Who should own the cloud?

Josh Chandler · August 5, 2008 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/374

Should one company have dominant online force?

As the cloud computing effort grows in momentum, an article from Broaddev.com caught my attention, especially when the title is: Hey Cloud Computing Is Hot - Who Will Own The Cloud?. Damn it, why must you ask such a ridiculous question. No-0ne will own the cloud, Google may think they will with Google Apps and Docs but it simply won't be the case as online companies such as Microsoft, Adobe, Dell, Apple and AT&T try to build up a repository of services that are cloud based, whether they are Hardware as a Service (Amazon S3) or Software as a Service (Google Apps/Docs) they each have their own unique standpoint on how the cloud should be used.

There isn't a case of ownership, we shouldn't let Google dominate new areas such as cloud computing just because they have the money, there is just far to much innovation going on elsewhere to just let Google walk all over it. If Google knew better back in the day, they would have stuck to what they did best (Search), but instead they have plagued the online world with products such as Blogger, Orkut movements such as Open Social and payment platforms to rival Paypal.

Some blogs such as Winextra.com say that Google and Microsoft are leading the way in cloud computing, with Amazon following behind. But why aren't they acknowledging other companies, because they believe that the market should be closed to just one company, there was a great counter quote on this article from Hugh MacLeod from gapingvoid.com:

"But nobody seems to be talking about Power Laws. Nobody’s saying that one day a single company may possibly emerge to dominate The Cloud, the way Google came to dominate Search, the way Microsoft came to dominate Software.

Monopoly issues aside, could you imagine such a company? We wouldn’t be talking about a multi-billion dollar business like today’s Microsoft or Google. We’re talking about something that could feasibly dwarf them. We’re potentially talking about a multi-trillion dollar company. Possibly the largest company to have ever existed.

I imagine my friends who work for the aforementioned companies know all this, and know how VAST the stakes are.

Windows vs Apple? Who cares? Kid’s stuff. There’s a much bigger game going on… And for some reason, its utter enormity seems to be a very well-kept secret."

So at least some out there aren't encouraging the already dominant companies to create a single global sector for cloud computing, but it seems that Microsoft and Google may unfortunately end up being the place that companies feed off, especially with the limitless budgets of both companies it would be hard for companies such as AT &T and Adobe to compete.

This is what gets me about monopoly companies such as Microsoft and Google, never satisfied with what they have got, but as I mentioned earlier this will not happen because Microsoft or Google would have to create a better competitor to Amazon S3 to maintain total dominance of the cloud computing market.

The one problem that Amazon needs to address to prevent Google from creating a better competitor is to have nothing less then perfect uptime for their servers according to Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos, if they can maintain a strong uptime, then Google will have to innovate like crazy to beat them, although according to reports coming out of last year's Web 2.0 Expo Google wouldn't be creating a direct competitor to Amazon S3 (yet)

Google's main attention with the cloud seems to be heading to the enterprise level, and not really so much as lower consumer level. This is where Microsoft step in, their selection of online services under the "Windows Live" name provide users with services such as data storage, online calendars and accessible photo sharing platforms (although Google's Picasa isn't that bad). Check out the list of Windows Live products here. Microsoft seems to be under the impression that's it attempt to bundle web services with software will work, however it hinders their chances of succeeding greatly.

So will we see Google and Microsoft working as a more collaborative force with other cloud platforms, I doubt it. Each man for himself in this battlefield I'm sure!

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