In software licensing, a volume licensing is the practice of selling a license authorizing one computer program to be used on a large number of computers or by a large number of users. Customers of such licensing schemes are business, governmental or educational institutions, with prices for volume licensing varying depending on the type and applicable subscription-term. For example, Microsoft software available through volume-licensing programs includes Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office. Traditionally, a volume licensing key, which could be supplied to all instances of the licensed computer program, was involved in volume licensing. With the popularity of the software as a service practices, volume licensing customers only supply their software with credentials belonging to an online user account instead, used for other aspects of services and provisioning. Traditionally, a product key has been supplied with computer programs, it acts analogously to a password: The computer programs of the old ask the user to prove their entitlement.
This key, must only be used once, i.e. on one computer. A volume licensing key, can be used on several computers. Vendors can take additional steps to ensure that their products' key are only used in the intended number; these efforts are called product activation. Volume licenses are not always transferable. For example, only some types of Microsoft volume license can be transferred, provided a formal transfer process is completed, which enables Microsoft to register the new owner. A small number of software vendors specialize in brokering such transfers in order to allow the selling of volume licenses and keys; the most notable of these, Discount-Licensing, pioneered the sale of Microsoft volume licenses in this way. Microsoft has been engaged in volume licensing since its inception, as the enterprise sector is its primary market. With the release of Windows XP in 2001, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Product Activation, a digital rights management scheme to curb software piracy among consumers by verifying the user's entitlement to the product license.
At the time, the volume-licensed versions of Windows XP were exempt from this measure. Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced two volume licensing methods for IT professionals in charge of installing Windows in organizations, both of which are covered by Microsoft Product Activation: The first is Multiple Activation Keys, which are the same as Windows XP's volume licensing keys but require product activation; the second is its corresponding keys. Hosts activated via a KMS have to report back to a software license server once every 180 days. Licenses using these schemes can be procured via the Microsoft Software Assurance program. A large group of Microsoft customers are OEMs that assemble and sell computers, such as desktops, tablet computers and mobile device. In the devices sold by these OEMs, Windows license data is stored in the computer's BIOS in an area referred to as the "ACPI_SLIC", so that KMS can detect the use of previous Microsoft products with the storage device removed or erased.
For Windows Vista and Windows 7, the SLIC data are complementary. Starting with Windows 8, everything needed to authorize the device is stored with SLIC data. In 2010, Microsoft introduced the Office 365 licensing program. In which Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange Server and Skype for Business Server products are licensed based on the software as a service model: In exchange for a monthly subscription fee, its updates, support for them, administration and additional services are all provided through an online web-based dashboard. In this scheme, licensed apps communicate recurrently with Microsoft over the Internet. Instead the administrator needs to sign up for Microsoft account, which holds details such as licensed apps, their number, payment methods; this account is protected by credentials such as a password. Introduced in 2011, Adobe Creative Cloud is a SaaS offering in which software produced by Adobe, their updates, support for them, administration and additional services are all provided over the Internet, in exchange for a monthly subscription fee.
As with the Office 365, a user account registered with Adobe is all, required to authorize software and store payment information. Microsoft has blocked several volume license keys that have been abused in service packs, starting with Windows XP Service Pack 1. Microsoft developed a new key verification engine for Windows XP Service Pack 2 that could detect illicit keys those that had never been used before. Several security consultants have condemned the move by Microsoft, saying that leaving a large install base unpatched from various security holes is irresponsible because this unpatched install base can be leveraged in large scale Internet attacks, such as Trojan horses used to send spam e-mail. Others have come to Microsoft's defense, arguing that Microsoft should not have to provide support for illegal users. After much public outcry, Microsoft elected to disable the new key verification engine. Service Pack 2 only checks for the same small list of used keys as Service Pack 1. Users of existing installations of Windows XP can change their product key by following instructions from Microsoft.
