What both initiatives indicate is that developers, no matter how theoretically superior the PaaS model that allows a higher level of abstraction, stubbornly continue to adhere to an OS-based virtual machine approach to developing and deploying applications. In a way, it's not surprising. The most expensive capital in the world is human capital. Once skills get built, humans are loathe to relinquish them. All the developers on the planet has grown up in an OS-based world, and they're not going to march over to PaaS overnight. They're going to stick with what they know and love, and they're not going to give it up for what might turn out to be a flash in the pan.
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AWS understood this perfectly, launched a service aimed at this developer pool and reaped the benefit. While Microsoft and Google insisted that developers would eventually come around, AWS developed such a following that its momentum is immense-and, from the perspective of its competitors, terrifying. As one knowledgeable observer said to me: "AWS is the new Wintel, but it's both Microsoft and Intel." If you're up against that, you're right to be concerned.
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However, Microsoft and Google have now changed the competitive landscape. I expect that what will result will be amazing. Here are four reasons why.
1. The commodity cloud approach is legitimized.While the enterprise cloud providers could denigrate AWS as the inadequate offering of a mere bookseller, that kind of disdain is going to be much harder to convincingly put across about Microsoft and Google. With three major commodity providers&mdash'and with tons of momentum and money-the enterprise players will struggle to differentiate and gain attention. When an enterprise end user has three commodity providers to select from to host its application, how can you get on the shortlist?
2. Intense commodity cloud price competition. As the only real player in this space over the past five years, AWS has blissfully enjoyed a competition-free zone. That's soon going to change. When multiple suppliers compete in a commodity market, prices drop quickly and inexorably. All three players have plenty of financial firepower, and they'll bring it to bear on pricing.
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