Tuesday, November 16, 2010

“Yay Cloud”

Nielsen Wire (a blog I follow on the right) reported that Windows 7 Cloud advertisement by Microsoft was the most remembered of the week ending 10/31/10.

I like the ad by Crispin Porter & Bogusky.  I am not a techie either.  It captures a real slice of life for the PC absorbed, upwardly mobile traveler.  It brands the concept of “cloud” computing.  Cloud computing is, basically, being able to tap into news, video, and many of PC business applications over the internet – and not have them reside on your computer, but in the “cloud”.

Microsoft wants to own the term “cloud” (not yet a household word).  The tricky part is trying to bring the concept of cloud computing to the average PC user.  Who is average?  Younger PC users are highly into video and entertainment, business users are into workplace business tools (MS Office).  Microsoft has chosen to highlight the younger generation in this ad with a concept of being able to go to the cloud to pull down your favorite recorded TV show.  I love the interplay of the people and the TV show (celebrity probation - beating each other up). But it looks an awful lot like surfing the internet.  

The reality and benefit of cloud computing is having MS Office products no longer residing  on your desktop (you paid for them when you bought your last computer).  No more out of date software, security issues, viruses, upgrading, etc.  Remember, the user base of MS products is HUGE – hundreds of millions of users, likely bigger than all of their competitors combined (although you wouldn’t think that from the Google and Apple originated trash talk).  While internet- based PC software may be on the boring side, this advancement just might make it a bit more interesting.    

A lot has been written (as it always is in the tech world) about the business model of non-installed software – moving to either “free-over-the-web” or some type of subscription service.  Microsoft knows that the future – especially for small business - is on the web (think Google Gmail, calendars, etc).   And they are moving in uncharted waters with a subscriber versus installed business model.  This may have implications on Microsoft’s profitability.

I think they are on to something here even if it affects their business model.  As the “Cloud” concept becomes mainstream, Microsoft will move quickly and forcefully to take ownership to life across a broad spectrum of media.  Microsoft is moving…...to something bigger for all of us …..To the Cloud!

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