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Amazon Collapses Under Weight of 1,000 Xboxes

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the everyone-is-falling-down dept.

162

theodp writes "Is there such a thing as a BusinessWeek Cover Jinx? Amazon was bitten by the success of its 1,000 Xboxes for $100 promotion, which brought the entire site to its knees for about 15 minutes on Thanksgiving Day. Singing the too-much-traffic blues on Black Friday were Wal-Mart and Disney."

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Heh. (0)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981192)

One word: Oops!

Re:Heh. (0)

nillawafer (1018564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981200)

A little typo, huh? An Xbox for $1,000 sounds like a rip-off.

Re:Heh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981214)

An Xbox for $1,000 sounds like a rip-off.

But you'd be getting it for only $100!

Re:Heh. (4, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981550)

Is it just me, or is the first year I've really noticed any sort of competitive pricing on game systems. Generally it hasn't mattered too much where you bought your game system, because they were pretty much exactly the same price wherever you looked. But this year, I got an ad for a $100 rebate on an XBox360 from MicroCenter, and now this stunt by Amazon...

...wish I'd gotten one...

Re:Heh. (2, Interesting)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982218)

But look at the people's responses. A ton of people are saying it was a lie. There never was any Xbox systems at that price to begin with. It was a fake promotion? Evil Amazon??

Re:Heh. (1)

DeadBugs (546475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982316)

It's less competitive pricing and more "bait and switch". They are sold out of what you want, but since you are here why not look at all our other crap.

Re:Heh. (-1, Troll)

slakdrgn (531347) | more than 7 years ago | (#16984018)

...Atleast that was the plan. Didn't turn out so well for Amazon when their site went down for hours.

Re:Heh. (2, Funny)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981874)

Most things collapse under the weight of just one xbox [encycloped...matica.com] . I'm surprised that Amazon survived as long as it did under something so hueg [encycloped...matica.com] .

Re:Heh. (1)

evilgrug (915703) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982680)

This is 2006, not 2001. You're supposed to be making "PS3 is huge/expensive/crap" or "Wii = Piss" jokes.

foo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981196)

poop

Re:foo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981296)

haha, fail, no entry into GNAA, etc.

Re:foo (-1, Offtopic)

chez69 (135760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981472)

diarrhea

Beautiful (-1, Redundant)

EvilBrak89 (966478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981198)

100% Packet Loss. [imageshack.us]

Re:Beautiful (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981390)

Ping is blocked by Amazon's firewall.

They should have known better (2, Insightful)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981204)

I wonder why they didn't just setup a basic html page or two for the home page in order to handle the traffic. By enabling a landing page for 15 minutes or so, they could have directed all the folks seeking these incredible deals to the correct page, instead of ensuring everyone is fed dynamic CPU-intensive pages. It's not like it's the first time that Walmart or Amazon have experienced traffic spikes.

Re:They should have known better (4, Insightful)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981480)

Wouldn't that also defeat the purpose of the whole promotion though? I mean, if you're giving away a hundred x-boxes to drag as many people as possible to your site, and all you get out of them is 100 xBox sales, you've lost cash. It's the continued shopping that you're hoping for....

Re:They should have known better (1, Insightful)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981698)

Wouldn't that also defeat the purpose of the whole promotion though? I mean, if you're giving away a hundred x-boxes to drag as many people as possible to your site, and all you get out of them is 100 xBox sales, you've lost cash. It's the continued shopping that you're hoping for....


It's not that difficult to hard-code "People who buy X-Boxes also purchase" into the .HTML description page. Granted, it might not be optimal, but it works enough - at the very least, include links to hard-coded pages that show a list of common (or well-hyped) X-Box games.

Even so, just because someone makes a one-time purchase of an XBox doesn't automatically mean money is lost. As soon as they make the purchase (and it turns out perfectly), it will add one more voice to the group of people who wonder why the "Amazon Suxors" site exists.

Re:They should have known better (3, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981556)

If those websites couldn't handle hordes of shoppers, I can't imagine what'd happen if someone was actively trying to blast 'em off the internet.

Seems to me like that'd have been the perfect time to launch a malicious DDOS aimed at those big online retailers. Kinda like how some jokers went around supergluing locks the night before.

Re:They should have known better (2, Interesting)

bangzilla (534214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982038)

Gosh - we never thought of that...! Of course if you look at the Amazon home page you'll see it's all dynamically calculated content - not static. And it wasn't the site that had the problem on Thursday anyway. Problems lay elsewhere...

