As I talked about the Palm OS debacle in the early post this is overall a transition time for 25 year old Packaged Software Industry itself. You know Lotus 123, Aldus* back then and now what come out of Redmond in a nicely wrapped boxes. There are some interesting things going on in the industry.
My take on this would be:
This tech shift is something we are seeing more recently than when Aldus/ Lotus saga ends and Adobe, MS catches on. It was anyway the good old packaged software business they were all in.
The paradigm shift happened when Google and the gang came up with the solutions for the problems which came with the net bubble itself.
But still since Adobe and MS likes had good money in their banks they could afford many mistakes and still thrive in this Google’s era. The other reason is that desktop software’s dead isn’t anywhere near yet. Cos Adobe may be releasing a mobile version of Photoshop Lite but there are absolutely no solutions as yet for the gaming or high graphics industry unless you write Platform Specific. Not that people’s mindset is all geared to keep all their valuable stuff in some remote servers that they don’t have any control over. May be that’s why Apple is releasing a SDK biting their own words like once Steve mentioned about third party software that “he doesn’t want some Cingular networks to go down cos of some crappy software piece”. Even when iPhone business model seems modern and good enough for the time being.
So as someone says there isn’t much from here to the mobile web other than the dumb pipes and the devices will keep changing themselves.
The products are more likely will be the same, say gMail, Zoho Office, Google Earth or iTunes will still be the same when this transition ends.
So winners for the next decade most likely will come from the same gang who dominates today. MS, Google and Adobe likes from software ends.
This may change when it comes to physical products but Apple will still be there cos there’s iTunes biz model is near perfect that other product vendors like Dell or SONY can’t even get a hang of it yet. Anyway there are more chances to be a new winners too I guess, in the products category as well as in the software business.
After all may be Apple will be a sheer winner in this both ends. Since it has got it’s products right and then with portable OS X and iPhone software bundle is too unrival to match. May be it’s Apple who pushed the envelope eliminating Flash from iPhone for the mass adoption of the mobile web. Now no turning back again.
As I work for a software company we were too shady about what cult to follow. Flash was good enough, Google (Ajax) seems promising and MS .NET was the king of the king of desktop applications business model. Sun Java too did try to solve this big time problem but I don’t know where they fit in right now. Enterprise software too, that they heavily profited on is shrinking by a sea of new comers like us, Interblocks Ltd, for their relevant field.
But with iPhone, Apple may have saved us from lot of trouble. Platform specific gaming and heavy graphics 3D industry may not be shaken by it. But for most of info oriented software industry it just proved us that Ajax is not only promising but it is actually very practical for the next decade. The best part? We no longer needed to be tied down by either camps, the desktop nor the net. After a decade of Sun’s famous slogan now we can actually “Write once, Run Anywhere”
So I call it, FREEDOM! Finally.
*This reminds me the good old days, I still remember the days I learned it, an Aldus Freehand® v3 or V4 package was lying down somewhere in the stuff room, in Advantage SL, my first ad firm where I worked.