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Amazon Beats Microsoft In 'The Battle of Seattle' (usatoday.com) 109

An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos earned $5 billion in one afternoon when the company's stock price jumped 9.6%. Amazon reported an actual profit of $513 million (nearly double the amount expected), and next year Amazon's sales are projected by analysts to be 63% higher than Microsoft's, which USA Today calls "a good illustration of how growth in the sector has moved from hardware, software and chip companies to Internet firms selling goods or advertising online... [W]hile Bill Gates helped put Seattle area on the map as a U.S. tech hub, Bezos now runs the largest tech company in the State of Washington, by far, in terms of sales."

Amazon's Echo and Alexa devices are believed to be outselling their Kindles (and Alexa will soon make her first appearance on a non-Amazon device). But Amazon attributed their surprise jump in revenue to a 51% annual increase in the "tens of millions" of subscribers paying for their Amazon Prime shipping service (which in San Francisco now even includes delivery from restaurants), as well as a 64% increase from their AWS cloud service, which recently announced a new automated security assessment tool.

Amazon ultimately reported more than twice as much new business as Google and three times as much as Facebook, according to USA Today, which notes that now of all the tech companies, only Apple has more revenue than Amazon, and because of the jump in their stock price, Jeff Bezos is now the fourth-richest person in the world. But with all that money floating around, Seattle tech blogger Jeff Reifman is now wondering why Amazon's local home delivery vehicles in Seattle seem to be operating with out of state plates.
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Amazon Beats Microsoft In 'The Battle of Seattle'

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  • I myself signed up for Prime this year. I buy enough stuff to warrant the fee, plus there is some video and music I like. I expect them to double down on the content creation and look forward to an old media vs. web media content war...
  • Out of State plates (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bretts ( 2480008 ) on Saturday April 30, 2016 @07:42PM (#52020553)
    There's a simple reason: you can keep two cars in a nearby state for less than the cost of one in Seattle. The law says you must keep your car mostly in the home state in order to qualify for residency, so drive it for five months a year in Seattle then take it home and bring the other one back.Either way you come out ahead. It's good business, and as always, business is ahead of government.
    • I work as an "Amazon Flex" driver from time to time, it's the driver's side of the "Prime Now" 1hr and 2hr delivery program. Amazon currently offers the ability to work in any city with Prime Now (though a technical limitation only allows this one time at present) so it's likely Seattle is seeing a lot of these transplants since it's a very easy way to move to a new city and ensure you already have work. These are personal vehicles so many of these drivers probably aren't concerned with updating their plate
    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      qualify for residency

      If your fleet management unit is operated as a subsidiary (even wholly owned), they could be home based in whatever state they want and license their vehicles there. I know of a couple of construction services companies that license vehicles in either Florida or Texas. They shuffle them around enough so they can claim that the vehicles don't spend a majority of their time in Washington state and ???? Profit!

    • by Nethead ( 1563 )

      Thanks for reminding me to renew my tabs, I almost forgot. I live just north of Seattle and it was only about $50. I don't see the issue. It would cost more in gas to switch the cars.

    • Not a real issue. Out of state plates are really not the big deal they used to be when WA had one of the highest yearly excise taxes in America and people would try to get away with licensing their stuff in Oregon where fees were lower. Now they are fairly modest--especially compared to California, which taxes the shit out of vehicles. I used to pay $1,000 a year to license my car here. Now it's about $70 or so. So "tax avoidance" is not the issue here. If the vehicles are leased, that would probably explai

    • The bigger issues here is that the federal government has original jurisdiction on this which is also why all those agencies and departments don't know what to say. The feds via the interstate commerce clause has declared any vehicle with a gross weight rating of 10,001lbs or more is a commercial vehicle and subject to to their jurisdiction except when certain rules are followed. It gets extremely complicated from here because states are allowed to create their own laws unless they conflict with federal ru

    • No, the simple explanation is that Seattle needed more trucks, and they transferred them from CA where they are supplied.

