Feeds

'Break up Amazon.com'

Glorified catalog, or tech platform? Time to decide

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Analysis You can hear it on every earnings call. Wall Street's frustration with Amazon.com is growing, and recently, it's broken out into open insolence.

Two years of declining profits at the internet retail behemoth have left analysts wondering just when Amazon.com's technology magic is going to pay off.

"It seems like Amazon is a company which will perpetually be in investment mode," observed Piper Jaffray's Safa Rashtchy recently.

Worse, analysts are even questioning the fundamental proposition of internet retail, with Prudential's Mark Rowen asking:

"Why is it that we are not seeing efficiency if, in fact, the model is more efficient?"

Each year Amazon's profits diminish - and they've been shrinking as the economy has picked up - it offers the excuse that it needs to invest more in technology. But which business is Amazon really in?

Amazon wants to make search technology horizontal - licensing its own search engine - and this week offered itself up as a storage retailer. It's offering excess capacity on its own servers to all comers as a web service, called S3, for 15 cents a gigabyte. That's about as far from selling Harry Potter as you can imagine. So is it a technology platform, or an online shop?

Now Nick Carr has renewed his call for the retailer to get focused, and split its technology business and retailing businesses.

"If Amazon is serious about expanding its tech business alongside its retail operation," writes Carr, "its economic, managerial, and organizational conflicts will only grow more severe. It doesn't take a Solomon to see that this baby should be split in two."

Meanwhile, CEO Jeff Bezos has his eyes fixed firmly on ... er, nowhere. There must be easier ways of meeting Esther Dyson, than building your own space transportation.

Which only leaves the question - who gets to keep Amazon.com's portfolio of whacky patents? ®

Bootnote: Carr's book Does IT Matter? makes a strong case for IT buyers to stay away from bleeding edge technology. Silicon Valley reacted as it usually does - by shooting the messenger.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.