No Chance (0, Redundant)

Renraku (518261) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981206)

There was almost no chance at getting one of these. The site was completely and utterly unresponsive between 1:56PM EST and 2:09PM EST. When a page loaded at 2:09PM, it was sold out.

It would have been different if at 2:00:23PM EST it said it was sold out, but not. It might as well not have been on there at all, because getting that deal was pretty much impossible. I wonder how many of the winners were on Amazon's network?

Re:No Chance (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981232)

well, the article said it was sold out in 29 seconds.. so yes.. there is no chance...

Re:No Chance (4, Informative)

11223 (201561) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981262)

No more than 999 were on Amazon's network. I got one.


I had two networks to choose from: Comcast cable modem, and a supposedly "slower" SBC DSL connection. I ended up using the DSL as Amazon went unreachable on the cable modem at 5 till 1 (CST). At 1:00, Amazon was taking 10-20 seconds to load, but it did load. I clicked, answered a simple math question ("what's 18 + 19" IIRC), and it gave me the "you've got it" page.


I'm still shocked I got it, especially since I'm in Chicago, not on the west coast.

Re:No Chance (5, Informative)

Crysalim (936188) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982602)

You are the first person I have seen claim they got the code. I didn't believe anyone did until now, but that's only because I also was able to make it to the question link...

...but when I answered the question (19 + 6), it turned me down. It was incredibly frustrating, because I was under the impression that I had already received a claim code (this is what the buying tips [amazon.com] page said), and it was waiting for me to answer that question.


Screenshots: (1) The question [ngsam.com] | (2) The denial [ngsam.com]

Re:No Chance (2, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16983708)

You are the first person I have seen claim they got the code.

Only 1000 people got the code. 1000 is a very small number, and it's unlikely that many of those 1000 happen to visit the same online hangouts that you do.

This whole thing is rather absurd (I'm speaking more to comments on the linked page rather to your specific comment - excuse me while I blather) - a bunch of people got their hopes up, against tremendous odds (it wasn't a small number of people who knew about this deal. I was at lunch and a lunchmate, who I thought was entirely unconnected with technology, commented that they had to get back to the office to get their "$100 xbox360"), and when they didn't "win" therefore the whole thing must be a giant scam, etc. Or...maybe, just maybe, 1000 other people beat them to it, among hundreds of thousands of people trying for the same thing.

[Checking lottery ticket]

OH MAN I DIDN'T WIN! THIS IS BULLSHIT! THE WHOLE THING IS A GIANT SCAM!

Re:No Chance (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 7 years ago | (#16983958)

[Checking lottery ticket]

OH MAN I DIDN'T WIN! THIS IS BULLSHIT! THE WHOLE THING IS A GIANT SCAM!


What? You didn't know that already?

The lottery is a tax on people who can't do math.

Re:No Chance (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981284)

Actually, there was. I heard rumors that going directly to the ip would have it load. I imagine that disabling images and what not would improve your chances. Simple common sense stuff, but nothing that would give anyone a guarantee. Alas, it was fate that sold these things.

Re:No Chance (3, Insightful)

Main Gauche (881147) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981636)

"I imagine that disabling images and what not would improve your chances. Simple common sense stuff,"

Disabling images is common sense... until they throw a captcha (or other critical graphic) at you that you need to see to claim the prize.

Re:No Chance (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982694)

Then you just right click and press "show image".

Re:No Chance (2, Interesting)

blincoln (592401) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982464)

I imagine that disabling images and what not would improve your chances.

I don't think so. When I couldn't load the page in my browser, I tried telnetting in on port 80 in order to do a raw GET of the URL. I couldn't even connect to enter the command.

Re:No Chance (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16983246)

Disabling images likely wouldn't do anything. For one thing, the page would load with a placeholder for the missing image anyway. Also, the images are on a different server, so loading them doesn't even slow down the page you're trying to load. FlashBlock might have helped, as flash ads can cause the tables they're in not to reflow until the ad is loaded on some pages with tables. And using the IP instead of the domain name likely would have helped, because it may have been their DNS server that got overloaded.

Re:No Chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981290)

I could not get it to load until 11:15 PST. I started about 10:54 PST. My dad got it to actually load a page at 11:01 PST and it indicated the Xbox had sold out. To me it was a joke.

