Friday, December 18, 2009

Don Dodge on the Future of Computing

Today, in his very influential blog, “Don Dodge on the Next Big Thing”, Don both writes about the work environment at Google and speculates on the future of computing. I’ve known Don for several years; we are both members of the eCoast Angels Network and we have often worked together advising start-up companies such as VKernel. From his post:

The future of computing – I think Google has made three big bets on the future of computing; Chrome OS (browser), Google Apps (cloud), and Android (mobile). The trends are pretty clear. All the exciting new applications are running in the browser, with application code in the cloud, and the cell phone as the platform. Your cell phone will become your primary computer. I think in the near future there will be docking stations everywhere with a screen and a keyboard. You simply pull out your phone, plug it into the docking station, and instantly all your applications and data are available to you. Chrome OS, Google Apps, and Android make this vision possible.

“Think about the cell phone you had 10 years ago, in 1999, and compare it to the phone you have today. More power, more memory, better networks, more applications, etc. Now project 5 or 10 years ahead. The vision of your phone as your computer is not far off. You will be able to decide which applications and data you want resident on the phone and which you want in the cloud. You will be able to plug it in anywhere; in an airport, hotel, airplane, office lobby, etc, and have instant access to everything you need.

2010 the turning point - I think 2010 will be the year that enterprises of all sizes start their transition to Gmail and Google Apps, and take their first steps towards the vision of the future. The move towards Cloud Computing is obvious. Gmail and Google Apps are the easy first steps in that direction. The cost savings are enormous,over $500 per user per year. Compare that to buying software licenses and maintenance from the old style software giants, and add the costs of server hardware, and IT managers to run them.

“The next 5 years are going to be exciting. There will be big changes in the software industry. I am thrilled to be at Google and look forward to being a small part of the movement to the future of computing.”

Don was also interviewed by VentureBeat where he talks about many things, including his new Google phone. Attracting the most vehement comments are his views on Microsoft.

“VB: Now that you’ve left Microsoft, how do you feel about the company’s future?”

DD: At a high level, Microsoft today is where IBM was in late ’80s, early ’90s. When I was just starting my career, IBM ruled the world. IBM was the dominant computer provider in the world — hardware, software, network, you name it, IBM was king. I think in the late ’80s and early ’90s, we saw that shift and Microsoft became king of the hill. And in 2009, 2010, going forward, Microsoft is sort of like IBM. It’s a longtime company with a great tradition and still very profitable, but it’s not the leader. Microsoft is not making the innovative leaps and coming out with the new stuff. People used to fear IBM and they don’t anymore. More recently, startups and competitors feared Microsoft, and I think over the past five or 10 years since that consent decree, I think that changed the company dramatically. I don’t think startups and competitors fear Microsoft the way they did 10 years ago. Part of it is the natural evolution of companies, part of it is the changing culture from that consent decree”.

1 comment:

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