Adam & Krishan Got Me Motivated Today… to toss the trash conversations

I was speaking with Krishan Subramanian (@krishnan) and Adam Seligman (@adamse) today. I love talking to these guys. They’re both … More

Windows Live Microsoft Word Document UX vs. Google Docs UX

Before even getting to the point of writing a document, there are very distinct user experiences (UX). I have my own preferences, but I am very curious what others think.

When somebody decides to create a new Microsoft Word Document in the Windows Live Site on their Skydrive they’re presented with this interface.

Windows Live Skydrive Microsoft Word Document (Click for full size image)
To start typing in the prospective document you much choose your security, enter a document name, and save the document. It assumes that you absolutely want a unique name, will have a document viewable by the entire Internet, and that you have to save it just to start.

In Google Docs though the approach is entirely different. When you create a new Google Document you are presented with the actual document interface as shown.

Google Docs Interface (Click for larger image)
Google Docs assumes that you want to immediately start typing your word processor document. It also assumes you may not know what you want to name the file, nor that you even need to actually save it, until you of course start typing. At that time the document starts to automatically save. It also assumes that this is your document and you don’t want the entire world to be able to view the document.

So I’m left with questions:

Which interface do people really prefer?
Do people prefer to start typing immediately or filling out the three pieces of information like the MS Word Doc requires?
One appears to allow for immediate productivity for the document creator vs. the other one. Is that just my observation or do others see it that way also?
Please let me know your two cents, I’m truly curious about which UX works out better for you.

Overloaded to Death, “Cloud” Computing is Dead

I’ve gotten to a point where I won’t argue it anymore. The word Cloud as defined on Wikipedia

“location-independent computing, whereby shared servers provide resources, software, and data tocomputers and other devices on demand, as with the electricity grid. Cloud computing is a natural evolution of the widespread adoption of virtualization, service-oriented architecture and utility computing. Details are abstracted from consumers, who no longer have need for expertise in, or control over, the technology infrastructure “in the cloud” that supports them.”
has been overloaded to such a large degree that it doesn’t actually mean anything anymore. Cloud computing has become a casualty of marketing hype. Utility computing, service oriented architecture, virtualization, and other things still have meaning, but cloud computing really is lost. We have cloud services in Office 365, which isn’t particularly stored or operated from the cloud. We have vertically distributed, geographically dependent databases & other services with are called cloud, but also don’t meet the basic definition above. We have private cloud computing, which also is a perversion of the definition above. Basically the term cloud has been stuck onto anything technology related. Your phone, your website, your car, your everything is now all of a sudden supposed to be provided by the cloud.

In laymen’s terms, “The cloud is bullshit.”

The Confusions of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS

The Confusions of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS

IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS stand for Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service respectively. But what exactly is the context & definition of each of these acronyms? The simple definitions Iā€™ve included below.

IaaS ā€“ A service provided by a company, group, community, or government that provides basic computer networking, load balancing, content delivery networks, routing, commodity data storage, and virtualized operating system hosting.
PaaS ā€“ A service provided by a company, group, community, or government that provides a platform in which to develop software applications, usually web based, with immediate abstractions of the underlying infrastructure.
SaaS ā€“ A service provided by a company, group, community, or government that provides a software solution to the system clients. The software may be internal to a business, delivered by other means, or most commonly delivered over the Internet.

My Current Windows Development Machine Software Stack

I recently did a clean install of Windows 7 64-bit. It had been a really long time since I listed the current tools, SDKs, and frameworks that I’ve been using. Thus here’s my entourage of software that I use on a regular basis that is installed on my primary development machines.