Larry Ellison recently ranted about cloud computing at an Oracle stock holder’s meeting.


Someone asked if Oracle will be in trouble since there is a big push towards cloud computing. His answer is that cloud computing is what computers and internet has always been. The technology is the same, just called different things: SaaS, on demand software and now cloud computing.

He is right of course. Cloud computing still uses databases, CPUs, memory, harddrive and routers. It isn’t some new technology. But that’s also like saying Ajax wasn’t new because it is just XMLHttpRequest.

Cloud computing is important because it names a user experience, much like Ajax. Technology is something computer programmers and technology geeks care about, but users just care about “what does this mean to me?” What cloud computing means to the consumers is “let someone else take care about the technical details, you just use it to get your job done.”

I would like to think that the fact that cloud computing is catching on is indicative of a trend for technical people to think more terms of the ends rather than the means.

Here is an example of someone thinking about the technology rather than the experience: “No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.” Of course, the iPod went on to dominate the MP3 player market. Don’t be that guy.

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