Turns 18 Today logo

Amazingly, for those of us that have been involved in web development and by extension often e-commerce, the godfather of e-commerce website Jeff Bezos's launched on July 16, 1995 - 18 years ago. Back then, of course, Amazon focused mostly on books, but over the years has quickly ramped up - as their logo shows - to handle everything from A to Z. Over the years, they've even snapped up other popular subsidiary companies like Zappos, Audible, and Woot.

You may be aware of Amazon Prime, The Kindle, and even Amazon Instant Streaming, but did you know that Amazon provides network infrastructure services through their Amazon Web Services (AWS)? Popular online brands like Pinterest, Reddit, Spotify and even Netflix all have some or all of their network services outsourced to Amazon's platform. Pretty amazing for a company with a bold name that started out 18 years ago targeting the book selling business.

Obvious casualties of Amazon's aggressive business efforts have been Borders and many other smaller book sellers. Recently, even the mighty Barnes & Noble decided to back out of taking Amazon's Kindle Fire head-on with their Nook tablet device. What will the next 18 years look like for the Internet giant Amazon? How do they stack up against their competition now that they compete against so many. In different aspects of their business, they compete directly against Google, Apple, eBay, their own customer Netflix - and even network service providers like IBM, HP, and Rackspace. Who are the winners and losers in the next phase of the Internet?