Re:No Chance (1)

spookmonkey (993942) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981586)

I was able to get one as well. For me it was a matter of what browser I used. Safari & Camino wouldn't load the site at all, but Firefox worked just fine. However, once I got the discount code, I had to wait about an hour to check out because the entire site became unresponsive.

Re:No Chance (2, Interesting)

Merc248 (1026032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981916)

I had two computers refreshing the page on my DSL connection (a bit redundant and counter-intuitive, I know)... took like five minutes for the page to come up.

Here's the kicker: it came up at around 11:01 AM PST. Sold out.

Cause And Effect ? (0)

delram (803055) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981218)

How do they determine that it was the people trying to get an XBox that caused the problem ? Could it not've been just a lot of shoppers looking for good deals(on other products too) ?

Re:Cause And Effect ? (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981252)

They were selling 1,000 XBox 360s for only $100 a piece. The deal started at exactly 2PM EST, the exact period of time Amazon went down. Entire forums of people were sitting and refreshing the pages. It was pretty easy to gauge what the cause was. :-/

Re:Cause And Effect ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981536)

no shit sherlock

Re:Cause And Effect ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981626)

Click on the "parent" link bozo.

Re:Cause And Effect ? (1)

dakara (798841) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982556)

Entire forums of people
How many Library of Congresses would it take to fit all those forums of people?

Re:Cause And Effect ? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16983772)

And how many ping-pong balls could fit in the fora?

The article is missing the Amazon link!!!! (5, Funny)

Wolfier (94144) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981254)

here [amazon.com] evil grin

Re:The article is missing the Amazon link!!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981998)

The traffic you send to amazon.com from slashdot won't make a dent in amazon's traffic [alexa.com] , retard.

Re:The article is missing the Amazon link!!!! (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 7 years ago | (#16983268)

I don't disagree with your conclusion, but I do disagree a bit with how you got there. Doesn't alexa base their statistics on people who have their toolbar installed? I believe that people who frequent slashdot are probably a bit more finicky about what toolbars they install in their browser than are amazon's typical visitors.

You want the blues? (5, Funny)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981264)

How about this [ebay.com] ? Talk about one stupid seller.

. The guy will probably protest it though.

THIS should be a Slashdot story... Submit it (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981338)

Here's the buyer asking if the contract is binding [freeadvice.com] including an email from the seller.

Re:THIS should be a Slashdot story... Submit it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981772)

If it is legally binding does it really matter? Is he going to spend thousands in legal fees to have a proxy represent him in civil litigation out of state? I doubt it.

Re:THIS should be a Slashdot story... Submit it (1)

triclipse (702209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981854)

He could always just sue him in small claims court (no attorneys allowed). He would lose, but he could do it.

Re:You want the blues? (1)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981538)

Now that is an individual who should resell that for 2000 dollars and make a killer profit.

And for the seller... Sucks to Be You!!

Re:You want the blues? (1)

sottitron (923868) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981736)

The auction states to contact the seller for shipping fees. The seller should have just charged $2K for shipping.

Re:You want the blues? (4, Informative)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982050)

Lots of online retailers have put up items at mistakenly low prices, only to retract later. It's not at all uncommon. They refund your money, and keep the goods.

I forget what the legal defense of this position was, but it seemed airtight. Anyone remember offhand?

Re:You want the blues? (4, Funny)

unother (712929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982262)

Almost as funny (for different reasons) was this guy [ebay.com] selling a PS3.

Check out some of the pictures. What's with the fish?

Re:You want the blues? (1)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982390)

This is eBay we're talking about. You missed the unspecified $3000 in shipping. Pwned!

Inconsistancy (3, Informative)

Genocaust (1031046) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981268)

So was Amazon selling 1,000 XBOX systems at $100? Or selling a $1,000 XBOX system at $100?

Re:Inconsistancy (1)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981322)

Well, think about it. if you wanted an Xbox 360, which choice would make you visit amazon.com to check it out?

Re:Inconsistancy (3, Funny)

edschurr (999028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981540)

Obviously anyone would go for the thousand Xboxes for only $100. You could make $400,000 easy.

