Amazon's Cloudy Mystery

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOG) once again demonstrated reticence about revealing the actual growth numbers of their cloud businesses in last Thursday's fourth-quarter announcements. This encourages skeptics to complain that reports purporting growth potential have been hyped up.

That said, it's unlikely that the true value of the two will ever be unlocked through a sale such as a spin-off for instance, meaning that the mystery surrounding their cloud numbers may never be revealed.

Speaking with TheStreet, Melanie Posey, the research vice president of IDC's hosting and managed network services programs, said the possibility is low for Amazon and Google to spin off their infrastructure services platforms because such a move would, of course, limit the extent to which they could drive the development of the technology; technology that has been so fundamental to the operation of their own core businesses.

Both Google and Amazon, unlike other cloud services providers, are the main tenants of their cloud products, running key, internal businesses on the exact same platform that they sell externally to commercial markets.

Profitability and margin expectations for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform just can't be accounted for in the same way as other cloud services providers, Posey pointed out.

"For both of these companies, I'm not entirely sure it ever does become their core business," said Posey. "It's not their core business, so they have every reason in the world not to be open about it. And I don't think Amazon will become an explicit technology service provider to the broader market."

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