I've messed around with Amazon's EC2 a bit -- really easy to set up a virtual machine and get it running. I use the Google cloud for writing, blogging, pictures, storage, etc -- for personal use, the advertising model seems to produce a sweet spot of easy to use and cheap. I've been exposed to Microsoft's approach to making their productivity suite -- Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc into a cloud annuity for them at "so much a month" vs a package that you have to buy every few years. It seems an understandable model.
The bottom line is that it is raining cash on Amazon, Google and Microsoft, while IBM, HP and Oracle are seeing a drought ...
The trio shares a reliance on technology that comes from powerful machines lashed together in bunkers the size of football fields. These data centers are capable of providing a broad range of services at a low cost—be it Microsoft's personal and business software, Amazon's e-commerce and computing power, or Google's Web search and advertising algorithms. Contrast that with technology firms, such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, EMC, and Oracle, which are suffering from slowing growth or declines as cloud operators shun traditional hardware, software, and services.Microsoft (at least up to now with the "Surface") never was invested in producing hardware. They certainly reaped benefits off the OS lock in for ages, but they developed a strong application suite that is the desktop standard and a strong DB presence with SQL Server that is allowing them into the Cloud.
Oracle appears to have made a wrong turn with the acquisition of Sun pulling them toward the hardware / OS path, when it would have seemed that migrating customers from private servers to servers in the cloud would have been an obvious route for them. HP is HP ... dominant in printers, but never really in computing.
IBM, locked for decades in "computer archeology" with past super success of the 360/370/Z Series and the host of OS and data management products seems unable to leave the hardware / OS connection behind, and has followed the Kennedy Moon Shot space race strategy -- to try to "leap frog" to the next target beyond the Cloud with Watson -- or "The Cognitive Era" as they like to pitch it.
My problem remains. If Watson is so smart, why hasn't it suggested a winning business strategy for IBM by now? ... in the form of a question of course! I can see where "big data" has advantages -- and will continue to have advantages with all sorts of relational, statistical, programmatic, etc methods of racking, stacking, packing and arriving at "meaning" that allows better business practice. Is Watson likely to be a proprietary methodology all on it's own that companies will pay IBM a premium to have access to?
I suppose it is possible, but it is hard for me to yet visualize a world in which large companies hold a proprietary AI "entity" in house, carefully maintaining, grooming, connecting, improving it while selling its services to other companies as the zookeeper company's primary revenue source.
Our captive enslaved intelligence is smarter than yours! Step right up and pay the man to get Watson to look at YOUR data and give you the answers that you crave for a mere $xxxxx ???? !!!!
Is Watson a rainmaker?
'via Blog this'