What Is The Killer App For Cloud Computing?

Probably the software you are already using today! One of the biggest challenges with any new service is to get people to use it. Adoption always precedes monitization. I tried out the Dropbox service the day it was launched as I happened to be sitting in an airport with an hour to kill when I received the email invite. They have a great front-end, at least on my Mac where I've tried it, but to be honest I don't use it much anymore because I've reached the 2 GB limit of my free account. By contrast, I've been using the beta version of OpenOffice "save to cloud" since the day Sun launched its internal testing, and I save virtually all of my documents to the cloud these days by default. Other than 1 or 2 documents I might need to edit on a flight, any other documents I need to access offline tend to be cached in my email and are accessible offline in that manner. I use Google Docs too for a few personal files that I want to share with family members, but not for mainstream use.

So at least in my trivial example, the killer app for cloud computing is the one I already use - OpenOffice. I don't have to take any extra steps to drag files between folders, I just use save to cloud and open from cloud instead of save and open.

One could easily expand this notion to almost any enterprise software. Do you want to buy special cloud backup software for your database or do you just want a "backup to cloud" button for the database you already use?

I'm not saying there isn't room for innovation in apps like Dropbox, and ultimately the "front end" of clouds and the "back end" are not necessarily linked. That is why Sun is is promoting a set of Open Cloud APIs so that in the future a company like Dropbox can decide to focus on innovating on the front end/client and simply use an existing cloud back end, without getting locked into that back end.

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