If there is one conclusion to draw from the company earnings reported on Thursday, it is this: Cloud computing is a booming business.
This point was never much in doubt, but the numbers sure reinforced it. Amazon said that Amazon Web Services, its cloud computing platform, is growing rapidly and would soon be a $ 10 billion a year business. Microsoft, widely considered the runner-up in the cloud computing market, said its commercial cloud business was also going gangbusters and has a $ 9.4 billion annualized run rate.
The two companies calculate their cloud revenue in different ways, so apples-to-apples comparisons are a fool’s errand. Suffice it to say that the two have found a sweet and highly profitable spot.
That makes some other news on Thursday all the more interesting. Facebook said it planned to shut down Parse, a toolkit for mobile developers that was supposed to provide an inside track to the cloud computing business. Parse was bought in 2013, when Facebook was looking for more revenue. (That is no longer much of a problem.)
In the end, Mike Isaac and Quentin Hardy write, the costs of competing against the top cloud businesses would take more resources than Facebook wanted to supply.