Apple Moves iTunes to the Clouds and How This in Part Moves Us from the Me Generation to the We Generation

Some rather amazing news has been released about Apple’s intentions to put iTunes into their own cloud infrastructure. The TechCrunch article below talks about the impact on their bottom line as they increase sales of music and, of course, make it significantly easier for us users to access our iTunes library like we access our gmail or Google Docs – easily from any computer anytime. Means we don’t have to keep it all locally and remember to back it up.

At the very bottom of this TechCrunch article you see what Apple is doing in leveraging API access through their cloud to third parties like Pandora. Pandora and others like them essentially become sales outlets for people who listen to music and want to buy a copy. Pandora is all about sharing in a social space. Nice.
Not mentioned in this article is the following …The Apple Tablet is coming soon (most likely) and this is going to be interesting to watch from both a product launch perspective as everyone has been yammering about and from a social change perspective. Yes there is a point to this. Hang on.
Here’s what I know from years of experience: Tablet devices will always have limited memory locally because they rely on memory stored over the Internet. And more obvious a point is why keep multiple copies of your iTunes library on different machines when you can simply access your Library in the cloud from any computer? In particular, devices like a Tablet are designed to depend on the ’net for everything. They’re an extension of the always-connected, on-demand world we’re making possible with these new enterprise cloud infrastructures. It’s the basis of the new economy (more on that later).
Eliminating large amounts of local memory on the device gives the hardware manufacturer the ability to design devices with a different emphasis. Memory is typically one of the most expensive pieces of any system, next to the CPU and the display. If you can significantly reduce the cost (and maintenance) of large local memory devices, then you can allocate more of the design budget toward improving the user interface or spending more on a faster CPU or more advanced display technology.
Typical PC-based netbooks focus on a product strategy of lowest price points. If you can build a tablet computer with very little memory, you can sell the thing for less. Period. However, Apple takes a leap and says they’ll invest that leftover budget money into making the device work differently – really differently – while still fitting nicely in their product line.
Over the next 3-5 years the new electronic mobile product space is simply going to be amazing with these new design trade-offs. We just can’t fully see how radically different everything is going to be as we backfill so many business environments with social business strategies and IT infrastructures in the clouds, all interconnecting in ways we’ve never imagined possible. Think about things – consider video production or architectural design packages that are currently run as huge desktop-based applications, islands unto to themselves. They have no interconnection with accounting, project management or marketing and so forth. This will all change as application developers see how to interconnect these applications in the clouds to create a graceful pipeline of data exchanged between applications across different departments of a business.  Now sharing information about a project is easier by a long shot. Making views of it touchable on a Tablet – easy enough now as the data accessible regardless of the device.
This sharing of information and personal sharing of hardware is the new direction for 2010. Software vendors from different systems never had a common, proven way to achieve this, much less a financial reason to do so. Now vendors will have both in thousands of business environments around the world. This kind of global change has never occured before – both a technical and social wave at once.
Think of it like this, we’ve been catering to the ME generation, and this is the move to the new WE generation. Why do you think the Nutendo Wii box has been so popular lately in a family/friends home environment? It’s a game you share. More to come with this trend.  Wait until you hook up Wii’s in the clouds with other families … or you place with others on Guitar Hero or maybe both games could interact with each other. See where this is going?
2010 is going to be quite an interesting decade of developments that impacts each of us as well as the ‘all’ of us.
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