Feeds

Developer heads are in the cloud, Andreessen says

Build a platform and they will come

The essential guide to IT transformation

Marc Andreessen predicts a future where systems companies like Sun Microsystems see their volume businesses shrink and massive online services providers become prime customers.

Andreessen, who helped launch the internet revolution through his work at Netscape Communications and on the Mosaic browser, said developers will flock to Salesforce.com, Amazon and eBay and companies of their ilk because they provide the operating system and server infrastructure as a platform so that developers can focus on building software and services.

Appearing at the Salesforce.com developer launch in San Francisco, Andreessen said the industry is in a phase where these providers have begun delivering on-demand development services, such as Amazon's S3 and Salesforce.com's Force.com. This follows previous years' work where the companies made their APIs (application programming interfaces) publicly available.

Speaking in the wake of Sun's $1bn acquisition of MySQL to drive its server business, and of Oracle's capture of BEA, a middleware competitor, Andreessen said this new wave is attracting thousands of start-ups and creating a challenge for such "historical platform vendors".

Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com's chief executive, hosting Salesforce.com's development day, called BEA's acquisition the end of an era and proof that on-demand is the future. "The industry needs a new kind of application server, a new kind of pricing model... [this] is the way things are going to go."

According to Andreessen, Sun sees its future as a supplier to start-ups such as his latest venture, the social network Ning - a self-confessed "big" customer of Sun. "The total aggregate of customers might shrink a lot but if you can get Google, Salesforce or Amazon, then there is quite a bit of growth," he said.

"From a developer standpoint, we are a big developer building the Ning platform on those old-style platforms and represent a new style platform to our developers and users, so our users never deal with the operating system."

Reflecting on his days growing up, Andreessen said he could never have got started if he'd worried about which middleware, operating systems or server to pick.®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.