      Amazon contracted with Ryder in CA for trucks in CA. "Hey, Ryder, we need some of those up here in Seattle, where people cannot be bothered to walk a couple of blocks, in their "Walkscore 90+ neighborhood", to get a bag of groceries." I'm not joking about that. I live 3 blocks from a great grocery store (Metropolitan Market has the best damn produce!), and my neighbor gets Amazon Fresh

  • Ridiculous fluff (Score:4, Informative)

    by drawfour ( 791912 ) on Saturday April 30, 2016 @07:44PM (#52020555)
    Ridiculous fluff article. Wal-mart's revenue is more than twice that of Apple's, but no one would claim that Wal-mart is beating Apple.

    Microsoft's profit in one quarter is greater than the sum of all profits ever achieved by Amazon through their entire existence. To claim that Amazon has somehow "won" some battle is ridiculous when you're talking about revenue, not profits. They have to do something about their profit margins if they're going to turn revenue into profit...
    • It is just clickbait journalism, the unpolished facts make it a far less interesting story.
    • by Nethead ( 1563 )

      The big powerhouse in the Puget Sound area is Boeing, a LOT of smaller businesses provide good manufacturing jobs supporting the Lazy-B. Aerospace is big in the Northwest, living wage jobs and good engineering jobs, a nice mix to have in an area.

      I don't see so much so for Amazon or Microsoft.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      The main error in the article, Amazon is not a tech company, Amazon is a logistic company that uses tech. They are now extending that logistics into handling digital materials but still focused on being a logistics company.

      Amazon has a break in the market because the other big logistics companies have failed to expand into and compete with Amazons model which will happen eventually and this will hurt Amazons revenue.

      M$ has choked the chicken on it's market, really badly and nothing will ever come of it

    • The summary is also misleading in saying that "Amazon CEO made ...". He was paid $80,000 for being CEO.

      Separately, he was also the principal investor in the company at its founding, the owner of company. The OWNERS/investors made made money (on paper) when the stock went up. That has nothing to do with whether he's the CEO, or even works there.

      To make that more clear, I founded a company about 20 years ago. About four years ago, I got burned out on being CEO, so I quit working for that company and got a

  • Too late on the "Echo on a non-Amazon device": Amazon Echo DIY with a Raspberry Pi [raspberrypi.org]

  • Starbucks on the other hand beat both their profits combined with billions in profit last year. I certainly helps that many people are addicted to caffeine.

    • I certainly helps that many people are addicted to caffeine.

      It helps even more that "fair trade" price for coffee beans is only about 3 cents per cup of coffee, and it costs even less to burn them, which is what Starfucks does when they claim to be "roasting" coffee. I suppose it also helps that people dumb enough to drink their coffee have too unsophisticated a palate to tell that the beans were burnt to fuck.

  • Because their US divisions are making a loss year after year, and have no [taxable] income at all

  • There are plenty of companies with higher revenues than Microsoft (eg most oil companies, Wal*Mart, etc.). That doesn't mean higher profits though. Amazon sells so much stuff, it was inevitable their revenues would increase. But their profit margins are pretty small.

  • Amazon is the last in a long line of middlemen that make up a supply chain. Anyone who is silly enough to measure companies by revenue is naturally going to have a bias that makes them think that retailers are "bigger" than manufacturing and engineering companies. What matters isn't the revenue that passes through a company, but the profit that they get to keep.

    I'm not trying to put down Amazon - they're a very successful company and probably one day they'll be bigger than Microsoft. But not today.

  • Amazon is selling dollar bills for 95 cents. Big deal. Anybody can do that. It's quite frankly, moronic, to compare them to Microsoft.
  • Amazon, Inc. is the new Sears & Roebuck Co.
    Some decades from now we'll see them closing up too. It will probably happen shortly after Jeff Bezos retires.

    These companies seem to run on the drive and personality of their founding CEO. We're already seeing Microsoft crumble away after the exit of Bill Gates, arguable he checked out mentally long before he officially left. Apple may follow a similar trend downward without Steve Jobs.

    I predict that Bezos may only want to run the Amazon machinery for another

  • If you buy shit from them YOU ARE the problem.

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