Some people will tell you that Google and Facebook and Amazon are beside the point.
They acknowledge that Google designs its own computer servers and other hardware for the massive data centers powering its web empire. They admit that Facebook does much the same thing, contracting with manufacturers in Asia to build its custom hardware. And they realize that most of the big web players — from Google, Facebook, and Amazon to Twitter and Yahoo — build all sorts ofcustom software platforms for juggling unprecedented amounts of online data. But they say the big web players aren’t like other companies, that this custom engineering work doesn’t mean that much for the rest of the world.