A volume license key, used to bypass product activation in early versions of Microsoft's Windows XP operating system was FCKGW-RHQQ2-YXRKT-8T
Active Directory is a directory service that Microsoft developed for the Windows domain networks. It is included in most Windows Server operating systems as a set of services. Active Directory was only in charge of centralized domain management. Starting with Windows Server 2008, Active Directory became an umbrella title for a broad range of directory-based identity-related services. A server running Active Directory Domain Service is called a domain controller, it authenticates and authorizes all users and computers in a Windows domain type network—assigning and enforcing security policies for all computers and installing or updating software. For example, when a user logs into a computer, part of a Windows domain, Active Directory checks the submitted password and determines whether the user is a system administrator or normal user, it allows management and storage of information, provides authentication and authorization mechanisms, establishes a framework to deploy other related services: Certificate Services, Active Directory Federation Services, Lightweight Directory Services and Rights Management Services.
Active Directory uses Lightweight Directory Access Protocol versions 2 and 3, Microsoft's version of Kerberos, DNS. Active Directory, like many information-technology efforts, originated out of a democratization of design using Request for Comments or RFCs; the Internet Engineering Task Force, which oversees the RFC process, has accepted numerous RFCs initiated by widespread participants. Active Directory incorporates decades of communication technologies into the overarching Active Directory concept makes improvements upon them. For example, LDAP underpins Active Directory. X.500 directories and the Organizational Unit preceded the Active Directory concept that makes use of those methods. The LDAP concept began to emerge before the founding of Microsoft in April 1975, with RFCs as early as 1971. RFCs contributing to LDAP include RFC 1823,RFC 2307, RFC 3062, RFC 4533. Microsoft previewed Active Directory in 1999, released it first with Windows 2000 Server edition, revised it to extend functionality and improve administration in Windows Server 2003.
Additional improvements came with subsequent versions of Windows Server. In Windows Server 2008, additional services were added to Active Directory, such as Active Directory Federation Services; the part of the directory in charge of management of domains, a core part of the operating system, was renamed Active Directory Domain Services and became a server role like others. "Active Directory" became the umbrella title of a broader range of directory-based services. According to Bryon Hynes, everything related to identity was brought under Active Directory's banner. Active Directory Services consist of multiple directory services; the best known is Active Directory Domain Services abbreviated as AD DS or AD. Active Directory Domain Services is the cornerstone of every Windows domain network, it stores information about members of the domain, including devices and users, verifies their credentials and defines their access rights. The server running this service is called a domain controller. A domain controller is contacted when a user logs into a device, accesses another device across the network, or runs a line-of-business Metro-style app sideloaded into a device.
Other Active Directory services as well as most of Microsoft server technologies rely on or use Domain Services. Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services known as Active Directory Application Mode, is a light-weight implementation of AD DS. AD LDS runs as a service on Windows Server. AD LDS shares the code base with AD DS and provides the same functionality, including an identical API, but does not require the creation of domains or domain controllers, it provides a Data Store for storage of directory data and a Directory Service with an LDAP Directory Service Interface. Unlike AD DS, multiple AD LDS instances can run on the same server. Active Directory Certificate Services establishes an on-premises public key infrastructure, it can create and revoke public key certificates for internal uses of an organization. These certificates can be used to encrypt files and network traffic. AD CS predates Windows Server 2008, but its name was Certificate Services. AD CS requires an AD DS infrastructure.
Active Directory Federation Services is a single sign-on service. With an AD FS infrastructure in place, users may use several web-based services or network resources using only one set of credentials stored at a central location, as opposed to having to be granted a dedicated set of credentials for each service. AD FS's purpose is an extension of that of AD DS: The latter enables users to authenticate with and use the devices that are part of the same network, using one set of credentials; the former enables them to use the same set of credentials in a different network. As the name suggests, AD FS works based on the concept of federated identity. AD FS requires an AD DS infrastructure. Active Directory Rights Management Services is a server software for information rights management shipped with Windows Server
Microsoft Windows version history
Microsoft Windows was announced by Bill Gates on November 10, 1983. Microsoft introduced Windows as a graphical user interface for MS-DOS, introduced a couple of years earlier. In the 1990s, the product line evolved from an operating environment into a complete, modern operating system over two lines of development, each with their own separate codebase; the first versions of Windows were graphical shells that run from MS-DOS on, Windows 95, though still being based on MS-DOS, was its own operating system, using a 16-bit DOS-based kernel and a 32-bit user space. Windows 95 introduced many features that have been part of the product since, including the Start menu, the taskbar, Windows Explorer. In 1997, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 4 which included the controversial Windows Desktop Update, it aimed to integrate Internet Explorer and the web into the user interface and brought many new features into Windows, such as the ability to display JPEG images as the desktop wallpaper and single window navigation in Windows Explorer.
