It suddenly came to my mind, that the shift for SaaS, Clouds and all other fashionable technologies popped out, possibly, due to pirates’ activity. Yes, exactly those who are always complaining that a bunch of bytes cannot cost money. Look, those who create content need to earn from that, so they thought up, say, Cloud, to take money not for bytes, but for granting access to them. Just imagine the nearest future: user has a piece of hardware, given to him for free or for a minimal cost (those who want to tell me it’s a nonsense should recall iPhone which in many cases was sold for $1 and a huge contract). The device has some software inside (who wrote the code for it know but geeks like me: no one is interested was it MS, Apple or someone addicted to FSF), which in its turn just grants access to cloud apps. Moreover, the device doesn’t even have local storage, because it assumes the user to have communications sufficient to deliver any content quick and in high quality (not Sci-Fi today) and a contract with unlimited traffic. And the contract is the thing of interest in this idea:
1) The Basic one grants you right to call, surf and, say, to store 1Gig of data in the cloud.
2) More advanced contract in addition to the first one lets the user create and listen to a playlist of a hundred tracks at a time. Any tracks, but only a hundred. User wants to add new song – he or she has to remove an old one.
3) More expensive contract gives the user ability to create 3 playlists with three hudred songs in each.
4) An option to the contract gives the person right to download and play (oh no! We don’t have storage anymore… Then only play) any game on a game console… Only one game. Want to play another – pay more, or delete previous.
5) The Very Cool Plan will include ability to share the content above with some friends.
And so on, and so forth. That will be on a monthly payment, for example, what may appear to be cheaper or more expensive then buying the things. But it will be definitely more convenient and will create financial flow to the creators of the content. At the same time pirates will have not much to do and it will be quite complicated “to do”. For example, speaking of movies, what will be left to pirates are screen copies or getting the signal from inside a TV, where it (signal) goes to the screen. Moreover, pirate will be able to play the content only after hacking the device what will automatically lead to inability to use legal content (like in case of XBox).
To sum up: may be they are pirates, who rule us into clouds with an iron hand… =)