13th January 2015
It’s funny how the inevitable stares us in the eye and yet inertia prevents the realization that action is needed, change is upon us, someone spun the world under our feet and we didn’t notice! This is never truer than in the world of technology, where the capacity and propensity to change is relentless. Here are two confident predictions for the near future – file synch software vendors will be in a lot of trouble (if they aren’t already dying) and everybody, regardless of their hang-ups, is going to store their documents in the cloud.
The beauty of analysing the tech space is that so many things are connected and causal. If maps and routing software are built into phones then built-in sat navs in cars are toast, people will simply dock their phones and hey presto! If cloud storage is commoditised and available everywhere then people won’t pay a lot of money for it and it is going to be so cheap that nobody can make money from it. If you can’t make money from storage then you’ll have to make money somewhere else – hence Dropbox venturing into Project Harmony Amazon launching Zocalo (itself possessing category-killer qualities), Box’s acquisition of Crocodoc etc.
The real problem for the file-synch boys, Dropbox and Box, is that the operating system giants are going to move into their space. If Microsoft have Onedrive and Office 365 represents their future, cloud-based direction, why should we not confidently expect that a future release of Windows will use the cloud instead of a hard disk for storage? Even if your computer has a hard drive, if file synch is built into the operating system then why would you browse around the internet for the same? You won’t.
The funny thing is that this is exactly the same thing that killed Netscape. Microsoft bundled IE into Windows and nobody needed to look for another browser. It’s irrelevant which software product is better, it’s the frictionless process of acquisition that counts not the feature list.
Well here’s the last extrapolation: if cloud storage is built into the operating system then where are your files going to be? Yes everybody, you can forget your hang-ups and just accept that the day is fast approaching when you will have to store your documents in the cloud because nobody who provides the services you rely on will be using anything else. If you don’t like it what can you do, write your own operating system?
In anticipation of the inevitable future, the next release of Gemini will have a plugin to the latest cloud document management/wiki software on the planet. Documize is coming your way like a freight train.