You gotta love these PR types. The moment they smell fresh blood in the air they start flinging out those short and snarky headlines. Headlines that get bloggers all gushing with 200 word posts about how this is hot or this is a killer or even how there’s a war on the horizon. Anything to grab the eyeballs that are beginning to glaze over as they scroll through hot headline after hot headline.
So what is the newest and hottest headline to hit the tech blogosphere lately? Well if Gartner is any indication cloud computing is what will be getting bloggers salivating over trying to come up with the best headlines for some time to come. After all we already have Robert Scoble suggesting a Cloud Computing Price War to come and Steve Clayton going with Huge Clouds Ahead. This is all very well and good but this is beginning to look more and more like once more of putting the cart before the horse.
Gartner; as being reported by Jason Hiner on the ZDNet blogs, is suggesting that cloud computing is #2 of the top ten technologies to watch for the next ten years. Ten years – wow – like nothing will radically change in even five years that could make cloud computing seem minuscule. But anyway back to the point on hand – the idea that cloud computing is going to be the next big battlefield. Already we have it being staked out by the big boys like Amazon, Microsoft, Sun along with newcomers like Dell and other computer companies trying to extend their lifelines.
Robert points to the fact that even companies like Rackspace who were considered to be a hosting company have made moves into the cloud computing arena by buying up companies likes Jungle Disk and Slice Host. All this as an effort to take on companies like Amazon.
The problem as I see it is that other than those few people working in the cloud space it is just another nonsensical word to the average computer user. I would bet that you could ask a 1,000 people on the street what cloud computing was and they would say it has something to do with controlling the weather. Cloud computing is in reality just a new coat of paint on old ideas but even with its new look we are still in the beginning days of what this new territory is all about.
The fact that we are already declaring price wars on an idea that isn’t even full fleshed out is ridiculous. As it is we already have three or four of the major players with different ideas as to what cloud computing is. Is it the all in one method like Google and Google Docs, is it just the vanilla service from Amazon which let’s you build the fronted services or will it be the S+S service from Microsoft?
In the end the only ones who will be confused are the end users as they find themselves in the middle of some made up battleground in the sky. The idea that at this early point in trying to bring a new technology to the marketplace means that we have battle it out even before we know what the fight is about is nothing short of pointless.