Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing

Atoms colliding

Google and Microsoft vye for the next IT frontier

The computing industry Titans – Google, Microsoft, Adobe, etc. – are waging a pitched battle to gain control over the emerging market for “cloud computing.”  Rather than using the PC desktop, Google offers free web services that allow people to do word processing and spreadsheets, build their own web sites,  and store photos and video – wherever they are.


Microsoft’s Sharepoint offers similar web services but charges fees. Meanwhile, Adobe is building on the success of its Flash platform to offer AIR, a similar system that can power thousands of applications on PCs, the Internet, or mobile devices like smart phones. Mozilla has its Prism, Sun offers JavaFX, and other IT giants have their versions in the works. Intel executive Sean Maloney said “There is a big cloud movement building infrastructure for this new kind of experience,” while John Lily, CEO of Mozilla, says “There are jillions of applications. The whole world is collaborating on this.”


As if this were not sufficiently competitive, Google is introducing Handset to control the emerging open systems in mobile devices, and it is also introducing Knol to challenge Wikipedia’s online encyclopedia. Wikipedia is returning fire by building a wiki based search engine. Regardless of how this shake out ends, the commitment of these IT giants signals that there are more earth-shaking changes ahead.


See our forecast on Digital Convergence for more.