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Salesforce CEO Benioff: Future Software Will Look Like Facebook

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the farmville-was-just-the-beginning dept.

Facebook 156

Nerval's Lobster writes "Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is unapologetic about his love for Facebook. 'I think all software is going to look like Facebook,' he told media and analysts at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. 'Everyone is going to have to rewrite to have a feed-based platform.' If people can collaborate on tagging a photo, he added, they could easily do the same with a product or business problem. Even as Benioff touted his Facebook love, however, Salesforce is veering away from the Facebook model in one key way: whereas Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg felt his company focused too much on HTML5 for its mobile apps, choosing to focus instead on native-app development, Salesforce is embracing HTML5 for its Salesforce Touch app, which delivers Salesforce data such as Chatter feeds and contacts to a variety of mobile devices."

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Yeah (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400693)

I look forward to a feed based version of Photoshop or any CAD program...

Re:Yeah (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#41400933)

Not to mention companies like to keep things confidential and out of view from competitors. A feed makes no sense. Outlook and MS project has sharing events where team members and bosses can agree to meet and do things together corporate wise and that is all the functionality they need.

Not News Feed for Mega Corp: "Mega Corp just made a bid to supplier Wonka to hurt Maximus Corp" and have Maximum Corp get a heads up for their sales staff etc. Not good ...

Re:Yeah (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401171)

Could be a great news ticker!

"CEO diagnosed with testicular cancer" ... "Amy Jones in Accounting bakes prize winning chocolate cake" ... "Share price falls 45%, massive layoffs expected in next quarter" ... "Come dressed as a super hero next week to raise money for the homeless" ... "CFO indicted on embezzlement charges" ... "News ticker updates outsourced to India, job losses in that department expected"

Re:Yeah (1)

Max_W (812974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401351)

Outlook has to be installed on a computer, but a web-based application dose not.

A web-based application works in Firefox, Safari, IE, Chrome, etc., on desktops, laptops, net-books, Linux boxes, etc.

No need for an army of tech-support boots on the ground. N need to care about hardware which users use. Use whatever you want, just know your login and password.

If one need a graphics' editor, - go ahead install what you need.

Re:Yeah (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401399)

Nah a news feed with everything public makes soo much more business sense.

I am sure former employees working for competitors will love to see how things are turning out?

Re:Yeah (1)

Max_W (812974) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401479)

There are ERP (enterprise resource planning) where this issue is solved. For example, www.openerp.com

Re:Yeah (2)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 2 years ago | (#41403429)

Rule of thumb: If the software's name or description has the word "Enterprise" in it, it's going to suck.

Re:Yeah (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 2 years ago | (#41403015)

A web-based application works in Firefox, Safari, IE, Chrome, etc., on desktops, laptops, net-books, Linux boxes, etc.

Not automatically they don't. A UI for a desktop doesn't work so well in Mobile especially over 3g cellular. There are all kinds of browser incompatibilities still. HTML5 is still not finished and support on the desktop is far behind the mobile browsers. Got plug-ins? Web-based applications have issues even when the OS is the same because the browsers may be different. This can all be overcome, but so can the issues with native clients. It's always a trade off.

Re:Yeah (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#41403381)

HTML5 is still not finished

HTML will never be finished. It's a continuously updated "standard".

Re:Yeah (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401833)

Not to mention companies like to keep things confidential and out of view from competitors

What I want to know is why a bunch of nerds like us would listen to anything a CEO has to say about the future of software development? That's like an astronomer telling a room full of physicists about the future of physics.

Re:Yeah (5, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402045)

"That's like an astrologer telling a room full physicists about the future of physics."

FTFY

Re:Yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41402201)

"That's like an astrologer telling a room full physicists about the future of physics."

FTFY

Gratz, this is the first correct use of "FTFY" on /. ever! We have waited 15 years for this joyous moment.

Re:Yeah (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402433)

Some CEOs are visionary and good. Example is Jobs and even Bill Gates got it right many times before the internet during the 1980s. The CEO of Fedex is one, Jack Welsh is another, and the founder of JetBlue.I think he is on to something, however the feed and facebook UI ... maybe not so much. This decade has brought about bad ones who have a background in finance rather than engineering. It is a disturbing trend as CEOs once upon a time were former visionaries who were experts in their area ... not fudging numbers.

