Next-generation mobile is all about the cloud

The cloud businesses need is a cross between RIM's BlackBerry network and Apple's MobileMe -- and completely standards-based

But let's not think about that. One cool thing about clouds is that they are inherently interconnected. An iPhone-to-iPhone message is delivered more or less immediately through MobileMe. A message sent from my iPhone to my BlackBerry shoots from Apple's cloud to RIM's like lightning. iPhone and BlackBerry are full cloud peers with regard to e-mail. Similarly, if I add one of my ActiveSync-equipped, Exchange or Windows Live-connected Windows Mobile handsets to the recipient list of the message I send from my iPhone, the Windows Mobile handset will receive it in seconds rather than minutes. This isn't the result of a secret pact among Apple, RIM, and Microsoft (as if). It isn't cloud-to-cloud notification, although that will come when users demand it. Any push-capable client is a maximum of two cloud hops away from any other push-capable client. Mail servers that serve push clients deliver or relay inbound messages immediately rather than holding them in a queue that is processed at intervals.

As always happens when I set out to bring meaning to some fuzzy word, I end up concluding that whatever it is, if people need it, the technology or concept won't need a separate term to define it for long. Once you have clouds notifying clouds and private sub-clouds within public or enterprise clouds, there is no cloud, just peer-to-peer messaging. There are adaptable standards for rapid re-establishment of broken authenticated TCP connections, multi-channel streams to support interleaved notification during payload transfer (if we stay in a one socket per client model), and transparent reliable delivery. There are standards covering address book and calendar data representation and handset/desktop synchronization. All of the ingredients needed to make a services-rich global cloud are in the public domain. It's a matter of shedding the legacy baggage of clumsy session-oriented protocols and transports that were optimized for dial-up and time-metered networks. Clients would have to get smarter, but commercial users are already there. Cloud? What cloud?

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computingmobile phones

Show Comments
<img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//"/>