Marc Benioff (of Salesforce.com) has a thought-provoking piece on TechCrunch the future of software, emphasisizing, unsurprisingly, the cloud, and surprisingly, the iPad.
I have not yet seen or used the iPad but i agree with most of Marc's points. I have stated that I think the iPad is being discounted using the laptop/smartphone paradigm, and that seems to me like a mistake. The iPad will open new doors to creativity, similar to what Flash, iPhone and Facebook enabled. And the new form factor will allow for uses not thought of right now.
And the fact that it's an Apple product will allow it to make it past Geoffrey Moore's bowling alley. Many paradigm shift potentials get stuck there and the iPad will coast past it. That's the Apple factor.
However, the most interesting part of Benioff's post is this for me:
In 1999, I was obsessed with the question, “Why isn’t all enterprise
software like Amazon.com? And in 2010, the question evolved: “Why isn’t
all enterprise software like Facebook?” This week we will have the
answer to that question in our hands with the iPad. It’s a more
productive, easier, and fun way to work and live. The iPad shows us the
old world is no longer good enough. We’ll need new software with a new
The last statement I agree with, and am excited about. And the iPad is a product that certainly makes Benioff's statement possible and credible.