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Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Analyst Report) recently announced the launch of its cloud-based storage service, Amazon Cloud Drive, on Amazon.ca for its Canadian customers, further expanding its services in North America.

All customers, whether using Microsoft’s (MSFT - Analyst Report) Windows devices, Apple’s (AAPL - Analyst Report) Mac devices, or accessing the storage service through any browser, will be able to upload, store and securely access their stored digital files. Photo-sharing on Google's Android and iOS devices has also become easy with Cloud Drive Photos. Amazon will provide 5 GB storage free of charge and additional storage will cost CAD $10 per annum.

Amazon’s Cloud Drive includes a unique feature called File Sync which automatically synchronizes customers’ files and helps them in managing files stored in the Cloud Drive from their PCs, thus allowing them to access the most recent versions of those files anywhere and at any time.

Cloud storage came into prominence in 2009 with Nirvanix and Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) being two of the major pioneers. Since then, Amazon has continued to dominate the space, with other players like Rackspace and Microsoft  offering their own solutions.

Market research firm IDC predicts that the cloud market will jump 130%, reaching $43.0 billion in 2016. Further, Gartner predicts that around $200.0 billion would be spent on cloud services within 2016. Amazon, with its solid portfolio should be able to tap this opportunity.

Amazon is one of the leading players in the extremely fast-growing retail e-commerce market. While the strong growth prospects are making the market more competitive by the day, Amazon continues to maintain and even grow its share on the back of its consistent and reliable service. Amazon’s scale of offerings, its broad reach and platform approach are the keys to its success.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2013, Amazon reported revenues of $16.07 billion, down 24.4% sequentially and up 21.9% from the year-ago quarter. This was in line with the guidance for the quarter of $15.0-16.6 billion (down 25.7% sequentially, or up 19.8% year over year at the mid-point), although missing our expectations by a sliver. Year-over-year revenue growth was 24% excluding unfavorable currency impact.

Amazon currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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