Adobe and Sears Aim for Cloud Prominence
When it rains, it pours. On the coattails of Google’s Drive cloud announcement rides word that two other companies, one predictable and the other mildly surprisingly, have made up their minds to clear their own cloud computing pathways. Is this sudden urge to jump on cloud’s bandwagon indicative of its newly cemented position as “relevant and here to stay,” or merely a maneuver by financially rather flaccid groups to make a quick payday? Your answer to this is as good as mine.
Vanguard software company Adobe is finally, finally making a move on the cloud, no doubt stirred by well publicized products from Apple and Microsoft. The producer of Photoshop and Flash is now introducing Creative Suite 6, the most recent edition of its claim-to-fame software package for designer and developers on the Internet. Where the cloud goes, a monetized catch seems to follow; Adobe has decided to offer Creative Suite 6 as a subscription-based component of its Creative Cloud offering, now available for pre-orders.
For $50 a year, or $75 a month sans contract, Creative Suite 6 users will be entitled to download, install, and access Flash, Acrobat, Illustrator, indeed the entire gamut of Adobe’s software output, from any computer of their choosing. Alternatively, users may cherry-pick their favorite programs to enjoy a la carte. (Cheaper pricing is offered to already existing customers, in addition to students, teachers, and business teams.)
Remember “the softer side of Sears?” Once one of the catchiest tag-lines in history, it now only serves as the location of the sales figures for the erstwhile retail juggernaut. Indeed, the company’s salad days came to an end long ago. But in an effort to rebuild its stature and reclaim its relevance, Sears is making like Adobe and hotfooting it to the cloud.
Its recently purchased subsidiary, MetaScale, will now look to corner the market on remote data management. In an effort to either warmly introduce the new venture, or to save face after more than a decade of business ennui, Sears claims, via its reps, to consider MetaScale as a logical continuation of its recent focus on Infrastructure-as-a-Service.
Like much of Sears’ activities of late, many of MetaScale’s terms of operation remain shrouded in mystery. Its clients, its fees, its revenue prospects, and its size of workforce have (purposefully?) not yet been clarified. What does come across, clear as a bell, is Sears’ obvious inspiration for its MetaScale cloud endeavor: Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).
Will MetaScale match its forerunner in impact? We’ll have to eventually see its softer side to tell.
By Jeff Norman