Forbes Releases Cloudy View of Cloud Computing

by: Dennis Byron

Be careful of a June 16 analysis of cloud computing in Forbes called "The Emerging Cloud Wars." To both paraphrase and turn around a quote attributed to about a dozen famous people when googled,

"investors who don't understand history won't get to relive it" (that is, they won't make a bundle when some cloud computing startup goes public).

First, the authors say EMC does not understand cloud computing but VMware (NYSE:VMW) does. That has to make you suspicious of the rest of the article.

Then, in the conclusion, the authors say,

"Without the burden of legacy businesses, companies like these (some no-name cloud computing startups) are building solutions from the ground up, optimized for the new world, and we expect to see more of them coming to market in the next few years. ... BEA and a number of other billion-dollar companies all got started this way."

Actually, no. BEA was a company like no other in terms of being burdened with legacy businesses at its beginning. Taking over legacy enterprise software businesses was actually its startup strategy. It acquired AT&T (NYSE:T) -- the real ATT&T, not today's facsimile -- TUXEDO distributors. TUXEDO was already about 20 years old at the time and was not taking off in terms of competing with IBM CICS for the billion-dollar online transaction processing monitor market.

The cloud computing market -- I don't even consider it a market but that's grist for another post -- is already dominated by the big guys -- EMC, IBM, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL). And it has been so dominated by the big guys for years before all but IBM even existed. It was called utility computing, the vision the Forbes authors foresee is really way, way back in the rear view mirror.

If anyone is going to break through it would be Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) but I think Amazon's going to sour of its tangential efforts in IT eventually and concentrate on what it does well, sell stuff to consumers. The no names mentioned in the article are just hoping to be acquired by one of these big guys.

Disclosure: none.