Amazon got bigger than Microsoft by beating it at its own game
When @Amazon came online in 1995 selling books, @Microsoft already had two decades of computer-selling experience under its belt. For the next 20 years, despite Amazon’s skyrocketing growth, Microsoft maintained it’s lead. But Amazon’s web services division, called @AWS, was quietly sneaking up. And last week it finally paid off. On Wednesday, Amazon officially surpassed Microsoft’s market value, making it the third-largest publicly-traded company in the United States. In 2017, AWS brought in $18 billion of revenue for Amazon — 20% less than Microsoft’s competing cloud service’s $27.4 billion, but has been growing at a much more rapid pace. From 2016 to 2017, AWS revenues grew 42% from $12 billion to $17 billion, while Microsoft’s cloud revenue contributions grew just 9%, according to each company’s respective balance sheets.