Typically business leads IT innovation. Also before last decade IT was always ahead in corporate america compared to consumers. This is the exception of the norm where we laugh at their aging infrastructure today. In the good old days it was CIOs and CEOs who always wanted to upgrade to remain competitive and first brought us many server technology we use today and do things like email, high speed connections, RAID, SQL databases, and other things before we even had internet.

Re:Yeah (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41401009)

It isn't just feeds though, it's also the awesomely awkward interface, and the total lack of data privacy. _Those_ are things I can totally see winding up in a future version of Photoshop, when they replace the 'save' button with 'save to internet', and to save to a local file you end up needing to go through three screens of sub-options (not menus, screens. Menus are so out of date, just ask Microsoft and Win8!) before you find the small print and checkbox needed to actually store the damn thing on your own computer.

Re:Yeah (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401103)

Can't wait for my feed based spreadsheet software. Man oh man, will that make things work SOOOO much better!

Re:Yeah (5, Funny)

RenderSeven (938535) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402177)

"17 people LIKED your checking account balance"

Re:Yeah (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402529)

hnm feed based virtual machines managment and sql database

Re:Yeah (-1, Troll)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402589)

Benioff:

Fuck you.

Fuck you, fuck your mother, and your grandmother, actually I would include the male members of your family but your various mothers probably don't know their names. or their faces.

You have forgotten the face of your father, maggot.

Re:Yeah (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#41403615)

If the future truly is FB...can we all just board a flight to Mars now PLEASE? How damned sad is it that in a decade or two idiocracy is gonna be a God damned documentary about how they tried to warn us of the dumbing down of the planet.

Yeah I can just imagine a FB styled PS program, you'll have a LOLCats button that makes the text turn into catspeak, a phone button that translates SMS into other languages, a "fuck it up" button that adds trippy effects, the "old shit" button will make it B&W...can we have a nice plague now? Something that will seriously "thin the herd' because if that is the future oh Lord I DO NOT WANT.

Give me a break! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400695)

and stop this nonsense!

Re:Give me a break! (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401037)

Yeah. "Random Salesman CEO Spouts Nonsense Showing His Lack Of Clue".

Re:Give me a break! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41401139)

No different than 99% of CEO's. None of them have much clue about anything, and don't even have the experience to be a CEO.

Re:Give me a break! (3, Insightful)

Mephistophocles (930357) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401319)

Yeah. "Random Salesman CEO Spouts Nonsense Showing His Lack Of Clue".

No kidding. "Benioff shamelessly kisses Zuckerberg's ass." How is this news? All I see here is a clueless CEO talking about something he doesn't understand.

Ok ok - at the risk of spouting the bloody obvious, collaborative software is cool. But it isn't new, by any stretch of the imagination, and Facebook certainly didn't invent it. Nor is Facebook the shining standard in collaborative platforms. Maybe it has the largest user base, but just because millions of people use it doesn't mean it's awesome. In fact, as adaptations of collaborative software go, I would even put Facebook at the front of the pack. I find it horribly frustrating and klutzy (or I did, for the couple of years I actually had an account). "All software is going to look like Facebook?" God help us.

Re:Give me a break! (1)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401369)

If it's at the bottom of the pack, who is at the top?

Re:Give me a break! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402611)

One of the great things about high profile CEOs is that when they say controversial things, you can look them up and decide how much credibility they really have. So, I did.

It turns out that this particular "random salesman CEO" started out selling computer games while still at high school, worked as an assembly language programmer at a little company called Apple, made VP of another little company called Oracle at the age of 26, and has since built arguably the most successful cloud computing company in the world and turned himself into a billionaire.

You might not agree with his personal philosophy of software or this prediction of the future, but by some metrics Marc Benioff probably has more clue than everyone else commenting in this discussion put together.

Re:Give me a break! (1)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 2 years ago | (#41403117)

Yes it takes great skill to attend meetings, sign cheques and provide "vision". He didn't build shit. Thousands of programmers employed by him did. CEO's have crazy visions all the damn time. Just because in highschool he did some programming doesn't mean he knows what the reality of software development is on the ground, 30 years later.

