Posted in Concepts, Marketing
10/06 2011

Why iCloud might just save Microsoft and Nokia

Apple this week launched its new iCloud concept of being able to have documents synced automatically between native apps on your phone, tablet and desktop computer. For individuals and small businesses this is an absolute boon. It will make content available on any device at any time with no particular effort or pain for the user.

 

For medium and large business, however, this is a true nightmare! Data will be all over the place, it will be in datacentres IT cannot control, information can get lost or stolen. This is just not going to be acceptable from a corporate IT point of view.

 

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Yet if a corporation gives up on the opportunity that iCloud represents, are they offering the best most effective and productive tools to their workforce*? How much competitive positioning will they loose if they don’t embrace this new way of working?

 

Here’s the opportunity for Microsoft and Nokia. Microsoft has a lot of experience and expertise in not only selling to corporate IT, but enabling corporate IT to run cloud computing platforms like Microsoft Exchange Server.

 

What if Microsoft can offer an iCloud style server that keeps all the data within corporate  data centres and enables user access to that data to be yanked when an employee leaves? That is a great opportunity for Microsoft and will be an excellent reason to have corporate IT provide workers with Nokia Windows Phone 7 devices rather than competing ones from Apple or Android partners.

 

Apple’s launch and subsequent promotion of iCloud will really “create a market” for cloud-based syncing solutions in the personal arena, in the same way their promotion of the iPad has driven demand for tablets in the enterprise. Microsoft can leverage this to sell its own enterprise focused solutions to corporate IT.

 

One of the potential issues is that Microsoft doesn’t really get the concept yet of moving beyond the filesystem, so they may try to stay with that outdated concept. Yet if they can offer and integrated Dropbox style service, that will still give them a competitive edge that can drive sales of Windows Phone 7.

* Yes, I am well aware that Corporate IT rarely does what’s in the best interest of the corporation or its employees, but one can only hope that there are pockets of sanity out there.

  • Pablo

    I was about to comment on corporate IT until I saw your *note. I Completely agree.

  • Anonymous

    I for one disagree that file system is outdate. Heck for one, without a proper file system the computer cannot even work! For apps to have their own WALL GARDEN, the file system must be able to segregate the files in the first place.

    However, this is obviously not what you are talking about. You are talking about giving user access to the file system and this is where I disagree whole heartedly. For someone who have been using IPad2 for a year, I must say that most of my headache comes from Apple’s ill thoughout and poorly implemented App Centric file system. This is the main cause of me not been able to attach files and attachment from the default mail client itself! This is the reason why it is a hassle for me to utilise different strength of the different apps. If I want to do that, I would have to send my file to another apps, use it to draw and modify the file, then send it to another apps to again before back to my original apps, leaving traces of fille all over the place. Elegant? My feet.

    • Richardint

      Hi Hohopig,

      Thanks for your reply!

      We’re in for interesting times! Of course you’re right that there will always be a file system of some sort as applications need to store data, but as you point out, my point is that that filesystem need not necessarily be exposed to the user.

      I think we’re still early on in the development of this concept, and when we reach maturity, it may just be more elegant than a standard filesystem, especially when coupled with cloud syncing.

      Have you seen how iWork apps such as pages enable you to access media files from iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes etc? That, I think, gives an idea of how app data sharing may be implemented in a non-filesystem world.