Re:Inconsistancy (1)

Genocaust (1031046) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982902)

Amazon was bitten by the success of its $1,000 Xboxes for $100 promotion
It's been fixed since earlier ;)

Typical (2, Insightful)

slobber (685169) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981282)

That's what typically happens when marketing is out of touch with engineering. My educated guess would be that marketing droids "forgot" to mention this promotion to engineering. If they did, assuming that Amazon's tech team is any good, this idea would get shot down pretty quickly as one which would creating a DOS attack.

And of course it was the tech team which ended up spending its holidays fixing the site, not marketing. (You can probably tell that I am taking it a bit personally and for a reason...)

Re:Typical (2, Interesting)

Bluesy21 (840772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981422)

Typically when a company does something that negatively effects you or your department, you're going to feel that they wouldn't have done it if they had their facts straight. Or, they just don't realize how it effects us. Or wah, wah, wah.

I'm not trying to put you down, because I know exactly how you feel and a lot of times react the same way as you have. However, thats not the way the "big wigs" are going to look at it. If the head of Marketing has a "great" idea they are going to make sure it happens regardless of how the techies or most anyone else feels about it. Now, I agree with you that if the two departments were in communication with one another on what was happening that there would have been some compensation for the expected extra traffic.

I believe these deals are bad for a different reason. The entire idea of insanely cheap promotions in stores is in the hope that people are going to buy other expensive items while in the store so that they make up for some/all of the lost profits on the deals. That just can't happen online. If you are selling something at an insanely low price online, people are just going to buy the one product and be done. As many people will do in a regular store, but at least you have them there and they have to walk around the store to get to the deals. Most store don't line up their Black(Green, or whatever we're calling it this year) Friday deals directly in front of the register so people can just grab the item and check out.

Re:Typical (2, Interesting)

FLEB (312391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981906)

OTOH, though, they do have your name and contact info now. You don't completely "leave the store" as easily on the Internet.

The engineers may also be at fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981510)

The engineers behind a website as well-known and popular as amazon.com should have developed a system that could successfully handle a large, unexpected amount of traffic. At the very least, their system could have failed gracefully, rather than just shitting out like it did.

Blame marketing all you want. But part of engineering is taking the unexpected into account, and making sure your system can handle virtually whatever is thrown at it. And if something arises that it can't handle, it should be able to detect this, and fail in a way that minimizes the cost of failure (ie. the site isn't completely unavailable for 15 minutes).

Re:Typical (4, Interesting)

Bamafan77 (565893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981628)

That's what typically happens when marketing is out of touch with engineering. My educated guess would be that marketing droids "forgot" to mention this promotion to engineering. If they did, assuming that Amazon's tech team is any good, this idea would get shot down pretty quickly as one which would creating a DOS attack.
Eh, I don't know. A site as big as Amazon probably suffers from DOS almost daily. (In fact, an average day of legit traffic for Amazon.com would probably be indistinguishable from a DOS attack for most sites). And I'm sure Amazon has had past promotions that caused traffic surges too. I'm guessing they(including engineering) underestimated the popularity of THIS particular promotion.

Re:Typical (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981700)

If they did, assuming that Amazon's tech team is any good, this idea would get shot down pretty quickly as one which would creating a DOS attack.
Do you have some reason to think this was not a successful promotion? The fact that the website got slow is probably as discouraging to Amazon as the fact that people waited in line for a week to get a PS3 was to Sony.

Re:Typical (1, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982162)

That's what typically happens when marketing is out of touch with engineering. My educated guess would be that marketing droids "forgot" to mention this promotion to engineering. If they did, assuming that Amazon's tech team is any good, this idea would get shot down pretty quickly as one which would creating a DOS attack.

Ah yes, that famous conceit of IT workers... That, somehow, *they* are the ones who decides what is good for the company and what is not, based on whether or not *they* will be inconvenienced. (And of course it's never IT's fault, because they can't be bothered to find out what promotions are coming up - after all, this is the first year ever with a busy holiday shopping season.)
 
 
And of course it was the tech team which ended up spending its holidays fixing the site, not marketing.

Never mind the fact that keeping the site up is the tech teams job in the first place.

Re:Typical (1)

edschurr (999028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982574)

And of course it's never IT's fault, because they can't be bothered to find out what promotions are coming up - after all, this is the first year ever with a busy holiday shopping season.

You would have IT poll the state of Amazon constantly rather than have them receive a message!? IT has other things to do.

Even the apple store (1, Interesting)

c0nst (655115) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981310)

Apple relatively rare deals on iPods bought store was down for a couple of hours today.

