Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Chrome - Another brick in the wall

You will, undoubtedly, see many articles about Google's launch of Chrome. It is not my intention, or indeed job, to duplicate the details of the product. But I do think it is another really important step on the way towards how we will all ultimately use IT. That is the main theme of my 'Revolution' presentation at the end of this month.

Readers will already know that it is my contention that ultimately all software will be SaaS, Cloud Computing will be ubiquitous as will the use of Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). Whether the delivery mechanism for entertainment and information is satellite, land line, WiFi, 3G or whatever or whether the access device is a conventional TV, PC, laptop or MID will be irrelevant to consumers. A very personalised 'YourIT' will be the expected norm as will the MobiTop that I expounded last year. See my December 2007 post - MobiTop experiences its Martini Moment.

Up to a decade ago the Enterprise was the driving force. Now it's the consumer. What the consumer uses personally will be demanded by those consumers in their work environment. We have already seen consumers driving the way IT is used in Enterprises. Many Enterprise suppliers, particularly the software vendors, don't really like SaaS and the other advances I have outlined as it changes their historic financial model and increases churn. But the trend is unstoppable.

Google Chrome is another step along the road I have outlined above. Chrome is far more than an internet browser. It is much more of a new operating system for the IT environment I have outlined above. Even more significantly it is the same engine as that used in Android, Google's platform for MIDs.

Readers will also know that I was against the Microsoft/Yahoo linkup from the very start. Mainly because it did not address the real threat to the future of Microsoft. The real threat comes from the trends I have outlined above. In no way am I forecasting the demise of Microsoft - I'm too old and canny an analyst to do that. But I have to say that they seem to be constantly playing 'catchup' right now with rivals like Google and Apple leading the way forward.

Microsoft can hardly claim that they have been caught unawares. After all Holway predicted that SaaS would overtake conventional licence sales at the 1996 Regent Conference. The only thing I got wrong was the date - I had forecast "within 5 years".

Let me leave you with a quote I found;

"Within the next five to seven years there will be no one left in the software business whose applications haven't transformed into a service". Sounds like Holway again doesn't it? But you'd be wrong.

It was Steve Ballmer (now CEO at Microsoft) speaking at the Gartner Group Conference in October 1999.

1 comment:

Ya-Habibi said...

Hi Richard,

I completely agree with you about Google and the future of IT e.g. SaaS and I also think Microsoft has to undergo immense change to understand this concept and the sooner they understand this, the better for their survival.

I think Google has already taken over Microsoft and its expanding very fast. Richard, do you think that Google will enter into any alliance/JV with companies like HP, Dell or Siemens?