On the Risks of Building Applications Entirely for Cloud Computing

As I write this post I’m traveliing to a client engagement via air, and have no access to the Internet. On a flight like this one (I’ll be aloft for 5+ hours), I can get a lot of the writing I need completed, so my attention can be fully focused on my client’s needs once I arrive at the engagement (a Developer conference). But Microsoft’s OneNote product is not helping me to get my work done.

While I’m very enthused about Microsoft’s newly reorganized business model, and the widespread use of its SharePoint collaboration/enterprise document management/Intranet computing solution, I’m not keen, at all, on OneNote. I need to mention the opinion of one of my clients, who is very enthused about the product. But my client used to be a software developer and, evidently, is more adept at making his way through the features of OneNote. On the other hand, I can’t find out how to use the product, despite watching the Office video tutorial. What’s even worse is what I take to be the contagion represented by the original Windows 8 operating system and its much publicized summary dismissal of the “Start Button”, which was no where to be found in the first version of this new O/S.

The OneNote 2013 version of this disease is a complete absence of a “Save” button. I couldn’t save my work. After all, I’m aloft with no access to the Internet. While I can be sympathetic with the Microsoft developers who, striving to build a “nothing but cloud” application, assumed users would be “always on” the Internet, or, perhaps, something else, I’ve got to say the lack of a “Save” button makes no sense at all and should be fixed right away.

When I tried to add a new notebook, the new notebook I added was somehow disconnected from my work space, so I couldn’t save my work to it. All of this is not good new. I’ll take my client’s word on the great value represented by OneNote, but I can’t personally attest to it. I simply can’t figure it out, at all.

I’m concerned with this kind of over zealous attention to a new direction, on the part of Microsoft. While the problems, with regard to OneNote may be laughable, the same approach with regards to bigger ticket products like SQL Server, SharePoint, or Lync can, inadvertently, produce a disaster. In fact, wasn’t this the problem with the original launch of Windows 8?

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved

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