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AWS launches EC2 pc situations operating Apple's macOS working system

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Andy Jassy, ​​CEO of Web Services at Amazon.com Inc., speaks during the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit in San Francisco on April 19, 2017.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon's cloud division announced the availability of new virtual computing instances for software developers on Tuesday, running Apple's MacOS operating system, which is an alternative to Microsoft Windows and open source Linux.

Amazon Web Services controls the cloud infrastructure market and has tried to maintain its lead over Google and Microsoft by regularly expanding its wide range of tools. So far, no large cloud provider has created the option of renting a remote computing infrastructure with MacOS from its clouds. As a result, Amazon has an advantage, at least initially, that can attract customers to AWS, which is the primary source of Amazon's bottom line.

Instead of running MacOS on its standard computer servers, AWS is using Apple's Mac Mini computers with Intel Core i7 chips to provide EC2 instances for virtual machines with MacOS, according to a statement. The instances run on a bare metal basis, which means that a developer gets the full power of a Mac and not virtual machines that provide small virtual pieces of physical computers, a spokesman told CNBC on Monday. Instances of Mac Minis with Apple's M1 Arm-based chips will arrive in 2021, AWS announced in a blog post.

Developers can put early versions of their applications on the instances to run the necessary tests before updates are rolled out to the end users. The instances provide a way to use Mac-specific software such as the Xcode integrated development environment remotely. Xcode allows developers to upload apps to the Apple App Store. Developers can alternatively 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 are said to be available in five of AWS's 24 data center regions around the world.

Amazon and Apple have a close relationship. Apple's iCloud services are based on AWS. By last year, Apple had spent over $ 30 million on AWS. The two companies began working closely on developing EC2 instances with MacOS about a year ago, Dave Brown, vice president for EC2, said at a news conference. AWS is buying Mac Minis from Apple to provision the Mac instances, the spokesman said.

AWS's annual Reinvent conference, which typically gathers customers, software vendors and employees in Las Vegas, started as an online event on Monday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Correction: This article has been updated to include the correct number of data center regions that AWS operates.

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Katherine Clark