It's been a while...

So when I first started this blog, I was focused in on exploring "cloud" applications, and more particularly how to cut stand alone software out of your life in favor of cloud based resources.  This ideally is the cornerstone of "going mobile."  You need external storage, and the application needs to be able to float between devices regardless of basic operating system.

Initially I had set up specialized Google search that used some common keywords - and in the time since I started the blog until now...  the sheer volume of throughput increased to the point where I could no longer address it all (I would need a team), while at the same time...  the word "cloud" became less clearly defined and broke into public and private clouds.

You see, conceptually, a cloud based resource was a COMBINATION of function and storage.  So, for example, you have Google Documents which provides you with a word processor, spread sheet, and presentation apps and it also stores your work remotely.  And since it's "cloud based" you can move from machine to machine, from browser to browser and there's your software and all of your work.  This was good.

Then of course they started referring to everything as "cloud."  And so you wind up with basically network drives (like dropbox) that don't actually provide any type of application per say - and is nothing but external storage space.  But this, too, became a "cloud" resource.

Then when the big dogs jumped in and the clamoring began - with Amazon's EC2 service, and Apple's iCloud and all of the other assorted but increasingly hardware specific resources - I'm watching the whole concept of the cloud be undermined.  You want the biggest bang from your cloud experience with Amazon - there's Kindle Fire's Silk Browser.  You want the biggest bang for your cloud experience with Apple - there's iCloud.  But you see - linking product to hardware is a FAILED business model.  This is why Microsoft was so successful before they lost sight of their purposes...  they understood that it was more valuable to offer software to every possible platform, than it was to specialize and limit their product to any single device.  This was the fundamental difference between MacOS and Windows...  Mac controlled the hardware and the software, while Windows attempted a more general model and focused specifically on hardware.

[Personally - if I were Microsoft, I'd be working on porting the .NET framework and Silverlight to Android and iOS and forget about the hardware business.  Microsoft has no business in hardware - has nothing to do with their business model - this is why Windows Mobile never caught on; and rebranding it WM7 isn't going to change that.  So the deal with Nokia and the Microsoft phones...  a big costly mistake.  Meanwhile if they ported .NET framework they could get back to their programming roots (and supporting software development) and of course Silverlight would provide the necessary security layer to mobile browsers (well, Android anyway) they're currently lacking).  And here's the kicker - they've pretty much abandoned both .NET and Silverlight - when those were their potential breadwinners in the cloud arena.  In fact - they should deliver the programming tools like they do Office 365... and allow you to develop for your devices ON THE DEVICE ITSELF  through a cloud interface.  Then...  all they need is a market and they're back in the game.  But trying to play catch up to a boat that's already sailed at cost...  that's madness.  I fear they've been Balmerized and Gates might agree with me on this one.]

Anyway - what's going on in the world is actually a recurring evolutionary pattern.  Once upon a time it was cost prohibitive to own your own computer - so they were a central resource you used through "dumb terminals."  Then the microcomputer era began and they came home and became a dedicated resource.  But now that the world has gone mobile - the desktop is a big, bulky deskbound thing that consumes monsterous amounts of power.  While the emerging tablets are turning into the opposite of a dumb terminal (lets call them smart terminals) and application and processing power is migrating again to being a centralized resource.  And what's more - the remote hardware is moving away from any dedicated operating system and turning into a virtualization layer that provides an operating system as a service (Onlive! Desktop is a perfect example of this... a Windows 7 "session" that you can use on Android of iOS,  And they're actually late comers to the party since other companies (VMWare for example) beat the to the punch...  however Onlive! Desktop happens to provide a free service.  So I use it as an example since you, dear reader, can go try it out.  While with VMWare - if you don't have a remote server to connect to, the sofware doesn't amount to much.  You can install - but have nothing to log into.  Which kind of makes it useless.  VMWare better watch their ass...  Onlive! is coming for them).

And this is me catching up a bit on the blogging - but I really need to make a decision about what to focus on here.  The whole cloud things has gone crazy and sideways.  So I'm leaving it open for suggestion - comment if you like.  Of course, I doubt I have any readers at all. So it ultimately doesn't much matter. ;)

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