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Software as Service

November 6th, 2004 · No Comments

Adam Bosworth writes:

About 9 years ago it became clear to me that, all things being equal, the current model of building software for a specific API to be deployed on someone’s desk was going to be far less sucessful than the model of deploying a service. Why so?

Things that breed rapidly more quickly adopt through natural selection to a changing environment. Services can typically deploy changes every month or even more rapidly because they only have one single configuration on a set of machines whose OS, storage and networking they totally control and which they manage in their data centers.

Secondly there is the telling point of usability. In February 1997, fresh from having built/designed DHTML for MSFT and just before building XML, I made a month long pilgrimage to talk to users about the forthcoming IE 4.0 and what should go into IE 5.0. The results were eye opening to me. Customers, almost unanimously, told me that they didn’t want the rich user interface of GUI for most applications.For office worker Personal productivity applications, sure. But in general, they wanted the easiest most self evident user interface possible. Why? Customer support costs. They had found empirically that the training and support costs for web based applications were much lower than for custom built Windows applications.

In short, services not only evolve far more rapidly to meet customer needs, they are much cheaper to manage for most customers.

Perhaps more importantly, as I said in a prior post, most of the value today is coming from the community, the reputation, the access to information and goods and services, and the media itself. This ineluctable fact coupled with the driving forces of much faster evolution in response to the natural selection of market needs, much cheaper and easier and more simple user interface, and much better ability to know what can be done better for the customer are all combining. Services will be the dominant model.

Tags: Software

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