But what exactly is he trying to say? Online cloud based collaboration is the future. That is what everyone is saying these days. And as with all future predictions, I am sure they are 100% right. After all, we all telecommute to work using our very own government provided T1's without even having to undock our hovercars!

Re:Give me a break! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41403299)

That's probably an understatement. However, having a clue and being honest are two different things.

Re:Give me a break! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41403353)

I agree. Was recently part of a project building process monitoring dashboards for senior mgmt at a large brick and mortar enterprise. Guess what the first request was after it rolled out - "I want to be able add comments". Once that was done and we knew it was coming - "I want to be able to *follow* the comments of certain ppl". Sooner or later you end up building something like the news stream on FB. I am pretty sure salesforce is seeing the same kind of feature requests.
Marc Benioff is just listening to his customers. It's why salesforce is doing so well.
Couple years back everyone was asking for wiki's and CMS type systems. Now they want the kind of functionality they are already used to on FB.

God I hope not. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400699)

If there's anything I need less of in my life it's "feeds".

Re:God I hope not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400751)

If there's anything I need less of in my life it's "feeds" and facebook.

And I don't have an account.

Re:God I hope not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400859)

In the Patriot Act renewal it was found that not being on a social networking site was suspicious enough that the government had probable cause to track you.

Re:God I hope not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41401663)

Yea, then they get all pissed off because they have to actually spend money to track you. If you have a Facebook account, Mark will just hand over your info when asked for free.

Shoot me now. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400719)

I use software to create art. There is nothing more wonderful than art by committee.

Re:Shoot me now. (2, Insightful)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 2 years ago | (#41400935)

The Pontiac Aztek Owners Club agrees

Re:Shoot me now. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401117)

Ugly alone does not make it qualify as 'art'

what's up BITCHES?! (0)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401885)

don't hate the player, lost the game [cgdailydrive.com]

Re:Shoot me now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41401405)

The Pontiac Aztek Owners Club agrees

I bet the same idiots designed the Nissan Juke. It is the rounded version of the Aztec.

Re:Shoot me now. (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402099)

I use software to create paychecks. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Re:Shoot me now. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#41403461)

I use software to create paychecks. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

So I get you are working in the accounting department?

Re:Shoot me now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41403361)

I consider the software I make art. Facebook is like something I would make when I go to the bathroom.

Well all hardware evolved to look like Apple's (1)

Freestyling (997523) | more than 2 years ago | (#41400735)

And look at how well that has gone for us...

Re:Well all hardware evolved to look like Apple's (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400813)

Besides, what is so unique about facebook? As far as I can tell, the programming and design principles they use are pretty basic and standard.

Re:Well all hardware evolved to look like Apple's (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#41400889)

The one unique thing they did is their backend Web stuff where individual computers, racks, or even entire datacenters could drop offline, but their stuff would stay up. They put redundancy at the top of the stack as opposed to the conventional way of having redundant, quality hardware and having the backend being fairly thin and simple.

Re:Well all hardware evolved to look like Apple's (2)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401187)

Uhm, I setup systems like that 15 years before sales or existed and let's be clear, I wasn't doing something 'new'. Cluster aware development isn't exactly something new.

For fucks sake Google was doing it while they were still in school using dorm pcs as the data enter ... They built in provisions for I reliability from square one.

Re:Well all hardware evolved to look like Apple's (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401983)

The one unique thing they did is their backend Web stuff where individual computers, racks, or even entire datacenters could drop offline, but their stuff would stay up. They put redundancy at the top of the stack as opposed to the conventional way of having redundant, quality hardware and having the backend being fairly thin and simple.

How is that any different than what, say, Amazon is doing?

uh huh (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400753)

Remember, ten years ago when the iPod was the hot thing, everything started looking like iTunes and now all software looks like iTunes. It's going to be just like that, right?

Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400789)

Salesforce is embracing HTML5 for its Salesforce Touch app,

"Everything is going to look like Facebook in the future!" ... using the language that Facebook just dropped in its mobile app.