..and now this! (4, Insightful)

TheSpatulaOfLove (966301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981340)

Jeez - You would've thought they were selling Bags Of Crap with the way that server went down...



On a serious note. They knew this was coming. It was marketed heavily and they should be ashamed for not being prepared to handle the onslaught of refreshers.

Re:..and now this! (3, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981506)

They probably were about as prepared as they could have been. Sometimes, doubling your fleet of servers for a single known traffic spike just isn't a viable choice. Especially if the reason for the traffic spike is a loss leader to begin with.

Stupid promotion anyway (4, Insightful)

iendedi (687301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981354)

How does Amazon think that a promotion like that would increase overall sales anyway? What they should have done is said that XBoxs will be onsale randomly throughout the day, so check the price from time to time to see if you are a lucky recipient of the sales price. There will be 100 randomly allocated sales items to customers each hour until the promotion ends.

That would bring more traffic to their website and keep it there all day. Much better idea!

Oh wait... Hmm....

Re:Stupid promotion anyway (1)

chis101 (754167) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981646)

A 24-hour DDOS instead of a 24 minute one.

Re:Stupid promotion anyway (3, Interesting)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981908)

How does Amazon think that a promotion like that would increase overall sales anyway?


Marketdroids, by and large, act like spoiled children. Attention-grabbing stunts are all they do. It works to a limited extent - insofar as it keeps people talking about Amazon. It may not be particularly effective, but nobody ever accused marketdroids of being very smart.

Add onto the "Black Friday Blues" list... (1)

Avillia (871800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981378)

CompUSA and Best Buy. Black Friday must be a living nightmare for the half-assed tech staff shopping stores must hire to some extent.

Surprisingly enough, Circuit City loaded perfectly fine. Does this say something about it's popularity, or it's hiring practices for IT?

Using my top notch Slashdot analytical methods (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981424)

Based on the fact CompUSA is running on IIS [netcraft.com] , Best Buy is running Apache on Linux [netcraft.com] via Akamai and Circuit City is running SUN One [netcraft.com] via Akami, we can conclude that Comp USA's tech is half-assed, and Best Buy and Circuit City's techs may be half-assed, but Circuit City is helped by being less popular.

Re:Add onto the "Black Friday Blues" list... (1)

Behrooz (302401) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982122)

My roommate works at best buy. He went in at 3AM this morning, and came home at 9PM tonight.

18 hours. Not bad for non-government work...

price (1)

jest3r (458429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981394)

I'd buy an XBOX 360 for $100 .. heck I'd buy 10.

Woot.com happens all the time. (5, Funny)

tecker (793737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981450)

Ehh. This is nothing new. You should see Woot.com after they throw up a Bag-o-Crap on the site during a "wootoff". Their site at least says "Server is to Busy". Maybe Amazon.com should have thought twice before deciding to do a stunt like that.

Hey wait a second. When was the last time a Microsoft product cause a VOLUNTARY distributed denial of service attack?

Morons... That's What They Get For... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981486)

using Ruby on Rails to do their site - IT DOESN'T SCALE!

oh wait.

Apple Store too? (1, Informative)

sakusha (441986) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981498)

I haven't been able to get into the Apple Store tonight, it's been down all evening. They had a big one-day sale today, I bought a Bluetooth Mighty Mouse ($11 off, yay!) this afternoon and now I can't back get in to check the order status.

I've never heard of the Apple Store going down under a high load, but it often goes down briefly when product or price changes are made. I figure it didn't go down due to high traffic, but this is a rather long outage, compared to most updates. But still, it should be giving a "down for updates" err msg instead of a generic WebObjects error page.

Re:Apple Store too? (2)

sakusha (441986) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981838)

The Apple Store just came back online, and yep, it looks like it was excessive traffic that killed it. It came back online with the one-day sale still in place. Usually they only go offline to add or remove content like this. Usually WebObjects is pretty robust under heavy loads.

And whoever moderated the parent as offtopic, please RTFSubmission, it talked about Amazon AND WalMart AND Disney going offline due to heavy traffic. These online stores are the big guns and if they go down on Black Friday, it's news, and relevant to this topic.

'beta test' ? (5, Interesting)

Quixote (154172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981526)

Amazon has begun offering a service called elastic compute cloud [amazon.com] (EC2). It is designed to offer scalable computing/storage solutions designed to handle, (drumroll), traffic spikes.

