I don’t know exactly when, but sometime in the the last decade I stopped understanding people that are attached to physical things. Nowadays I live in a “more is less” state of mind, and that also translates to software.
I’ve been using e-mail for a long time, but since the rise of Hotmail (shame) and my posterior conversion to Gmail, I never used “rich” e-mail clients by choice, always prefereing the web version (at the risk of not following corporate policy to the T), even when they weren’t as good as they are today, at least when we consider Gmail. Downloading and keeping software was always such a hassle and the web option was always easier, simpler, more accessible, backup-free and, usually, as available as I needed.
Over the years I saw the same phenomemon happen on other apps, like text processors, project management, source control and even spreadsheets. I believe migrating from Windows to Linux and then “forced” into Mac OS, made me realize that it was much more comfortable to use the same app in a browser than finding replacements for each platform, and I was seldomly disappointed.
Today we call a part of this “the cloud”, and it expanded beyond web applications to infrastructure, like compute power and network, mobile and everything in the middle.
I’m a firm believer that the cloud is key to rationalize resource usage while providing increased productivity and flexibility, allowing us to tackle problems in ways that were impossible in the “old world”. It, of course, brings along new problems, but that’s fair trade.
A big chunk of our future will be defined and improved by what happens on the cloud space and I think it’s wise to keep an eye on it to avoid stumbling along the way. Mind the cloud.