The golden era of the internet has been built on a culture of open source. This culture has removed barriers to adoption of technology and heralded in an age of unprecedented innovation in society.
As technology has become ubiquitous, we have tended to view it as more of a commodity, a common and re-usable component or service.
We are now seeing the growth of a service based economy (SaaS) and more service oriented approaches to development. These changes will encourage further innovation and open the door to competitive utility computing markets, more effective and efficient usage of resources, portability between providers and competition based upon service rather than product.
This is a living nightmare for those who have seen their competitive advantage as being their technology. Many are simply not prepared for competition based upon service.
As with Google, Microsoft has now entered the field with the launch of their Mesh. I'll note :-
- there is no open SDK (yet) with the Mesh, the backbone of the technology is 100% Microsoft.
- the Mesh is described as a platform for the web equivalent to how windows was for the PC.
- it provides many opportunities for collaborative business benefits (a highly attractive feature for adoption).
- Microsoft has a strong channel of ISVs and is looking for ways to support this.
- it describes a future hybrid model between in-house and cloud infrastructure (the P2P aspects seem to go beyond file sharing).
- it can mesh multiple devices and the cloud, and presumably allow ISVs to become resource providers (hence creating a marketplace within the Mesh).
- they are seeding this Mesh with their own significant infrastructure.
What we don't know is whether Microsoft will be adopting an open approach, encouraging an ecosystem of providers and competing solely on service.
Interesting times lie ahead ...