Photographer: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

How Amazon Swooped in to Own Cloud Services

Though Amazon practically stumbled into the cloud services game, the company has left established hardware makers in its wake

In 2004, Sun Microsystems revealed a radical plan to shake up the computing industry. It would build a series of large data centers and sell access to the computers inside them for $1 per hour. Sun was taking a huge risk. It would begin a shift from selling high-profit hardware outright to becoming more of a grunt, renting computers. The company famous for wining and dining customers to close multimillion-dollar hardware orders would begin processing credit-card payments.

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