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At first they ignored the iPod, and it looked plausible
Then they laughed at the iPhone, and it looked ignorant
Then they dismissed the iPad, and it looked ridiculous
Finally, the iCloud arrived
And the board woke up.

(OK, that last line was pure fiction).

It is a testimony to how far Microsoft’s stock has fallen – no I don’t mean just their stock price here – that no one seems to remember Ray Ozzie’s Software-plus-Services marketing slogan anymore. I was reminded of that when I watched Steve Jobs announce the iCloud and how that spells the end of the PC. I must say he didn’t just say the end of the PC – he helpfully added “the Mac” too, but he is just being polite and everyone knows what he has in mind. Of course, we at Zoho don’t have to tell you that the era of billions of cloud connected devices suits us very well, thank you. It is everything we have been working on for the past 6 years. 

With Apple training us in our capacity as consumers to expect our data to be just there in every device we work on, we as business users will expect the same convenience from all our apps. We are accelerating our R&D at Zoho to deliver that ubiquitous access, everywhere, in every device, through the web and through native apps when necessary. It is telling that the one platform where we are not planning any native apps is the same one that gave meaning to the words “software platform”.

The iCloud should be Microsoft’s dream, except that Steve Jobs has turned that into their nightmare. 
Some time ago, it used to be that Microsoft’s entry on a particular space validated it. But it was not Office365 that “validated” the cloud. Rather, it is Apple’s iCloud announcement what finally brought the cloud to the mainstream public. Of course, it took Apple to take a mouthful of a marketing phrase such as Software-plus-Services and turn it into something small, tight and cool.

How a company with so many strategic assets would manage to piss their seemingly insurmountable advantage away in a decade should be a business school case study. Hopefully Stanford Business School would award Ballmer his long unfinished MBA for showing us how it’s done. 

  1. zohoid

    So what apps have Zoho made to embrace this revolution? Zoho Notebook App? Zoho Projects App? Zoho Planner App?

  2. jluttwak

    Agree- and further – with more of us on icloud now needing it for communications – for iphone, and for mac, it would be really great if zoho played nice with icloud, or at least with mac for address book syncing (zoho CRM)

  3. Bethany

    I must agree. At least give us a target date when we can expect an iPad app so that we don’t invest in other products and give up on Zoho entirely.

  4. Ram

    Sounds all good in words, but hardly see any action from Zoho to move into tablet/mobile platforms. You guys revolutionized the pre-tablet era (2006-2010?) with rocking webapps. Now mobile/tablets apps are taking over, and the bus is leaving plain vanilla webapps.I used to use Zoho pretty much for everything when I was at my desktop, but after getting the iPad, I started migrating my data (subconsciously) to whatever apps which connected both worlds (ipad and desktop), and even forgot all about Zoho… so every few months I come back to check if Zoho has an app for ZohoNotebook, ZohoProjects, ZohoPlanner… zilch. Its been more 1.5 years the most revolutionary device is in the market, and still Zoho doesn’t even offer a basic notebook on iPad.

  5. Adam Stone

    Good points. That is a lot of insight for such a small number of words.