In 1998, Microsoft released Windows 98, which included the Windows Desktop Update and Internet Explorer 4 by default. The inclusion of Internet Explorer 4 and the Desktop Update led to an anti-trust case in the United States. Windows 98 includes plug and play, which allows devices to work when plugged in without requiring a system reboot or manual configuration, USB support out of the box. Windows ME, the last DOS-based version of Windows, was aimed at consumers and released in 2000, it introduced System Restore and Support Center, updated versions of the Disk Defragmenter and other system tools. In 1993, Microsoft released Windows NT 3.1, the first version of the newly-developed Windows NT operating system. Unlike the Windows 9x series of operating systems, it is a 32-bit operating system. NT 3.1 introduced NTFS, a file system designed to replace the older File Allocation Table, used by DOS and the DOS-based Windows operating systems. In 1996, Windows NT 4.0 was released, which includes a 32-bit version of Windows Explorer written for it, making the operating system work just like Windows 95.
Windows NT was designed to be used on high-end systems and servers, however with the release of Windows 2000, many consumer-oriented features from Windows 95 and Windows 98 were included, such as the Windows Desktop Update, Internet Explorer 5, USB support and Windows Media Player. These consumer-oriented features were continued and further extended in Windows XP, which introduced a new theme called Luna, a more user-friendly interface, updated versions of Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer, extended features from Windows Me, such as the Help and Support Center and System Restore. Windows Vista focused on securing the Windows operating system against computer viruses and other malicious software by introducing features such as User Account Control. New features include Windows Aero, updated versions of the standard games, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Mail to replace Outlook Express. Despite this, Windows Vista was critically panned for its poor performance on older hardware and its at-the-time high system requirements.
Windows 7 followed two and a half years and despite technically having higher system requirements, reviewers noted that it ran better than Windows Vista. Windows 7 removed many extra features, such as Windows Movie Maker, Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Mail, instead requiring users download a separate Windows Live Essentials to gain those features and other online services. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, a free upgrade for Windows 8, introduced many controversial changes, such as the replacement of the Start menu with the Start Screen, the removal of the Aero glass interface in favor of a flat, colored interface as well as the introduction of "Metro" apps and the Charms Bar user interface element, all of which received considerable criticism from reviewers. The current version of Windows, Windows 10, reintroduced the Start menu and added the ability to run Universal Windows Platform apps in a window instead of always in full screen. Windows 10 was well-received, with many reviewers stating that Windows 10 is what Windows 8 should have been.
Windows 10 marks the last version of Windows to be traditionally released. Instead, "feature updates" are released twice a year with names such as "Creators Update" and "Fall Creators Update" that introduce new capabilities; the first independent version of Microsoft Windows, version 1.0, released on November 20, 1985, achieved little popularity. The project was codenamed "Interface Manager" before the windowing system was developed - contrary to popular belief that it was the original name for Windows and Rowland Hanson, the head of marketing at Microsoft, convinced the company that the name Windows would be more appealing to customers. Windows 1.0 was not a complete operating system, but rather an "operating environment" that extended MS-DOS, shared the latter's inherent flaws and errors. The first version of Microsoft Windows included a simple graphics painting program called Windows Paint, it included the MS-DOS Executive and a game called Reversi. Microsoft had worked with Apple Computer to develop applications for Apple's new Macintosh computer, which featured a graphical user interface.
As part of the related business negotiations, Microsoft had licensed certain aspects of the Macintosh user interface from Apple.
Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, licenses and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, related services, its best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface lineup of touchscreen personal computers; as of 2016, it is the world's largest software maker by revenue, one of the world's most valuable companies. The word "Microsoft" is a portmanteau of "microcomputer" and "software". Microsoft is ranked No. 30 in the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975, to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, it rose to dominate the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by Microsoft Windows.
The company's 1986 initial public offering, subsequent rise in its share price, created three billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires among Microsoft employees. Since the 1990s, it has diversified from the operating system market and has made a number of corporate acquisitions, their largest being the acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in December 2016, followed by their acquisition of Skype Technologies for $8.5 billion in May 2011. As of 2015, Microsoft is market-dominant in the IBM PC-compatible operating system market and the office software suite market, although it has lost the majority of the overall operating system market to Android; the company produces a wide range of other consumer and enterprise software for desktops and servers, including Internet search, the digital services market, mixed reality, cloud computing and software development. Steve Ballmer replaced Gates as CEO in 2000, envisioned a "devices and services" strategy; this began with the acquisition of Danger Inc. in 2008, entering the personal computer production market for the first time in June 2012 with the launch of the Microsoft Surface line of tablet computers.
Since Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, the company has scaled back on hardware and has instead focused on cloud computing, a move that helped the company's shares reach its highest value since December 1999. In 2018, Microsoft surpassed Apple as the most valuable publicly traded company in the world after being dethroned by the tech giant in 2010. Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen sought to make a business utilizing their shared skills in computer programming. In 1972 they founded their first company, named Traf-O-Data, which sold a rudimentary computer to track and analyze automobile traffic data. While Gates enrolled at Harvard, Allen pursued a degree in computer science at Washington State University, though he dropped out of school to work at Honeywell; the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics featured Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems's Altair 8800 microcomputer, which inspired Allen to suggest that they could program a BASIC interpreter for the device. After a call from Gates claiming to have a working interpreter, MITS requested a demonstration.
Since they didn't yet have one, Allen worked on a simulator for the Altair while Gates developed the interpreter. Although they developed the interpreter on a simulator and not the actual device, it worked flawlessly when they demonstrated the interpreter to MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. MITS agreed to distribute it, marketing it as Altair BASIC. Gates and Allen established Microsoft on April 4, 1975, with Gates as the CEO; the original name of "Micro-Soft" was suggested by Allen. In August 1977 the company formed an agreement with ASCII Magazine in Japan, resulting in its first international office, "ASCII Microsoft". Microsoft moved to a new home in Bellevue, Washington in January 1979. Microsoft entered the operating system business in 1980 with its own version of Unix, called Xenix. However, it was MS-DOS. After negotiations with Digital Research failed, IBM awarded a contract to Microsoft in November 1980 to provide a version of the CP/M OS, set to be used in the upcoming IBM Personal Computer.
For this deal, Microsoft purchased a CP/M clone called 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products, which it branded as MS-DOS, though IBM rebranded it to PC DOS. Following the release of the IBM PC in August 1981, Microsoft retained ownership of MS-DOS. Since IBM had copyrighted the IBM PC BIOS, other companies had to reverse engineer it in order for non-IBM hardware to run as IBM PC compatibles, but no such restriction applied to the operating systems. Due to various factors, such as MS-DOS's available software selection, Microsoft became the leading PC operating systems vendor; the company expanded into new markets with the release of the Microsoft Mouse in 1983, as well as with a publishing division named Microsoft Press. Paul Allen resigned from Microsoft in 1983 after developing Hodgkin's disease. Allen claimed that Gates wanted to dilute his share in the company when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease because he didn't think he was working hard enough. After leaving Microsoft, Allen lost billions of dollars on ill-conceived or mistimed technology investments.