Please F/OSS folks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400809)

Please F/OSS folks, don't listen to this guy!

I'm beginning to think that if I want a stand alone app, F/OSS is probably going to be the only way to go in the near future - unless you (F/oSS community) decide to continually ape the mainstream.

Big chance here to differentiate yourselves .....

Just say'in.

i think he's a moron (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400819)

but, as my grandfather used to say - nobody gives a rats ass what you THINK. tell us what you KNOW.

Please leave vim alone (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#41400829)

This is a person who goes to meetings instead of doing productive work. Software used by people who do actual work will not be redesigned this way.

Re:Please leave vim alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41402231)

This is a person who goes to meetings instead of doing productive work. Software used by people who do actual work will not be redesigned this way.

And AutoCad is not used by people who do actual work? http://www.autocadws.com/blog/introducing-the-design-feed/ [autocadws.com]

Re:Please leave vim alone (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402809)

I predict the only people who use it will be those who do meetings instead of work.

The workers will make the document, the non-workers will comment and like or dislike.

Re:Please leave vim alone (4, Insightful)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402567)

Yeah, maybe we can rewrite the headline to: "Ignorant CEO of irrelevant company is wrong about future software trends".

Future software (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#41400837)

which looks anything like Facebook, will be the subject of intense litigation.

Pretty much any future software will be.

main () { printf("Hello world!"); } © PatentTrollsRUs

Once size fits None (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400865)

The Facebook "metaphor" barely works for Facebook, why spread the disease?

HTML 5 wont come in business (3, Funny)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#41400873)

Most just spent hundreds of thousands migrating to IE 8 and these intranet apps wont run on anything else. If salesforce.com makes html 5 sites their customers simply will ignore them like they are shunning Google Docs now for not supporting IE 6 and 7.

Maybe in 10 years after 2020 will these users leave IE 8. It does not make economic sense to do so especially after they blew all this cash just for IE 8 in 2012! ... oh and people are not getting paid to hang out in social networks. They are getting paid to get work done. Traditional apps like photoshop, autocad, quickbooks, excel, outlook, etc enable people to do such that. Uh, work!

That is just common sense

He's confused (5, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#41400907)

He's confusing Facebook The Application with Facebook the communication / social network. Facebook has never been a success because of its software. The software has essentially always worked just well enough to facilitate what people came there for, which is to communicate in a feed based manner with friends and family. I have never, ever heard anyone (besides this guy) go on about how wonderful the Facebook software is. In fact it is always the opposite.

My grandparents are on Facebook for one reason and one reason only. They get to read messages and view pictures about family members they care about - information they otherwise could not get through any other channel. I'm sure that a very significant number of people are on FB for the exact same reason. That has nothing to do with software, but content.

Again, the Facebook software facilities the social network, not the other way around.

Re:He's confused (3, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401131)

You're missing the point, and the history of the analogy. He started of selling Salesforce as "it's going to be like Amazon": i.e, you go to a site to do stuff, and you never worry about what's actually running behind the site. He is now starting to sell Salesforce as "it's going to be like Facebook": i.e., when you do your CRM stuff, you'll have information feeds coming from other people in your company that are related to what you're working on. It's going to be public, and you will be able to subscribe to any information stream (with some customizable limitations), instead of having to wait for IT to add you to a mailing list.

He's not saying that all software is going to be built like Facebook. He's saying that all software is going to have built-in information streams from people you know. It's an exaggeration, yes, but it's the Dreamforce pep-rally. It's supposed to be feelgood exaggeration.

Re:He's confused (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402067)

He started of selling Salesforce as "it's going to be like Amazon": i.e, you go to a site to do stuff, and you never worry about what's actually running behind the site. He is now starting to sell Salesforce as "it's going to be like Facebook"

"What are we going to be like? Well, what's the hot buzzword this week?"

Re:He's confused (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#41403555)

They'll probably add a feed for the buzzword of the week. ;-)

Re:He's confused (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401937)

He's confusing Facebook The Application with Facebook the communication / social network.

