Microsoft doubles down on cloud data with new products, makes new appeal to Amazon’s rivals

Microsoft is rolling out new cloud technologies for wrangling, protecting and analyzing large amounts of corporate data, escalating its competition with Google, Snowflake and Amazon in the $25 billion global market for data analytics and business intelligence.

Satya Nadella wearing glasses: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduces the company’s new cloud data products. (Screenshot via webcast)

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduces the company’s new cloud data products. (Screenshot via webcast)

Microsoft said its previously announced Azure Synapse Analytics technology is now generally available, with capabilities including data warehousing, artificial intelligence, security and compliance. The company also announced a preview of a new product, Azure Purview, which automatically discovers data across cloud platforms, on-premises servers and online applications.


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Speaking via video at a virtual event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made an apparent appeal to Amazon’s competitors, without mentioning the company by name. Nadella said it’s important to be able to trust not just a vendor’s technology capabilities and but also its “business model alignment”

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Amazon’s cloud unit taps own chips for new supercomputing offering

Dec 1 (Reuters) – Inc’s cloud unit on Tuesday offered a new supercomputing service based on its self-designed processors, a further sign of how chips based on Arm Ltd’s technology are encroaching on Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc turf.

Amazon Web Services, or AWS, sells its computing services based on the customer’s choice of an underlying central processor chip. Software developers have traditionally chosen between Intel or AMD products, but since 2018 Amazon has also offered its own “Graviton” chips designed with technology from Arm, which is in the midst of a $40 billion takeover by Nvidia Corp.

Arm-based chips have long powered mobile phones because they can operate on very low power levels, but they are increasingly used in data centers where their power efficiency helps control costs. The world’s fastest computing system, the Fugaku supercomputer in Japan, is based on Arm chips.

Supercomputing helps with

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Amazon’s Andy Jassy talks up AWS Outposts, Wavelength as the right edge for hybrid cloud

At the end of a three-hour keynote address for Amazon’s annual re:Invent conference, which is taking place virtually this year, Amazon Web Services chief executive Andy Jassy wrapped up with an extended discussion about edge computing and its role in hybrid computing.

“Hybrid is not just about whether its on-premise or in the cloud,” said Jassy. Instead, IT needs “the same APIs, the same control plane, the same tools, the same hardware they get in AWS regions,” said Jassy. He was referring to Amazon’s AWS Outposts, a rack of equipment deployed at a customer facility that is a fully-managed service from Amazon. 

Jassy said Amazon has made the Outposts offering easier to purchase now with new form factors, 1U and 2U rack units, versus an entire rack-size deployment.


“Hybrid is not just about whether its on-premise or in the cloud,” said AWS lead executive Andy Jassy in his keynote Tuesday,

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Amazon’s best-selling home security camera is only $19.99 for Cyber Monday

a wooden table: Cyber Monday 2020 Camera Deals

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Cyber Monday 2020 Camera Deals

  • Google’s Nest Cam Indoor is one of the most popular wireless home security cameras on the market right now, but it’s also pretty expensive with its $130 price tag.
  • That’s why the Wyze Cam is Amazon’s best-selling model — it has nearly all the same features but costs just $25.
  • On Cyber Monday 2020, Amazon is offering this wildly popular home security camera for just $19.99… plus there’s another discount on the upgraded Wyze Cam Pan model.
  • See more of the hottest deals in Amazon’s Cyber Monday 2020 deals hub!

The Google-owned Nest Cam was instrumental in creating and popularizing the wireless home security camera category. Everyone knows that. As the company did with its smart thermostats, Nest created a product that was wonderfully useful and remarkably easy to set up. Back then, the device’s $200 price tag might have

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Creator Of Amazon’s Zoox Robotaxi Unit Has A New Self-Driving Startup

As Zoox, the secretive robotaxi developer recently acquired by Amazon, gets ready to unveil its futuristic fleet vehicle, its former CEO who dreamed up the company is re-emerging with a new startup that’s designing AI-enabled software he hopes will allow cars to “teach themselves” to drive.

Early-stage HYPR, created by Zoox cofounder Tim Kentley Klay, says it’s using reinforcement learning, a branch of machine learning that utilizes a reward-based approach, to train driving algorithms dynamically–ideally with no need for direct human instruction or supervision. The Alameda, California-based startup has raised a $10 million seed round and begun testing its approach with a modified Daimler Smart Car. Backers include R7 Ventures and Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest.

Kentley Klay “kicked in a modest  amount,” he says without elaborating. 

