Saturday, June 02, 2012

OpenWeb 06/03/2012 (a.m.)

  • Nice article from Scott M. Fulton describing Microsoft's iron fisted lock on government desktop productivity systems and the great transition to a Cloud Productivity Platform.  Keep in mind that in 2005, Massachusetts tried to do the same thing with their SOA effort.  Then Governor Romney put over $1 M into a beta test that produced the now infamous 300 page report written by Sam Hiser.  The details of this test resulted in the even more infamous da Vinci ODF plug-in for Microsoft Office desktops.   The lessons of Massachusetts are simple enough; it's not the formats or office suite applications.  It's the business process!  Conversion of documents not only breaks the document.  It also breaks the embedded "business process". The mystery here is that Microsoft owns the client side of client/server computing.  Compound documents, loaded with intertwined OLE, ODBC, ActiveX, and other embedded protocols and interface dependencies connecting data sources with work flow, are the fuel of these client/server business productivity systems.  Break a compound document and you break the business process.   Even though Massachusetts workers were wonderfully enthusiastic and supportive of an SOA based infrastructure that would include Linux servers and desktops as well as OSS productivity applications, at the end of the day it's all about getting the work done.  Breaking the business process turned out to be a show stopper. Cloud Computing changes all that.  The reason is that the Cloud is rapidly replacing client/server as the target architecture for new productivity developments; including data centers and transaction processing systems.  There are many reasons for the great transition, but IMHO the most important is that the Web combines communications with content, data, and collaborative computing.   Anyone who ever worked with the Microsoft desktop productivity environment knows that the desktop sucks as a communication device.  There was no way to integrate communications with desktop office automation systems where the productivity results were worth the effort.   Cloud computing systems have an incredible productivity advantage here.  Put aside for the moment the amazing efficiency quotient of Cloud Computing, and stop worrying about bandwidth and connectivity issues.  Productivity gains with Cloud Computing are going to go through the roof, making investment decisions in newly written business systems very much worth the effort.   Another lesson from Massachusetts is that the effort to integrate Linux desktops and Open Source office suites into working Windows productivity environments was not worth the cost of having to re write and reinvent existing business processes and systems.  That too changes with the extraordinary productivity dynamics of Cloud Computing. Funny.  Here we are again.  Still wondering if Microsoft's iron grip on business systems can be broken.  The great transition can't be stopped, but will Microsoft swallow hard, bear down and take the lead?  Or will they become road kill on the highway towards awesome productivity?

    Tags: Cloud-Productivity-Platform, Microsoft, Great-Transition, desktop-productivity


Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

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