He invested in low-tech sectors, sports teams, commercial real estate. Despite having begun jointly developing a new operating system, OS/2, with IBM in
Graphical user interface
The graphical user interface is a form of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and visual indicators such as secondary notation, instead of text-based user interfaces, typed command labels or text navigation. GUIs were introduced in reaction to the perceived steep learning curve of command-line interfaces, which require commands to be typed on a computer keyboard; the actions in a GUI are performed through direct manipulation of the graphical elements. Beyond computers, GUIs are used in many handheld mobile devices such as MP3 players, portable media players, gaming devices and smaller household and industrial controls; the term GUI tends not to be applied to other lower-display resolution types of interfaces, such as video games, or not including flat screens, like volumetric displays because the term is restricted to the scope of two-dimensional display screens able to describe generic information, in the tradition of the computer science research at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.
Designing the visual composition and temporal behavior of a GUI is an important part of software application programming in the area of human–computer interaction. Its goal is to enhance the efficiency and ease of use for the underlying logical design of a stored program, a design discipline named usability. Methods of user-centered design are used to ensure that the visual language introduced in the design is well-tailored to the tasks; the visible graphical interface features of an application are sometimes referred to as chrome or GUI. Users interact with information by manipulating visual widgets that allow for interactions appropriate to the kind of data they hold; the widgets of a well-designed interface are selected to support the actions necessary to achieve the goals of users. A model–view–controller allows flexible structures in which the interface is independent from and indirectly linked to application functions, so the GUI can be customized easily; this allows users to select or design a different skin at will, eases the designer's work to change the interface as user needs evolve.
Good user interface design relates to users more, to system architecture less. Large widgets, such as windows provide a frame or container for the main presentation content such as a web page, email message or drawing. Smaller ones act as a user-input tool. A GUI may be designed for the requirements of a vertical market as application-specific graphical user interfaces. Examples include automated teller machines, point of sale touchscreens at restaurants, self-service checkouts used in a retail store, airline self-ticketing and check-in, information kiosks in a public space, like a train station or a museum, monitors or control screens in an embedded industrial application which employ a real-time operating system. By the 1980s, cell phones and handheld game systems employed application specific touchscreen GUIs. Newer automobiles use GUIs in their navigation systems and multimedia centers, or navigation multimedia center combinations. Sample graphical desktop environments A GUI uses a combination of technologies and devices to provide a platform that users can interact with, for the tasks of gathering and producing information.
A series of elements conforming a visual language have evolved to represent information stored in computers. This makes it easier for people with few computer skills to use computer software; the most common combination of such elements in GUIs is the windows, menus, pointer paradigm in personal computers. The WIMP style of interaction uses a virtual input device to represent the position of a pointing device, most a mouse, presents information organized in windows and represented with icons. Available commands are compiled together in menus, actions are performed making gestures with the pointing device. A window manager facilitates the interactions between windows and the windowing system; the windowing system handles hardware devices such as pointing devices, graphics hardware, positioning of the pointer. In personal computers, all these elements are modeled through a desktop metaphor to produce a simulation called a desktop environment in which the display represents a desktop, on which documents and folders of documents can be placed.
Window managers and other software combine to simulate the desktop environment with varying degrees of realism. Smaller mobile devices such as personal digital assistants and smartphones use the WIMP elements with different unifying metaphors, due to constraints in space and available input devices. Applications for which WIMP is not well suited may use newer interaction techniques, collectively termed post-WIMP user interfaces; as of 2011, some touchscreen-based operating systems such as Apple's iOS and Android use the class of GUIs named post-WIMP. These support styles of interaction using more than one finger in contact with a display, which allows actions such as pinching and rotating, which are unsupported by one pointer and mouse. Human interface devices, for the efficient interaction with a GUI include a computer keyboard used together with keyboard shortcuts, pointing devices for the cursor control: mouse, pointing stick, trackball, virtual keyboards, head-up displays. There are actions performed by programs that affect the GUI.
