Dear Commons Community,
In the early 1980s, I remember a feature article in Newsweek that had an illustration of two very large football linemen going head to head. One lineman represented IBM and the other AT&T. The article centered on the competition between these two corporate giants over development and control of data communications hardware and software that was emerging. It portended the future of digital technology replacing analog technology for data and voice communications. In today’s New York Times, there is a similar article but the two giants are Google and Microsoft and the technology is cloud computing.
The article states:
“As the two behemoths [Google and Microsoft] slug it out in the enterprise market, their cloud-computing software is changing the way businesses operate. Internet-based computing makes it easier to communicate both within and outside a company. Fixing software and adding features can be done automatically, the way consumers get the latest version of Facebook when they go to its site.
“People were looking for cheap e-mail at first, but now it’s about collaboration, calendaring and data storage online,” said Ms. Webster of IDC. Over time, her firm says, software revenue will be at least 50 percent from the cloud, which could challenge the complex way Microsoft prices and discounts its products.”
Google… is “constantly making it better for teams to work, inside and outside the company, with controlled access.”
Microsoft says it does not yet see a threat. Google “has not yet shown they are truly serious,” said Julia White, a general manager in Microsoft’s business division. “From the outside, they are an advertising company.” In 2011, 96 percent of Google’s revenue came from advertising.
It is my opinion that the future of digital technology will reside in the cloud. As the article mentions, we are still in the early throes of the cloud phenomenon and certain aspects of it especially pricing are difficult to predict or even get a handle on. IT professionals would be wise to keep current with what the cloud offers and how it evolves.