To quote TFA, "If people can collaborate on tagging a photo, he added, they could easily do the same with a product or business problem." He is making the "When all you have is a hammer" error in thinking. There's already software out there that does this -- many companies have 'sharepoints'. And every company I've worked for has had its executive board listen to guys like this, talking about how social networking is "the future", and they rush forward to impliment all these things.

And so every department has a sharepoint... and they're all good-looking but totally desolate web pages. And why is that? Because people don't work the same way they play. It's an incredibly obvious statement, but apparently one that needs to be repeated periodically. People share things on Facebook because there aren't many disincentives. In a business environment, you're looking over your shoulder constantly to make sure that your coworkers, your manager, other departments, your bosses' boss, etc., all don't find something to get upset with you about. Most people do what they're told and little more for this reason. Nobody is going to want to 'collaborate' on someone else's problem. It's a recipe for political disaster in the workplace.

Bottom line: Social networking in business hasn't been successful because of politics. That's not going to change anytime soon. Businesses are already looking at ways of limiting the amount of communication and how easily it can be copied and replicated as it is, due to legal liability. They're in no hurry to bring in another technology that's going to encourage their workers to say things that could cost them down the line.

Re:He's confused (3, Insightful)

medcalf (68293) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402229)

I think your central observation, that people don't work the way they play, is very insightful, but the rest is problematic. It seems to me that the reason that the feed/open sharing idea is so frequently a failure in business is not because of politics, at least not in most of the places I've worked (some of which are very political). Rather, it's because people's jobs are specialized. People need certain information to do their jobs, and everything else is just wasting time.

Consider where I work now, which is largely a FOSS company (at least the division I'm in) and which has a very collaborative environment. I work with an infrastructure team, a database team, and a couple of project teams. None of them really cares deeply about what I do except as it relates to their own work. Thus, a feed of what I'm doing all the time would be a set of information where the messages are always useful to someone, but any given someone would only get use out of a fraction of the messages. If the infrastructure team has to filter out a hundred messages to get to the one they care about, that's a huge waste of time for them. It's like a SCRUM with too large a team, and for the same reason.

Businesses need a way of quickly, transparently and broadly sharing information that also allows you to not see information you don't need/want. The conflict between these requirements, plus human nature (tagging could solve it, if people would/could consistently and informatively tag), is sufficient to make this kind of model unlikely in a business.

Re:He's confused (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402353)

Businesses need a way of quickly, transparently and broadly sharing information that also allows you to not see information you don't need/want. The conflict between these requirements, plus human nature (tagging could solve it, if people would/could consistently and informatively tag), is sufficient to make this kind of model unlikely in a business.

I'm not sure whether you're saying politics doesn't play a role in any environment (a statement I strongly disagree with), or just some environments (I can work with that). But you do make a good additional point: A lot of business process in many companies is too specialized to make collaboration/social networking practical. Whether this is for legitimate business reasons or *cough* job security is a discussion for another day, but I do think you're right.

Re:He's confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41402389)

information they otherwise could not get through any other channel.

Out of curiosity, what's wrong with email? You can email "messages and pictures about family members" just fine. Or what's wrong with using the (non-facebook) web?

I never got this "Facebook is the ONLY way to communicate" thing.

Re:He's confused (1)

chromas (1085949) | more than 2 years ago | (#41403433)

It's not that people can't send pictures some other way—it's that many don't, so you have to visit FB or get nothing.

The guy doesn't understand PAID software (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#41400965)

The FB concept might be OK for leisure use by people who use it simply for entertainment. But when you pay for a software package you do so in the expectation that the commercial product will be an investment, that will reward you or save more than it cost by letting you get stuff done quickly and reliably.

So far as collaboration goes - forget it. I don't want to have to fork-out for a piece of software and then be dependent on other people "collaborating" in order to achieve my goals. When I pay for software I want it to do all the stuff I need doing, not some group of strangers who may, or may not, have a clue.

Re:The guy doesn't understand PAID software (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401211)

Looks like most people don't understand the comment, or understand just how important collaboration is. I'm sure you understand how important it is that everyone on your team works in the same direction. That requires collaboration. What he's saying is that collaboration that is restricted just to the immediate people on your local team is not enough, and often you need more input from people only tangentially related to your project. Getting stuff done quickly and reliably requires having easy access to those tangential people, without having to move up your chain of command and down the other.

