iCloud’s real purpose: kill Windows – Cringely on technology

Having been shown the way by Apple, I expect Google to shortly do the same thing, adding automated backup, synchronization and migration to Android and Chrome.

Both companies will be grabbing for data, claiming territory, and leaving Microsoft alone to defend a desktop that will soon cease to exist.

And what happens once all our data is in that iCloud, is there any easy way to get it back out? Nope. It’s in there forever and we are captive customers — trapped more completely than Microsoft ever imagined.

Apple and Google will compete like crazy for our data because once they have it we’ll be their customers forever.

This transition will take at most two hardware generations and we’re talking mobile generations, which means three years, total.

With no mobile market share to speak of and Windows 8 not due until 2013, Microsoft is likely to be too late to the party, with much of Redmond’s market cap transplanted eventually to Apple and Google.

Some will say this is unlikely because of Microsoft’s grip on enterprise sales, but consumers have been leading the IT market for the last decade and the mobile transition will only accelerate this trend.

The quicker Microsoft can turn itself into IBM the better for Redmond, because that appears to be their only chance.

I think this is right on point. Apple and Google are succeeding not because their products are better but because they connect to all the services in ways that matter. There was a great clip posted on GigaOm in the last couple of days from MacWorld in 1997 where Steve Jobs talked about living with all his data shared in the cloud. Apple really has made the devices, and now are putting in place the services, where that’s possible.

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