The cloud compute platforms have been rubbing against each other for several years. Presently, the clouds are forming quicker and the lightning strikes are starting to appear. For example, Amazon recently launched free cloud compute resources for a year and Microsoft’s Bob Muglia took some strikes at the IBM cloud recently.
Where will the next strike occur? Not sure, but given the fact that many different cloud platforms are forming and this market will continue to evolve and segment over time (and there are many angles of attack depending on the target customer set), I suspect increasing friction will occur and many more strikes as well!
I proposed a term “Anything As a Service” (XAAS, pronounced Zass) almost 5 years ago as the services in the cloud were forming. Perhaps the better term now should be pronounced “Zap” (XAAP, anything as a platform). This term would better align with the sound of the upcoming lightning strikes as the emerging clouds rub up against each other before they finally differentiate for specific customer segments over time.