For example, there are components like inotify or D-Bus to facilitate communication between computer programs. Ivan Sutherland developed Sketchpad in 1963 held as the first graphical co
An operating system is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. Time-sharing operating systems schedule tasks for efficient use of the system and may include accounting software for cost allocation of processor time, mass storage and other resources. For hardware functions such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary between programs and the computer hardware, although the application code is executed directly by the hardware and makes system calls to an OS function or is interrupted by it. Operating systems are found on many devices that contain a computer – from cellular phones and video game consoles to web servers and supercomputers; the dominant desktop operating system is Microsoft Windows with a market share of around 82.74%. MacOS by Apple Inc. is in second place, the varieties of Linux are collectively in third place. In the mobile sector, use in 2017 is up to 70% of Google's Android and according to third quarter 2016 data, Android on smartphones is dominant with 87.5 percent and a growth rate 10.3 percent per year, followed by Apple's iOS with 12.1 percent and a per year decrease in market share of 5.2 percent, while other operating systems amount to just 0.3 percent.
Linux distributions are dominant in supercomputing sectors. Other specialized classes of operating systems, such as embedded and real-time systems, exist for many applications. A single-tasking system can only run one program at a time, while a multi-tasking operating system allows more than one program to be running in concurrency; this is achieved by time-sharing, where the available processor time is divided between multiple processes. These processes are each interrupted in time slices by a task-scheduling subsystem of the operating system. Multi-tasking may be characterized in co-operative types. In preemptive multitasking, the operating system slices the CPU time and dedicates a slot to each of the programs. Unix-like operating systems, such as Solaris and Linux—as well as non-Unix-like, such as AmigaOS—support preemptive multitasking. Cooperative multitasking is achieved by relying on each process to provide time to the other processes in a defined manner. 16-bit versions of Microsoft Windows used cooperative multi-tasking.
32-bit versions of both Windows NT and Win9x, used preemptive multi-tasking. Single-user operating systems have no facilities to distinguish users, but may allow multiple programs to run in tandem. A multi-user operating system extends the basic concept of multi-tasking with facilities that identify processes and resources, such as disk space, belonging to multiple users, the system permits multiple users to interact with the system at the same time. Time-sharing operating systems schedule tasks for efficient use of the system and may include accounting software for cost allocation of processor time, mass storage and other resources to multiple users. A distributed operating system manages a group of distinct computers and makes them appear to be a single computer; the development of networked computers that could be linked and communicate with each other gave rise to distributed computing. Distributed computations are carried out on more than one machine; when computers in a group work in cooperation, they form a distributed system.
In an OS, distributed and cloud computing context, templating refers to creating a single virtual machine image as a guest operating system saving it as a tool for multiple running virtual machines. The technique is used both in virtualization and cloud computing management, is common in large server warehouses. Embedded operating systems are designed to be used in embedded computer systems, they are designed to operate on small machines like PDAs with less autonomy. They are able to operate with a limited number of resources, they are compact and efficient by design. Windows CE and Minix 3 are some examples of embedded operating systems. A real-time operating system is an operating system that guarantees to process events or data by a specific moment in time. A real-time operating system may be single- or multi-tasking, but when multitasking, it uses specialized scheduling algorithms so that a deterministic nature of behavior is achieved. An event-driven system switches between tasks based on their priorities or external events while time-sharing operating systems switch tasks based on clock interrupts.
A library operating system is one in which the services that a typical operating system provides, such as networking, are provided in the form of libraries and composed with the application and configuration code to construct a unikernel: a specialized, single address space, machine image that can be deployed to cloud or embedded environments. Early computers were built to perform a series of single tasks, like a calculator. Basic operating system features were developed in the 1950s, such as resident monitor functions that could automatically run different programs in succession to speed up processing. Operating systems did not exist in their more complex forms until the early 1960s. Hardware features were added, that enabled use of runtime libraries and parallel processing; when personal computers became popular in the 1980s, operating systems were made for them similar in concept to those used on larger computers. In the 1940s, the earliest electronic digital systems had no operating systems.
