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  • ArchieEddison 12:25 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Cloud Computing, Software as a Service (SaaS), Web apps, Content? Is there a single word that could encompass it all? 

    How about Cloudware?

    If you think of anything being ‘consumed’ on the internet, be it content from an information website, an application being provided as a service, or service being used by other web services (like a postcode validation tool) then it is easy to imagine this all falling under the term ‘Cloudware’

    I like to think of Cloudware defined as:

    “Cloudware – n. A tangible or intangible product (or service) made for consumption solely through the Internet (the Cloud)

    Other people seem to think so too, judging by the websites that are appearing with the term Cloudware :

    and increasingly others!

    Cloudware City above is an interesting one and right at my heart as someone interested in the way the web is moving – it looks like they’re delivering a service for the Web like Apple have done for the iPhone. More to come on that one!

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  • ArchieEddison 2:02 pm on April 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Everything is becoming Cloud Connected 

    We don’t have to stray far now to find internet access somewhere. Whether it’s your home broadband, office internet, even on your mobile phone, the largest ever information resource in the world is only a click away.

    This is starting to open up new possibilities, where the traditional storage of information moves away from your home or office computer to a cloud based solution, somewhere on the internet.

    The drawback is you need internet access to get to it (but that drawback is minimising as every day passes).

    The massive benefit is that your information is available wherever you can get internet access. Think of gmail or google apps for example. Before this era, you would have to install your own software on a single machine (multiple if you’re lucky and had the luxury of affording the licensing costs) and then you are subject to various different versions and compatibility concerns, not least having then to keep the software uptodate, and to back up your data, which would only be available in one place.

    Let’s take internet email in the cloud as an example. In a traditional sense, you would download email from the internet using software installed on your PC (say at home). Once your email is downloaded, it is on your PC. If you then needed to access the email from work, for example, you’d have to find a way to get access to your PC – unless you have a laptop and take it with you, it will generally be more hassle than it’s worth.

    • If your PC crashes, or fails and loses the data, your email is gone (without backups)
    • You can’t access it easily anywhere other than home

    Now with cloud-based internet email, it is stored on a server in the cloud (securely and robustly, as reputable providers invest in high resilience equipment).

    Add to this a web-browser interface to your email, and you can access it from anywhere with an internet connection. Amazing!

    Even more amazing – imagine when you next log in to your cloud email, you have the very latest updates and features available in the software, without you having to license or download anything to any computer!

    More and more software is moving in this direction, and more and more developers are starting to realise the benefits of developing for the web and having the most available (in terms of accessibility from various devices) and increasing reach of their software to anywhere on the planet with internet access. Add to this the ability to discover and respond to issues in software and automatically fix the issue just once for everyone, and you can clearly see the potential.

    Generating revenue and software piracy concerns are also somewhat diminished, with a subscription based model. This creates a benefit for everyone :

    • the end user since a smaller regular amount is more affordable than a large outlay (and further upgrade costs, and need to have latest hardware and operating systems),
    • the developer since they can collect recurring revenue and risk of piracy and subsequent loss of revenue is eradicated.

    We will gradually see more and more ‘cloud’ deployments in coming time, I’m convinced of it, and even as Televisions are getting inbuilt internet connectivity now as I speak, it won’t be long before everything is connected to the cloud.

    Even Televisions are getting inbuilt internet connectivity now!
     
  • ArchieEddison 5:09 pm on April 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    When is an App Store not an App Store? 

    When it’s Apple’s. Or so it seems!

    They are seriously up themselves if they think two generic words, app and store, can be trademarked.

    When someone says “I got this from the app store”, as they show you an app on an android device, Apple are saying that because the phrase “app store” is used, consumers will somehow be ‘confused’ by this and will start looking for it on Apple?

    Or that an iPhone user will be confused and visit an Android Appstore for an iPhone app? Come on! Give people some credit!

    What next… “I got this nice tie from the tie shop”. Who owns that trademark?!

    If Apple wanted to trademark something, perhaps they should have called it the iStore 🙂

     
  • ArchieEddison 10:00 pm on April 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Why platformed mobile phone apps are dying 

    We are living in a world where Apple and Google amongst MS and RIM too are fighting between themselves for space in the Mobile Applications market, and in their own closed ecosystems are doing alright for themselves, but it isn’t going to last.

    You see, it really doesn’t help the consumer when their favourite app isn’t available on Android because the developers are only supporting the iPhone, or vice versa. Same goes for BlackBerry and the new Windows Phone apps.

    As a software developer for the mobile world it must be a veritable nightmare when it comes down to deciding which platform to choose. Which way do you turn first? iPhone? Android?

    So I say, why are we bothering with bespoke phone apps at all, when such good apps can be built upon Javascript/jQuery/Mootools etc with HTML5 and be cross platform, and then even work on desktop devices too?

    Granted, some apps may require hardware specific functionality, or access to the device in such a way that is not available from Javascript, and these will continue, but for apps that have an online aspect to them, where they require internet connectivity to function (which are an ever increasing number), and since most devices are online 24/7 these days, what is wrong with developing the app as a hosted service where it can simply be built and installed once, and immediately used by its users without concern about having apps signed by Big Brother and then having users manually update?

    Device specific mobile phone apps are a dying breed.

     
    • David James 4:48 pm on April 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This is an interesting opinion Archie and I’d love to develop for the web instead of an iphone but how do I market it and how do I make money from it ? With ios we have the apple store which showcases our products and takes care of payment meaning we dont need to get involved in that side of things. For the web, what are my options? Paypal 😦 which is really awful.

    • ArchieEddison 1:49 pm on April 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks David for taking the time to read and comment!

      Traditionally you would look at PayPal I think but as you say I think this limits the opportunities considerably. You got me thinking because I’m also considering the options.

      You could look at a solution like Chargify or Recurly but they will need you to arrange your own payment mechanisms and a fair amount of development work.

      I almost said there isn’t really any equivalent of the Apple store but then in my research I came across a new startup company in the UK – Cloudware City which looks like they take care of everything, even showcasing and selling the products for you, handles the payments, subscriptions and user access for your site with an application interface (API).

      From what I can see, they charge 30% which at first glance seems high compared to some, but is the going industry rate for the value it provides as a whole vs going out and doing it all yourself, not least added marketing!

      The more I read, the more I feel Cloudware City is like a ‘hidden gem’ at the moment waiting to be discovered by developers like yourself!

      I’m certainly going to check them out for my own ideas as they even have a WordPress plugin available too!

      • David James 3:03 pm on April 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks I checked it out and to be honest, 70% of SOMETHING is better for me than 100% of nothing that I’m getting or not getting at the moment! so I’m going to give cloudware city a try. Very helpful nice people at the moment too. I’ll let you know how it goes

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