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The future of software is looking good

June 16, 2011 on 12:41 pm | AJ

A while back we introduced our Cloud strategy. We described how we thought things should be – native apps + data in the Cloud + automatic background sync. The best of both worlds in our opinion.

Does this sound familiar now?

If not, it should. It’s very similar to Apple’s newly announced iCloud. The main difference between the app side of iCloud and our Cloud system is that ours is multi-user, multi-device, whereas iCloud is single-user, multi-device.

Now that Steve Jobs has described what he thinks is the best way to do software, there’s all kinds of punditry going on from the likes of John Gruber, Tim Bray, and many more.

All I can say is that it feels good that our strategy has been validated. We felt confident that our Cloud and native app strategy was the better approach (over Cloud and browser), and we feel even more confident now that Apple agrees.

Doesn’t it make a lot of sense? Computers are getting faster and more efficient all the time, yet people suggest that everything should go through the narrow, latency based channel of the browser. To make things better in the browser world, techniques such as AJAX and local storage have been hacked in. Sure there are many things the browser is right for (like this blog), but for all apps? I don’t think so.

Now one can argue that we can’t reach everyone if we go with OS X and iOS native apps, but at 254 million devices and counting – it’s a decent audience.

I for one am happy that the future isn’t totally browser based. The future is looking good!

Until next time…
AJ

17 Responses to “The future of software is looking good”

  1. Scott Stevenson says:

    I could not agree more. Exciting stuff AJ, onwards!

  2. Sakchai Siripanyawuth says:

    I totally agree with your cloud strategy, we also have a cloud app with multiple user, multiple device in mind.we believe that it’s easier when they data is available anywhere anytime. Especially in hotel management. I still feel that it’s important to have a strong web interface that works every where. There are slot of businesses out there that might not want to spend alot of money buying macs for all their staff. Another thing is busineses are now liking the ‘no software’ to install approach since it’s cheaper for them to maintain.

    We usually even recommend a lot of hotel we work with to go ubuntu on all their clients and have had quite a lot of success. No more having to pay for windows license. They save 1000s of USD because of this.

  3. Shawn Himmelberger says:

    I like the cloud and all, but I still sleep better at night knowing I have a local copy / local server. I like the current Daylite model, App with local storage, syncs to cloud (in-house or 3rd party).

    We do the same for our data, in-house raid arrays and Sugar Sync for an off-site backup.

  4. Marni "The MacAngel" Melrose says:

    Hi AJ,

    This does make sense completely because it means that the users using the product can interact with it in a more natural way. It fits the reality of our lifestyles so much better.

    Never doubt your forethought AJ, you are a brilliant guy!

    Shine On,
    Marni

    World leading Daylite implementor and founder of the MacAngel Academy http://www.macangel.com/training/macangel_academy

    Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/macangel
    Friend us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/MacAngel/89042004211

  5. R. Byrd says:

    I couldn’t agree more. The single most successful “cloud” experience in my opinion is iTunes, it is a local app that uses the cloud. Why more companies didn’t choose to use a similar model was beyond me. It seems so clear now. However, once the iOS devices began to gain momentum (a nod to the gaming networks as well) and custom cloud enabled experiences became normal the obvious was truly revealed. Congrats to Marketcircle for being one of the first to see and leverage that model. Forcing everything through a browser is such a lowest common denominator experience. Your approach and Apple’s allows a richer higher quality experience.

  6. andy arnold says:

    I think you were right on when I read your announcement weeks before Apple’s. It is critical to have the choice. Some businesses need the flexibility of the cloud. Other industries need the safety and security of hosting the data locally (one of my businesses isn’t even online to satisfy regulatory hurdles)! Your strategy allows me to deploy your software over multiple scenarios and ramp up my productivity. Keep up the great work, and follow your new strategy. I’m a very satisfied customer.

  7. C. Eapen says:

    Amazing how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Used to be ‘networked’ thin clients were connected to big honking VAX/VMS servers hosting the applications. Then we went to desktop centric computing with resident apps and with lighter servers running mail, etc. Now, we’re back to ‘cloud’ computing with data centers hosting apps and mobile devices (thin clients in a sense) pulling from them. Frankly, I’m waiting for the brain implants so that we can all be connected to each other and talking will become obsolete – now, that would be novel :) .

  8. Tom says:

    I like the Cloud as a conduit method as well. With the iPad I’m finding less and less reason to even start up my iMac. I hope AJ and the gang are working on a more robust iOS product. As a solopreneur I don’t need some of the heft that DL brings.

    I’ve said it before, it would be really great to get a single user product and not have to mess with the DL Server as most of my tech support issues around DL are caused by Server.

    And since DL has chosen not to work with companies like Constant Contact (why I don’t know) so I hope MC is cooking up some great feature to work in it’s stead. Something like what InfusionSoft is doing???

  9. Keep things down to earth says:

    I agree with Shawn Himmelberger that it is essential to have the locally based software and data. We don’t want our data stored on someone else’s server. While I can understand the enthusiasm for the cloud based model it does not appeal to me.

    Thanks!

  10. Keep things down to earth says:

    And I did mean to add to my prior post that I think Marketcircle is doing a great job at balancing the two paths (local and cloud) by keeping the Billings Pro self-serve option for those that want to host their own database while developing the cloud option for those that find it the most useful. That dual option for users I think reflects great thinking that takes advantage of the best of technology without imposing it on users. Thank you!

  11. Ekkehard Koch says:

    Now the only question is how iCloud and Marketcircle Cloud integrate. Do I have to choose which cloud to ride or are they going to be complementary for services like contacts, calendars, etc.

  12. AJ says:

    Thanks for the compliments folks! :)

  13. AJ says:

    Ekkehard,
    The choice will be simple. Single-user or multi-user. iCloud is built around the single user model. Marketcircle Cloud on the other hand is build around the multi-user model.

  14. Jason says:

    AJ, from your reply to Ekkehard, can we assume Billings (non-Pro) will use iCloud on Mac and iOS? Hopefully soon after it launches? (sounds like a dumb question, but I never assume these days)

  15. AJ says:

    @Jason. It’s hard to say right now.

  16. Chris T says:

    Just to add one more voice to the cloud doubters. I do hope that you won’t do what some other really promising companies did, that is to stop offering local data storage and servers!

  17. Tom Miller says:

    Will there be a cloud for Daylite soon? Is that the ultimate plan? How soon?