All posts by Mrs. Amazopia

Windows Azure, Amazon in the courtroom (again), Amazon Publishing, and more…

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Microsoft will begin more strongly promoting its new-ish Windows Azure services at TechEd and Build, both conferences to be held later this month.  This new service is in direct opposition to Amazon and Google’s own web services offerings. To date, AWS is certainly the largest provider of public services in the cloud, even though Azure was actually launched three years ago. While it wasn’t received well then, the story at the link talks about the changes and updates which will likely make Windows Azure a more competitive option.  Time will tell how successful it will – or won’t – be.

Unfortunately, some the latest news for our favorite retailer isn’t good. Amazon just can’t seem to stay out of the courtroom! Although plans are in the works to hire 450 workers in Kentucky, workers in other areas continue to have – and press –  issues with the company. Currently the problem is that workers were not compensated for the time they spent standing in line to get out of the building at the end of their shift. They were required to be checked for security, and apparently Amazon didn’t hire enough security workers to get them out quickly. The case was originally dismissed, but it’s back in the news now that the U.S. Ninth Court of Appeals reversed the Nevada District Court earlier dismissal. This kind of reminds me of the long lines at Sam’s getting out the door. If you want to check and make sure I didn’t steal something, better get a move on, folks, or I’ll be going out the door anyway. Of course, I have the power there. The Amazon workers don’t. It will be interesting to see how this case is resolved, and it will definitely have ramifications throughout the Amazon empire.

Login with Amazon is a new service that enables active Amazon customers to login to apps, games and websites, with one set of credentials. I am curious to see how this will be received. It reminds me of “Login with Facebook,” which I studiously avoid. I know that many, if not most, people prefer simplicity, but for me, the more convoluted the passwords and the more variety among them, the happier I am. That’s what LastPass is good for. In any case, it will be interesting to see how many people – and app developers – adopt Amazon’s simpler solution. You can read the details at Amazon’s corporate publicity page.

And finally, Amazon Publishing has launched an interesting new website which merges its East and West Coast operation and now comes to us from New York. Designed for ease of management (and very attractively so, I think), the new site is available at this link.      Along with their traditional previous offerings, Amazon has also recently launched “Little A,” to cover literary fiction, and “Day One,” which is digital-only, concentrating on newer authors and short stories. The new site launched by Amazon is generally considered a centralized portal. Read the rest of the story at Good Ereader.

That’s it for today, folks!  Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  See you again soon!

Photo Credit Alan Dean

 

 

 

 

Back in the Saddle: Expanded distribution of Kindle Fire, Barefoot Books leaving Amazon, and more…

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They say time flies when you’re having fun!  Based on that, I’ve been having a TON of fun – and in actuality, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.  I took a little time off to acclimate myself to my new business (Check out my store on Amazon.com) and to take a cruise!  No, there were no fires, emergencies, capsizings, or other disasters.  Just a big group of friends that get together once a year and treat ourselves to some good food and even better company.  Now it’s time for me to get back in the saddle, though, and talk about one of my favorite subjects:  Amazon.com!

Looks like Google is working toward copying certain aspects of Amazon’s successful sales practices. Business-to-business sales is the latest forum, but Google is jumping in quietly and only in a limited way.  They are additionally working to compete with Amazon in three other important areas:  corporate computing, same-day delivery and offering lockers for consumers to receive e-commerce orders.  Of course, it’s also true that Amazon copies Google – witness the Amazon smartphone that will soon hit the market, as well as other audio and video streaming devices and even a set-top box.

Amazon has recently announced that it is going to begin selling its popular Kindle Fire in 170 countries, starting mid-June (thanks to my friend Wendy L. for the heads up!). Until now the Kindles were only available in a handful of countries, including the U.S., the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Japan. Although the iPad remains the strong market leader, with some luck, Amazon will be able to put a little Fire into the competition. (pun intended).  This is also good news for Amazon’s independent authors, because every book sold, no matter where, generates royalties for the writer.  As a independent author and recipient of some of those royalties, distribution in additional markets can only be a great thing for writers.

Barefoot Books has decided to leave Amazon. Why? An article in DigitalBookWorld explains nine reasons, including that they are not dependent on Amazon for their sales (that can only be a good thing for them, I suppose) and they have alternative outlets that perform well for them. Apparently Barefoot Books sells their children’s books mostly through party plans, similar to Tupperware. DigitalBookWorlds thinks they will do quite well.

Ok, so, while I wish Barefoot Books all the luck, would someone please remind me who the heck Barefoot Books is?  I really can’t see this as a business-killer for Amazon.  And in all honesty, I don’t think many Amazon customers are going to lose sleep over it.

And in the meantime, Amazon has just launched Kindle Worlds, a self-publishing platform that is intended specifically for fan fiction. There are several wins in this deal: authors make more money, rights holders are able to monetize further their own intellectual property, and Amazon (big surprise) gets the best of both! Unfortunately for some authors, sexual content is not allowed and the licensors of the material will be able to create – and enforce – guidelines for the fiction written for their property.

Since I have no cruise plans in the very near future, I won’t be able to use that as an excuse to neglect my blogging duties!   See you again soon!

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