Amazon’s cloud division announced the availability of new virtual computing instances for software developers running Apple’s macOS operating system. It is an open source alternative to Microsoft Windows and Linux.
Amazon Web Services controls the market for cloud infrastructure and has tried to stay ahead of Google and Microsoft by constantly expanding its wide range of tools. Until now, no major cloud provider has built the ability to lease remote IT infrastructure with MacOS from their clouds. As a result, Amazon has an edge, at least initially, that it can attract customers to AWS, which is Amazon’s main source of revenue.
Instead of running macOS on its standard computing servers, according to a statement, AWS uses Apple’s Mac minicomputer with Intel Core i7 chips to deliver EC2 virtual computer instances running MacOS. Instances operate on a basic basis, meaning that a developer gets the full power of a Mac rather than virtual machines that provide small virtual parts of physical computers, a spokesperson told CNBC on Monday. Instances of Mac Minis with chips based on Apple’s Arm M1 will arrive in 2021, AWS announced in a blog post.
Developers can instantiate early versions of their applications to run the necessary tests before updates are available to end users. Instances provide a way to remotely use specific Mac software, such as Xcode’s integrated development environment. Developers can use Xcode to download applications from the Apple App Store. Developers can also do this with existing Mac computers or rely on Mac specialists like MacStadium.
Intuit, a major AWS customer, has started using the new Mac instances, and Amazon’s Ring subsidiary plans to use them. The instances would be available in five of the 24 AWS data center regions around the world.
Amazon and Apple have a close relationship. Apple’s iCloud services are based on AWS. Last year, Apple spent more than $ 30 million on AWS. The two companies began working closely on developing EC2 instances with MacOS about a year ago, Dave Brown, vice president of EC2, said at a press conference. AWS buys Mac Minis from Apple to provision Mac instances, the spokesperson said.