The history of AWS: A timeline of defining moments from 2002 to now

Amazon Web Services (AWS) was launched by the ecommerce giant Amazon in 2006, quickly growing into a company that has fundamentally transformed the IT industry in an era of widespread cloud computing and carved out a market-leading position.

Synergy Research Group\’s figures in 2018 peg AWS as the clear market leader globally for public IaaS and PaaS service revenues, at 40 percent market share, followed by Microsoft at 17 percent, Google at 8 percent and Alibaba at 5 percent.

Still, Microsoft and Google have increased their focus on public cloud in recent years, and present a significant threat to AWS as large businesses consider how to move more workloads out of the data centre. 

At the same time, cloud uptake is thought of in some quarters to still very much be in its infancy – Gartner, for one, predicts the worldwide IaaS market to grow to $71.5 billion by 2020, so there is plenty of market to go around.

How did AWS reach this point? Here are some of the defining moments along the way.