that will bring in additional revenue.

One S3 user is Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded in 2000 by Bezos. When the company posted video a few months ago of the launch and landing of a sub-orbital space vehicle it is developing, the traffic spiked heavily, with the S3 system serving 3.5 million Web page view requests, he said. Blue Origin's S3 bill "was $304 for all of January, over half consumed on that peak day," Bezos added.

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