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AWS Passes $10 Billion Mark

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has reached a new revenue high, capping off a quarter in which the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has driven a surge in remote work and, consequently, in cloud services demand.

On Thursday, the cloud giant reported earnings of $10.2 billion for the period ended March 31, a 33% increase from the year-ago period when it had revenues of $7.7 billion. AWS narrowly missed Wall Street estimates, which had pegged revenue at $10.3 billion, representing a 34% increase.

Quarter-to-quarter, AWS is up by 2.7% this period from Q4’s $9.95 billion.

Operating income was just under $3.1 billion for the quarter, beating estimates of $2.95 billion. Operating income increased year-over-year by 38%.

Despite slowing growth (this quarter’s year-over-year increase is its lowest on record), AWS remains its parent company’s fastest-growing business unit, followed closely by the North America retail segment. AWS accounts for 14% of Amazon.com’s overall sales, up one percentage point from the same period last year.

In a prepared statement, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos touted AWS efforts to support businesses, researchers and policy makers during the pandemic. For example, the company is letting small businesses take advantage of the AWS free tier for 12 months. AWS has also recently published a public data lake of vetted COVID-19 datasets, joined a White House-backed group of high-performance computing (HPC) providers and launched a $20 million fund for COVID-19 research.

Microsoft, whose Azure cloud platform is AWS’ closest competitor, reported its latest quarterly earnings on Wednesday. Microsoft doesn’t break out Azure revenues separately from its broader Commercial Cloud business. However, it did report 59% revenue growth for Azure in this latest period.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.