Saturday, May 08, 2010

More musings on the cloud

So I've had an iPad for a week now. In fact, I'm typing this blog post on it. I'm pretty happy with it so far. What I see now as the obvious market opportunity is basically this: since there is no direct support for server filesystems (SMB or AFP), it creates an opening for a basic editing app that connects to a cloud service, caches files locally on the iPad (within the limited filesystems space the app has), syncs with it, and can handle Office/Gdocs/OpenXML formats. And the real opportunity comes if there's a desktop component for Windows/Mac as well.

Apple's iWork could do it but it's Mac-only and doesn't take advantage of the MobileMe service well enough. Microsoft could do it with an iPad-native tool added to the forthcoming versions of Office for Windows and Mac. The wildcards are Google and the third-party storage companies. Box.net, Dropbox, or another storage provider could provide an iPad app to help them sell storage. They already have apps for the client OS side.

The real point is that whoever is first with a robust solution to the problem likely wins the war. I bet folks are hurrying to get to market...

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