Getting off Apple and going all Google has increased my respect for both companies. I've come to realize that the very best mobile experience right now is built on a foundation of Google services on Apple hardware. I wish only that these two companies could get along better, and that Apple will allow more Google integration on the iPhone.
Coding in the cloud
If development is being democratized, then there needs to be a change in the way we access and use development tools.
The last decade has seen the web become a richer, more dynamic place. HTML 5 tools and techniques have given us complex user interfaces and large scale business applications. Tools like Google Docs and Microsoft’s Office Web Apps have shown we can use the web for productivity. So why not use the same technologies to deliver a development environment?
Web-based development tools have been around a long time – as long as there have been forms with text boxes. Some, like Yahoo! Pipes, have been visual programming environments that graphically show connections between web APIs, with tools for adding scripts to transform input and output, while others, like Salesforce’s development tooling, have allowed you to add scripts to existing web services, letting you customize them to fit in with your business processes.
Now, the two trends have met. There’s a new generation of web-based and hosted development tools that give you the rich design, editing, and testing experience of a desktop IDE, while running in a modern browser – for free, or for a low-cost subscription. If you want to build a quick web app to solve a pressing business need, all you need is a browser – and possibly a credit card.
There’s a base free service, designed for public application development, and a $12/month service that lets you work privately. Apps can be deployed to cloud platforms like Azure and Heroku, and you can link projects to source code management tools like git.
New data visualization apps for Excel 2013 could help Microsoft hang on to customers looking for better data visualization tools.
Surface has been a stiff so far, but Microsoft reportedly has big expectations for its next fiscal year. Here's why the company may not be crazy.
Brandon Porco, the chief technologist for defense contractor Northrop Grumman, says that IT will have to try lots of different things and move quickly to keep abreast of evolving employee needs. "Google has it very well-patterned: Launch and iterate."
Although Apple is often accused of not being an enterprise company, it's only in the last few years that Apple has abandoned its enterprise-oriented products. The real story may be that Apple's discovered that making enterprise-focused efforts simply don't deliver a huge return on investment.