Electronic systems of this time were programmed on rows of mechanical switches or by jumper wires on plug boards. These were special-purpose systems that, for example, generated ballistics tables for the military or controlled the pri
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services is a subsidiary of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing platforms to individuals and governments, on a metered pay-as-you-go basis. In aggregate, these cloud computing web services provide a set of primitive, abstract technical infrastructure and distributed computing building blocks and tools. One of these services is Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, which allows users to have at their disposal a virtual cluster of computers, available all the time, through the Internet. AWS's version of virtual computers emulate most of the attributes of a real computer including hardware; the AWS technology is implemented at server farms throughout the world, maintained by the Amazon subsidiary. Fees are based on a combination of usage, the hardware/OS/software/networking features chosen by the subscriber, required availability, redundancy and service options. Subscribers can pay for a single virtual AWS computer, a dedicated physical computer, or clusters of either; as part of the subscription agreement, Amazon provides security for subscribers' system.
AWS operates from many global geographical regions including 6 in North America. In 2017, AWS comprised more than 90 services spanning a wide range including computing, networking, analytics, application services, management, developer tools, tools for the Internet of Things; the most popular include Amazon Simple Storage Service. Most services are not exposed directly to end users, but instead offer functionality through APIs for developers to use in their applications. Amazon Web Services' offerings are accessed over HTTP, using the REST architectural style and SOAP protocol. Amazon markets AWS to subscribers as a way of obtaining large scale computing capacity more and cheaply than building an actual physical server farm. All services are billed based on usage; as of 2017, AWS owns a dominant 34% of all cloud while the next three competitors Microsoft, IBM have 11%, 8%, 6% according to Synergy Group. The AWS platform was launched in July 2002. In its early stages, the platform consisted of only a few disparate services.
In late 2003, the AWS concept was publicly reformulated when Chris Pinkham and Benjamin Black presented a paper describing a vision for Amazon's retail computing infrastructure, standardized automated, would rely extensively on web services for services such as storage and would draw on internal work underway. Near the end of their paper, they mentioned the possibility of selling access to virtual servers as a service, proposing the company could generate revenue from the new infrastructure investment. In November 2004, the first AWS service launched for public usage: Simple Queue Service. Thereafter Pinkham and lead developer Christopher Brown developed the Amazon EC2 service, with a team in Cape Town, South Africa. Amazon Web Services was re-launched on March 14, 2006, combining the three initial service offerings of Amazon S3 cloud storage, SQS, EC2; the AWS platform provided an integrated suite of core online services, as Chris Pinkham and Benjamin Black had proposed back in 2003, as a service offered to other developers, web sites, client-side applications, companies.
Andy Jassy, AWS founder and vice president in 2006, said at the time that Amazon S3 "helps free developers from worrying about where they are going to store data, whether it will be safe and secure, if it will be available when they need it, the costs associated with server maintenance, or whether they have enough storage available. Amazon S3 enables developers to focus on innovating with data, rather than figuring out how to store it.". In 2016 Jassy was promoted to CEO of the division. Reflecting the success of AWS, his annual compensation in 2017 hit nearly $36 million. To support industry-wide training and skills standardization, AWS began offering a certification program for computer engineers, on April 30, 2013, to highlight expertise in cloud computing. James Hamilton, an AWS engineer, wrote a retrospective article in 2016 to highlight the ten-year history of the online service from 2006 to 2016; as an early fan and outspoken proponent of the technology, he had joined the AWS engineering team in 2008.
In 2016 AWS partnered with Digital Currency Group to create a laboratory environment allowing companies to experiment with blockchain technologies. In January 2018, Amazon launched an autoscaling service on AWS. In November 2018, AWS announced customized ARM cores for use in its servers. In November 2018, AWS is developing ground stations to communicate with customer's satellites. In November 2010, it was reported that all of Amazon.com's retail sites had migrated to AWS. Prior to 2012, AWS was considered a part of Amazon.com and so its revenue was not delineated in Amazon financial statements. In that year industry watchers for the first time estimated AWS revenue to be over $1.5 billion. In April 2015, Amazon.com reported AWS was profitable, with sales of $1.57 billion in the first quarter of the year and $265 million of operating income. Founder Jeff Bezos described it as a fast-growing $5 billion business. In October 2015, Amazon.com said in its Q3 earnings report that AWS's operating income was $521 million, with operating margins at 25 percent.
AWS's 2015 Q3 revenue was $2.1 billion, a 78% increase from 2014'