Thursday, August 07, 2008
Software Commodification & Zoho
It seems as if we are entering the time when everyday basic applications (email, wordprocessing, spreadsheet, presentation tools, conference tools, wikis, etc) are rapidly becoming commodities. Not just in the sense that they are ubiquitous and commonly usd, but in the way they are produced and sold. Zoho is company who is apparently doing this. They don't strive for uniqueness or innovativeness necessarily, instead they focus on the production process, the time to market of new features, and all as cheap as possible. Maybe they are the Wal-Mart of everyday applications. Here is an interesting article comparing Zoho with Microsoft and Google. At the same time the open source movement is also producing the same commodities even "cheaper", like OpenOffice. Maybe we will soon not care who made our applications except for the connoisseurs! Regular people will just buy the cheapest application or service out there, since they basically all do the same thing in bascially the same way. My concern is that maybe everyday applications are becoming commodities too early. Maybe this leaves us with no new radical designs when it comes to the applications we use the most and depend on the most..or...?