Thin, Baby, Thin!

To help me travel, I've just bought a Netbook - an Archos 10. About £240 in the Dixons at Heathrow on Friday. Its small, black, has 1gb ram, 160gb hard drive, a webcam, mike and speakers. Its as easy to use Skype on this as it is on the macbook.

Operating system wise, it came with XP. No worries. And at the airport (having some four hours to kill - but that is most definately another story - I loaded it up. It even had a 'Download Symphony' icon on the desktop when I booted it up, which was cool. I stuck Notes 8.5 on there, and thought to myself - why not. I stuck the full blown overweight hog that is 8.5 standard on the thing. And you know, it works really well. In fact, its as fast as it is on my MacBook Pro - which gives you a clue how slow Notes 8.5 on the Mac is. And its a guilty pleasure not having to run vmware to design a damn agent again. Still, I can imagine that the folks over in Lotus will probably do designer for Linux first, just to piss off us mac fanboys..

This wee netbook runs on its tiny little battery for 4+ hours, and can be opened on that tiniest of things - a British Airways seat. So for the first time in a long time - certainly since BA started listening to its accountants rather than its customers - I could do stuff. Nice.

I also feel that this is the sort of thing that I can leave in a bar in London, and not have to hire security to prevent my death by SWMBO afterwards.

All I have to do is guarantee a nice internet connection wherever I am - not difficult these days - and use cloud-based collaboration. Even the mega-corporate current-customer is migrating all users from physical machines to virtual machines, and just providing thin clients on each desk. Which is cool.

Times are a changing, it would appear. We're now retreating from a 'fat, independent client' landscape, and heading back to a 'thin, centralised IT' one. Difference is that the infrastructure is no longer provided or maintained in-house (unless you are huge or rich or secure). Interesting times for all of us, transitioning from these customer installed services to cloud-based services.

Interesting for the folks over at IBM. Their cloud offering is marketed so badly, it actually causes a black-hole. And of course their customer hosted infrastructure collaboration software hasnt been marketed in 10 years (and will probably never be marketed)., leading customers to conclude that its legacy. Harsh, but I cant change that. God knows I've tried.

So who's going to lead the market in two years ? MS have the market sentiment right now with Sharepoint, despite its universal mauling as technically difficult (but then so was Notes 3.x, right ?). Google Wave is looking very interesting indeed. And I see our friends over at Adobe have just released Flex 4 beta. VMWare have just released v4 of their ESX products - including an updated version of the free tooling - ESX. Go check this stuff out.

An easily provisioned server mesh delivered in-house on ESX, proving google Wave style services, to clients running Adobe Flex, is an interesting, relatively open and quickly deployed solution. Interesting times indeed.