Recycled Computing

More Cloudy Thinking

- 2011.06.29

Move over computers. Welcome portable devices!

Yes, Apple is sitting pretty, right in the catbird's seat. Not only does Apple dominate the market (iPod, iPhone, and iPad), but it's iOS operating system is tailor-made for portable devices.

So what's the problem?

The cloud gets in the way.

Apple led the way in the cloud, what with iTools and iDisk, introduced in 2000. But the black cloud on the horizon is named Google. Not only can Google's apps work across platforms, they also with older Apple processors and operating systems.

iCloudApple's new iCloud service can't say that.

And that business of requiring the purchase of an application to use iCloud - for instance, you need to buy Pages (Mac and iOS versions if you want to use both platforms) to use Pages documents with iCloud - I'll bet that Google executives were dancing at their desks.

I think that Apple's strategy has been in place for a while. I remember meeting an Apple representative at a big box story and discussing the fact that the school I was working at had just gotten Google accounts for it's students. I was talking about how this an advantage for our students. The Apple rep responded by saying, "Google Apps aren't real applications." But they are free, and they do work across platforms.

The second of Google's one-two punch has been the release of Android. By releasing it into the wild, Google has instantly made itself a major player in the portable device market. It's going to be iOS vs. Android across the world.

And once again, Apple will tend it's walled garden while it's major competitor mounts assaults against its walls. I know this is the way Steve Jobs and the Apple guys play, but I can't help but wonder if it will work.

You know that big box store? Last I checked, they have a tablet section that sells all sorts of tablets. They still sell the iPad 2, but it's clear that they can tell which way the wind is blowing. I'm sure that the market for computers will remain, but I know that Apple and the other players are moving on. The mass market in this country wants mobile devices that work in the cloud.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an Apple fan from way back in the Apple II days, but I don't know if Apple can live long in the new cloud reality.

I know that many others have predicted Apple's funeral before, but I'm not sure that Apple's approach to the cloud makes it a competitive player in this market. LEM

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