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
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.