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A Heap Of New Details On Amazon’s Lord Of The Rings MMO Have Been Revealed

As part of the acquisition of Leyou by gaming giant Tencent, a number of documents relating to Leyou’s collaboration with Amazon on a Lord Of The Rings MMO have been made public. The documents reveal some juicy new details about a project which, thus far, has been quite secretive.

The documents include a licensing agreement for the Tolkien property, which also makes mention of Lord of the Rings Online, an existing MMO that Amazon’s product will launch in direct competition with. The licensing agreement shows Leyou agreeing to pay over $8 million simply to secure the license for the Middle-earth game.

The documents also include a co-development agreement with Amazon, which involves the broader e-commerce company rather than specifying the gaming-specific Amazon Studios branch.

An amendment to the licensing agreement also includes a production schedule, which shows a rough timeline for the game–though notably the amendment was made prior to

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Amazon’s Channels Platform Will Drop HBO Next Year

Tony Goncalves, Chief Executive Officer of Otter Media, speaks onstage at HBO Max WarnerMedia Investor Day Presentation at Warner Bros. Studios on October 29, 2019, in Burbank, California.

Tony Goncalves, Chief Executive Officer of Otter Media, speaks onstage at HBO Max WarnerMedia Investor Day Presentation at Warner Bros. Studios on October 29, 2019, in Burbank, California.
Photo: Presley Ann (Getty Images)

Starting next year, you won’t find HBO among Amazon’s Prime Video Channels selection anymore, CNBC reports. That was apparently one of WarnerMedia’s conditions in the months-long negotiations to bring its subscription streaming service, HBO Max, to Amazon Fire TV devices.

Once the companies’ current placement deal expires next year, subscribers will have to navigate to the dedicated HBO Max app instead of watching HBO’s library by way of Amazon’s Fire TV interface. The difference may sound negligible, and from a user standpoint, it kind of is. But for WarnerMedia, it’s potentially a huge win. Consolidating access to its content to a single entry point, the HBO Max app, makes it

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Amazon’s Electronics gift guide

The holiday season is fast approaching — and that means gift-giving (and hopefully receiving) is just around the corner. And like clockwork, Amazon has dropped a plethora of new gift guides with literally hundreds of top-rated and highly reviewed items.

logo: Powerbeats Pro

© Amazon
Powerbeats Pro

icon: Tile Mate

© Amazon
Tile Mate

For electronics, it’s everything from a My Passport SSD (our top-pick for an external drive) to Animal Crossing for the Nintendo Switch — with TVs, phones and speakers in between. It’s a lot, to say the least. So we had our experts dig and scour the list for the best deals.


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We’ve come up with our 14 favorite items from Amazon’s 2020 Electronics Gift Guide. And we’re breaking them down for you right here.

4th Gen Echo Dot ($49.99;

The 4th Gen Echo Dot might mix up a working formula with a spherical design, but we think it still

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Amazon’s New ‘Care Hub’ Feature Makes Caregiving And Connection More Accessible In The Covid-19 Era

Update 11/18: Updated to clarify Care Hub is currently US-only, and that Alexa can be used to call for help via landline or mobile phone.

Amazon this week introduced a feature called Care Hub, which allows people to use the Alexa app and an Echo device to remotely check in on loved ones. Announced at the company’s hardware event in September and currently available only in the United States, Amazon describes the functionality as “a simple way to feel close even when you’re apart.” Care Hub users receive notifications when a family member or friend asks Alexa to call for help, and can use the longstanding Drop-In feature to further support them. You also can call them directly over a landline or mobile phone, or contact emergency services if necessary as well.

“Care Hub is a set of Alexa features that simplify and improve the caregiving experience. The Care

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What Amazon’s push into pharmacy means for pharmacies, health plans, and startups

Companies like Hims or Ro that prescribe and ship medications to your door could see a slight benefit as getting drugs online goes mainstream, but ultimately could have to compete directly with Amazon.



Analysts and experts credit Amazon with ushering in the widespread adoption of e-commerce shopping and selling habits with its Prime two-day shipping. Amazon Pharmacy could create the same seismic shifts in mail-order prescriptions that initially benefit the existing companies in the space, but ultimately leave those companies competing directly with the behemoth.

Direct-to-consumer pharmacies, for example, could benefit as new consumers learn to order prescriptions online for the first time through Amazon. In a way, it proves their business model is a good one, and that widespread adoption is possible, making the private companies more enticing to potential investors. However, customers could have a more established purchasing relationship with Amazon, given the ubiquity of Prime memberships

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