Which leads me to think: was this a beta test for this EC2 system? I mean, there's no better bait for the millions of youngsters out there than a cheap top-o-the-line console. What better way to stress test your system than to have 100s of 1000s of people hit your site at the same time? If Amazon has logged the traffic data (and they'd be incredibly stupid not to), it would be a gold mine for their engineers. Eventually expect them to offer just such a service which can handle the such spikes, and pitch it to the Best Buys and Walmarts of the the world.

Re:'beta test' ? (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16983832)

If their grid of who-knows-how-many computers couldn't handle serving pages, who's going to want to use it for other stuff?

Slashdot (2, Funny)

jrmiller84 (927224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981568)

Now let's see of they can survive a slashdotting!

Microsoft paid Amazon to have this deal (4, Insightful)

ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981574)

No I don't have proof, but having the most prominent retail website in the world hawk your product is worth a lot of cash. The $100 special gets reported by multiple media sources, "1000 Xbox 360s sell out in 9 minutes", "Demand for Xbox 360s brings down Amazon's website". If Sony wants the headlines of people going crazy about the PS3, why wouldn't Microsoft want the same? Does anyone believe that 10 minutes of poor connectivity will hurt a website's reputation? Server problems yes, super cheap deals no. "Oh no, too many people are coming to our website for the great, great deals!" People are going to associate Amazon's name with amazing one time sales, which is only going to help them. Both Microsoft and Amazon have benefited from this sale.

Re:Microsoft paid Amazon to have this deal (2, Funny)

lilfields (961485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981680)

To make it more ironic IBM developed the Xbox 360 processors, so the story could go like: "1000 Xbox 360s powered by IBM processors sell out in 9 minutes bringing down Amazon.com...IBM claims HP powered servers were the cause of the site's shortfall..." In follow up story: "IBM finally reeps profits from it's patent one-click-shopping through Amazon.com without going to court"

Re:Microsoft paid Amazon to have this deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981714)

It was less than 1 minute that it sold out. I tried to get one. Page stopped being loadable for me at 12:58 (CST) and wasn't loadable until 1:01 (CST) at which point they were sold out. Some of the people over on DealsPl.us think that Amazon didn't have any and the outage at that time was caused by them so it looked like people were picking them up. I don't really buy into that conspiracy theory, but just throwing it out there.

Speaking of things selling out, my local GameStop sold out of their supply of Wiis and had more than double the number they were given for the second shipment (and for some reason they had a second shipment while Circuit City, Target, and Wal-Mart all got nothing... which actually makes me think they held back some of their launch units for release on black friday... just to make me wake up early and wait in the cold to wind up empty handed... luckily my younger brother managed to get one on launch so at least I can get some of my Zelda fix in before Thanksgiving Break ends...)

Re:Microsoft paid Amazon to have this deal (3, Informative)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981764)

Except amazon users voted which special they wanted. Sure, the other offers were crap, and didn't have much chance of getting voted for, but then you're suggesting MS paid amazon to have a "potential" sale, which may never happen. Sounds way too tin foil for my tastes.

And I doubt amazon even lost much money. Supposedly MS are now making $70 profit for the premium system, and likely much more for the core system. Seeing how some retailers are dropping $60-$100 off the premium package already (dell.com for instance, once you put it in the shopping cart) I would expect a retail price drop in 3-6 months, probably $360 for the premium (what dell is currently selling it for) and $260 for the core.

Re:Microsoft paid Amazon to have this deal (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981882)

And no one had to get shot or mugged while purchasing, or waiting to purchase, one.

And I suspect Microsoft wasn't alone... (3, Interesting)

rmckeethen (130580) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982460)

This is the email I sent to the Associated Press after they reported the $100 X-Box 360 deal in a story, but failed to mention the number of consoles Amazon had for sale at the discounted price:

Hello,

I'm writing to express my deep concerns about your story titled "Some stores begin shopping season early" by Shaila Dani, on November 24th, 2006.

My biggest concern about this piece is Dani's mention of Amazon's limited sale of deeply-discounted X-Box 360 consoles. As far as I can tell, this story appeared on Yahoo! more than an hour *after* these consoles went on sale. The story lacked specifics as to the number of consoles available on Amazon's web site, so readers had no way of knowing if they could take advantage of Amazon's discounted price once they read the piece. It appears as if Dani wrote the story to entice online readers to visit Amazon's web site in search of a 66% discount on a popular game console. This smells to me like a 'bait & switch' advertising tactic, and it makes me wonder if your news agency, or the story's writer, colluded with principles from Amazon in order to drive Internet traffic to Amazon's web site.

