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The Return of Reader Responses

We haven't done this in a while, so we're going to drop in a little reader feedback today. We've been a bit low on e-mails lately -- presumably readers are busy yanking their 401K money out of the market or stockpiling non-perishable foods -- so please feel free to contribute on any topic any time to lpender@rcpmag.com.

What that out of the way, we go to Don, who's not wild about the District of Columbia switching to Google Apps:

"I have a serious problem with using Google Apps in the Government situation as you write about. SaaS means using an active Internet connection as we all know, and who knows what information is sent back and forth while in an open session? I can also see the day where terrorist attacks will happen as part of an Internet data scheme rendering the pipes useless. Won't it just be grand that our entire world can't work because the SaaS package can't contact the authentication server to open the package or even open? Our government is already so counter productive maybe this is a perfect match."

Don, our vision of SaaS is somewhat less apocalyptic than yours, but we completely understand your concerns about security. (Of course, just sending documents via e-mail has its perils ... but we do see your point.) Security and privacy are huge issues for the whole SaaS model and are probably holding back adoption of it at this point.

It's hard to say what'll do more to change people's minds: demonstrations of big SaaS implementations that haven't given way to security problems or big service lapses over thousands of hours of use, or a general change in attitude shifting away from the importance of having data on-premises rather than in the cloud. Our guess is that the first will eventually lead to the second -- but we haven't forgotten that SaaS essentially failed in a former incarnation called the ASP model. Still, we think that SaaS will eventually (continue to) be a winner for smaller businesses and easily outsource-able operations of bigger ones. We completely agree with your view of the government, though.

What would a RCPU reader response session be without a Vista e-mail? Our good friend, Mike, sent us one about a month (or could it be six weeks?) ago that we never ran -- but we still like it, so here it is. Mike offers words of wisdom for Microsoft regarding Windows 7:

"An analogy: ME is to the 1990s as Vista is to the 2000s. Hopefully Microsoft will have learned a lesson with Vista that it seemed they learned with ME, but apparently forgot. They need to create what the users need and want, communicate all the benefits clearly, make sure to address potential compatibility issues or concerns as an integral part of the development, and finally, develop a clear understanding of why the new OS is needed.  It can't appear that the reason for upgrading is weighted heavily in Microsoft's favor. Sure, they should make money -- they do a darn good job of that -- but they need to do a better job of selling it. The days of people beating down the doors of their nearest retailer at 12:01 a.m. for the latest GA'd Microsoft product are behind all of us. The apparent arrogance of the Vista release should have proven that."

So true, Mike, so true. As always. We need more fuel for the reader fire, folks! Dump some at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 10/16/2008 at 1:22 PM


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