Of course, he bleeds Microsoft! But apparently Steve Ballmer has a soft corner for AWS, which he has just chosen as a cloud for a new project for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Microsoft is, obviously, in second place to the Amazon company, which has been dominating the cloud landscape ever since the beginning. Pretty much any business that looks for a cloud solution starts with Amazon, and goes from there.
But Ballmer apparently has gone with AWS.
Many would have guessed Steve Ballmer would have chosen Azure, out of company loyalty. After all, Azure was a product that was incubated during his tenure at the Redmond giant.
Since departing from Microsoft, the former CEO has spent time nurturing a number of startup projects. One of which is an augmented reality experience called Clippers CourtVision, which is provided by Second Spectrum.
“Second Spectrum has cameras in every NBA arena that collect spatial data, including ball and player location and movements. Second Spectrum uses that information to create new ways of watching the sport, including statistics on whether a shot will go in, new viewing angles, and even an audio mode that picks up the sound of sneakers squeaking on the court.”
Second Spectrum is a startup that Ballmer has his name on, and this is a company that uses AWS Elements for video processing — something which the Amazon platform has an edge on Azure.
With this new deal, Ballmer and the Clippers will expand this effort, and enable AWS to collect and analyze on-the-court data to presumably improve the experience offered by CourtVision. In that respect, this seems like a very rational choice.
Ballmer addressed this seemingly odd decision as a practical choice, saying that while he obviously bleeds Microsoft, but Amazon has done a nice job in this space.
Not that Azure would mind.
The cloud platform has thrived these past few years, driving Microsoft to record revenue. Even if it has never really eaten into Amazon and its marketing lead.