Shame on you Associated Press! It isn't news you're reporting anymore; this is plainly advertising, cloaked as a legitimate news piece. Thanks for contributing to the continuing degradation of journalism in the public's eye. The lack of ethical standards and plain common sense in this story makes me think your vaulted writers and associated newspaper publishers are nothing more than advertising hacks in disguise.

Re:Microsoft paid Amazon to have this deal (1)

Stealth Potato (619366) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982488)

9 minutes? No fricking way. They were sold out within 30 seconds. I know because I managed to get through their confirmation page at 11:00:30AM PST, and I got the "sold out" message. I live near Seattle, so the worst I had was waiting about ten seconds for each page to load.

Actually, I managed to get the confirmation page by 11:00:15, but I somehow didn't notice a little "I agree to these terms" checkbox before I clicked through. The confirmation failed, and I had to do it again. If it wasn't for that extra 15 seconds, I might've got one. :-(

Collapse (4, Funny)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981630)

The fact that the Amazon jungle has collapsed under the weight of a thousand boxes surprises me little. In fact I thought the number would have been more. Boxes to transport wood, made of... wood... it's no wonder really. This is a sad day. The diversity of species in the Amazon is huge. The fact that it has collapsed is worrying to say the least. This is likely to result in a whole series of follow-on effects: Global Warming will quicken; The ice-caps will melt; The Ozone Hole will become a non-issue (the hole will be so big, we'll start calling normal bits of sky the Ozone Zones). I have no idea why nobody thought of the children.

Re:Collapse (1)

tmasssey (546878) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981734)

I'm really surprised that you didn't mention the tubes...

Packaging (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982090)

It must be the excessive packaging that they use these days. All that cardboard has to come from somewhere. It might as well be Amazonian jungle foliage, since the rain forest is doomed from the pollution everyone will cause when they fire up their X-Boxes, Wiis, and PS3s (and the TVs they connect to).

Re:Collapse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16983134)

Yes, Amazon has 5.5 million square kilometres of forest and you compare that to 1000 Xboxes!! Surely the total mass of 1000 XBoxes would crush the Amazon Rainforest and all its life!

Seems to be right, last time I checked they were around 5.5 thousand sqkm each, just enough!

Ah, that's the true reason for one-click (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981632)

Because if everyone had to keep clicking through the checkout process, every transaction would add another 3 or 4 page loads. One click is merely a way to avoid these extra page loads and not bring down the server too often.

That, and it also explains why there's no link in the story - we don't want to slashdot Amazon again, do we?

Re:Ah, that's the true reason for one-click (1)

Sensae (961755) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982034)

Except there were instructions up on Amazon about the deal explicitly stating the One-Click system would not work with this deal.

fu34!? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16981712)

told reporters, bunch of retarded and the Bazzar And exciting; SSe... The number so that you don't 'first post'

Exactly like Madman's AU$10 DVDs for 10 Hours sale (1)

Devar (312672) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981794)

Exactly the same thing happened to Madman [madman.com.au] 's website when they had an online AU$10 DVDs for 10 Hours sale to celebrate their tenth anniversary. The website was completely inaccessible for those 10 hours, and led to a lot of irate anime fanboys. ;)

Re:Exactly like Madman's AU$10 DVDs for 10 Hours s (1)

thedarknite (1031380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16982310)

It was up sporadically during those ten hours, and I was able to actually get through the checkout at hour nine. Of course, I'd pre-prepared my list of purchase because I knew that their servers would crash. Just like when Virgin Airlines offered a limited number of $1 flights in some promotion they had.

The Truth is... (2, Informative)

JimXugle (921609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16981820)

A lot of the traffic came from Digg... the $100 XB360 story was on the front page twice. Once when it originally broke, and a reminder on thanksgiving.

I think it did the job (1)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16983276)

I don't even live in America, but a week ago I re-opened an US Amazon account just for this promo.
Even considering shipping and customs (no less than 100 dollars I think) It was a hell of a deal...
Oh, after that, I browsed around the site and bought "World War Z" and planning to buy "I am legend",

100 behemoths (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16983806)

Presumably, the weight of the controllers contributed most to the crushing.
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