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