6 thoughts on “Microsoft vs. Adobe: The Rivalry Heats Up”

  1. Kudos to the Cloud Crowd for Re-Inventing the Wheel!

    One thing 30 years in the IT industry has taught me is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Another is that the only memory we seem to access is short-term. Yet another is that techno-marketeers rely on that, so they can put labels like “revolutionary” and “innovative” on platforms, products and services that are mere re-inventions of the wheel … and often poor copies at that.

    A good example is all the buzz about “Cloud Computing” in general and “SaaS” (software as a service) in particular:


    Both terms are bogus. The only true cloud computing takes place in aircraft. What they’re actually referring to by “the cloud” is a large-scale and often remotely located and managed computing platform. We have had those since the dawn of electronic IT. IBM calls them “mainframes”:


    The only innovation offered by today’s cloud crowd is actually more of a speculation, i.e. that server farms can deliver the same solid performance as Big Iron. And even that’s not original. Anyone remember Datapoint’s ARCnet, or DEC’s VAXclusters? Whatever happened to those guys, anyway…?

    And as for SaaS, selling the sizzle while keeping the steak is a marketing ploy most rightfully accredited to society’s oldest profession. Its first application in IT was (and for many still is) known as the “service bureau”. And I don’t mean the contemporary service bureau (mis)conception labelled “Service 2.0” by a Wikipedia contributor whose historical perspective is apparently constrained to four years:


    Instead, I mean the computer service bureau industry that spawned ADAPSO (the Association of Data Processing Service Organizations) in 1960, and whose chronology comprises a notable portion of the IEEE’s “Annals of the History of Computing”:


    So … for any of you slide rule-toting, pocket-protected keypunch-card cowboys who may be just coming out of a 40-year coma, let me give you a quick IT update:

    1. “Mainframe” is now “Cloud” (with concomitant ethereal substance).

    2. “Terminal” is now “Web Browser” (with much cooler games, and infinitely more distractions).

    3. “Service Bureau” is now “SaaS” (but app upgrades are just as painful, and custom mods equally elusive).

    4. Most IT buzzwords boil down to techno-hyped BS (just as they always have).

    Bruce Arnold, Web Design Miami Florida

  2. This is exciting news and will make for an interesting Q4 08/Q1 of 2009 as competition between these two companies comes to a head. I think it is worth pointing out that Microsoft did *not* invest in one of the P2P startups… Move Networks is more “traditional” in the sense that they support the existing online content delivery ecosystem and do not challenge the norm. Given recent issues at BitTorrent (ala Valleywag)… Move Networks seems to be a safe bet on the next 1 to 3 years of online video while policy makers sort out P2P issues.


  3. You know who you can thank for the “Cloud Computing” buzz? The business suckers falling for the “No Software” logo that Sales Farce touts around its entire site. What most consumer don’t realize is that they’re getting taken for a ride that’s very difficult to get off.

  4. Cloud Computing & SAAS Etc.: What’s Different Now = Access, Cost

    I agree that there are parallels and similarities between cloud vs mainframe, browser vs terminal, SAAS vs service bureau etc. What is different now is that more types of organizations, including individuals, are able to access computing resources without big investments in hardware, software etc. This is made possible by the internet and movements such as open source. As for techno hype, it is true that the tech industry has been using it for a while. Having said that, discerning buyers are able to identify what is real from what is not. Marketing/advertising works just as well and is therefore used in the tech industry as it is in other industries.

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