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July 31, 2009

Keeping us rooted but reaching for the clouds

BOSTON, USA – In this last of my catch-up link round-ups, I want to focus on more general industry items. These links do show a bit of what I find most interesting, such as cloud computing, entrepreneurship, and the future of mobile.

But I cheat a bit: two links point to pages chock-full of links and analysis, two pages showing the best collection of thinking out there. Of course, you need to read on to find those links below.

Head in the clouds
I’ve mentioned Jolicloud before, the netbook OS that puts Web services at the forefront. It’s the leading edge of how netbooks are transforming the way folks use mobile internet-powered devices, where everything is in the cloud and computers are just windows on the cloud.

Ars Technica has a hands-on review of a very early release of Jolicloud. The reviewer was not impressed, but gives a good description of what comes with this release. Go read the article to see what the future of internet-powered computers is going to be like.

As solid as a cloud?
But do you really want everything in the cloud? A recent incident with Twitter reminds us that even the most savvy can watch their lives go up in vapor. Bruce Eric Anderson, from Dell’s Digital Nomads site, uses Twitter’s misfortune as a word of warning for power-users with everything online, that the more we move things to the cloud, the more we need to pay attention to security.

Does the cloud worry you?

And, of course, if it’s all going into the cloud, there’s that dark underbelly of the mobile Web: data. Bruce has another article where he mentions a Strategy Analytics report that suggests that almost 50 per cent of Americans would drop their mobile data plan if faced with economic hardship, compared to 10 per cent dropping their fixed broadband.


What does the future hold?
In all my time in this industry, we’ve been told to look at the Japanese for what the future holds. They’ve led in mobile e-mail capabilities, cameraphones, 3G, and mobile TV, among other things.

Via Core77, I found an article in the New York Times exploring why, despite such advances, Japanese handsets are not players in the global handset market.

To me, it’s a lesson that the market is fickle and certain areas of the ecosystem might be locally rich and very developed, but can’t survive outside of their special fertile conditions. Also, dominance in this industry is no guarantee you will be in the right place when the market turns.

There are a ton of folks, much smarter than me, who spend a lot of time trying to understand where the market is going. For example, Tom Hume, who runs a mobile design firm, posted his notes from the Mobile 2.0 conference. I was there last year, and am disappointed I did not return, since this year’s seemed bigger and better.

Such events, that bring together thinkers and doers like Tom, are critical to the future of mobile. They are focused on getting small companies to come out and mingle with thinkers and money folk to drive the industry further. Indeed, Rudy de Waele, one of the Mobile 2.0 organizers, recently launched a social business network to accelerate the mixing and matching of good companies.

It’s all a carnival
And, speaking of mixing and matching, there’s an old series of link round-ups that put my round-ups to shame. It’s called The Carnival of Mobilists, a group of writers who rotate each week (this week it was at Idlemode), rounding up the best articles from the group. I enjoy following it, since the range of thinking covers all aspects of the industry. I highly recommend it for your weekly dose of mobile wisdom.

Have a great weekend!

Image from Kathryn,