I love this – at the Salesforce.com mega conference in London, Marc Beniof stated that;

We think Web 3.0 is now upon us. It’s the era of platforms….New platforms are coming right out of the cloud. It’s time to make a choice. You can continue to build your applications in the software model or you can move your applications to the new model of cloud computing. There is a new way to build your applications.

Now I’m firmly in the camp that says it’s inconsequential (and a waste of time) spending time defining exactly what web 1.0 2.0 and 3.0 really are, but it’s interesting that Beniof believes PaaS to be quite so game changing. I have to say that salesforce’s own PaaS offering would be significantly more game changing if it was more economically proced but there yu have it.

An interesting development, and one covered more by Phil over here, is the opening up of the platforms. As Phil says;

One of the most striking aspects of Benioff’s new message is that it’s no longer about trying to get everyone using Salesforce.com’s platform. Showing a slide with logos from 21 different PaaS providers, he acknowledges the emerging diversity of the PaaS landscape: “The hallmark of all these platforms of a service is that different ones serve different markets and different developers.” Facebook serves the consumer, Amazon targets LAMP stack developers, Google App Engine is for Python developers, while Force.com serves the enterprise market, he explains.

This is a marked change from the old paradigm exemplified by Microsoft, whose success has been predicated on grabbing a near-monopoly with its Windows desktop platform. In stark contrast, as Benioff goes on to point out, on the Web it’s easy to combine platforms, for example mashing up Facebook and Force.com functionality. “Unlike the old platforms where you had to choose which one to get locked into, you have a lot more flexibiity and a lot more freedom,” he says.

Interesting, and more open, times.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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