Everyone always is amazed at the flat company structure of Valve. What Benioff is saying is that software needs to flatten all company hierarchies to the same extent, and collaboration feeds that are open to everyone will help with that.

Now, is a good amount of what he said pure fluff? Sure it is. But quite frankly, I'd love more built-in communication abilities in my software. I hope he is right on that.

Please no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41400967)

God forbid considering what a backwards eyesore FB's interface is.

Salesman thinks we all work like him...news at 11 (4, Funny)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 2 years ago | (#41400975)

How unusual...a person views the world through a filter based on their personality and preferences and doesn't realize their own biases and that other people might think/work differently...

In other news, for some incomprehensible reason, most non-technical people don't like the CLI. I don't understand why they would hamper themselves by using a lesser interface.

Nightmare scenario (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401023)

If all software is going to look like Facebook we can look forward to ever application having a confusing interface that contradicts itself on every page in its style and functionality. It will also shuffle where to find things every month, so things are never in the same place twice.

Users will also always have to think twice before doing anything, least they accidentally sign up to some spam feed, or being whisked away to some ad and javascript infested website, or inadvertently share all their work with the entire internet. Of course, that's what the software would prefer you to do, so it won't make it easy to avoid.

Can't wait.

Re:Nightmare scenario (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41401275)

Some people (sales people) find computers to be too confusing anyway, so they don't notice anything different about the Facebook interface.

This happens every few years... (4, Insightful)

logicassasin (318009) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401071)

Every few years, someone pops up and says "Everything is going in X direction, this is what we'll be using/how software will look". Generally speaking they're usually dead wrong. Most famously, Andrew Tanenbaum once argued [www.dina.dk] in 1992 that "... 5 years from now everyone will be running free GNU on their 200 MIPS, 64M SPARCstation-5".

1997 came and went, everyone was running non-free Windows 95 on their 200MHz PentiumMMX beige boxes.

Re:This happens every few years... (2)

I_am_Jack (1116205) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401537)

And before that it was pneumatic tube travel under the sea, and everyone speaking Esperanto and commuting to work in their own personal helicopter.

The future always ends up looking remarkably like the present, just with a few more cool toys, and a higher degree of complexity to our lives.

And most of the real big changes aren't predicted (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402839)

The Internet is a great, recent, example. Nobody predicted it, not even in Sci-Fi. The idea of a truly global, integrated, universal network was just not something people thought of. Hell even when it was first developed as ARPAnet it was just envisioned for government and research, they didn't say "We are going to connect all the computers in the world!" Their goals were much smaller, it just ended up evolving in to that.

Incremental changes we can sometimes predict. The real revolutionary ones we almost never can.

Re:And most of the real big changes aren't predict (1)

logicassasin (318009) | more than 2 years ago | (#41403789)

The Internet is a great, recent, example. Nobody predicted it, not even in Sci-Fi. The idea of a truly global, integrated, universal network was just not something people thought of. Hell even when it was first developed as ARPAnet it was just envisioned for government and research, they didn't say "We are going to connect all the computers in the world!" Their goals were much smaller, it just ended up evolving in to that.

Incremental changes we can sometimes predict. The real revolutionary ones we almost never can.

and refrigerators [samsung.com] ... don't forget about the refrigerators...

Re:This happens every few years... (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401865)

1997 came and went, everyone was running non-free Windows 95 on their 200MHz PentiumMMX beige boxes.

Except for the people loading Linux on those same boxes?

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff (0)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401197)

should either quit smoking that stuff, or find better stuff to smoke.

HEY LOOK! (-1, Troll)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401215)

He's a CEO, so he must be competent and his opinion must be important!

Timothy should go do tech stories for CNN. Their clue level matches.

*idiocy*

uhm, no. (1)

ocean_soul (1019086) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401221)

I think all real software developers and users just got a goo laugh. This is probably the same person who thinks there is such a thing as a 'post-PC-era' coming.

Not all software is collaborative (1)

concealment (2447304) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401223)

His idea might be great when you're talking about people collaborating on a list of details. Everyone can pitch in what they have, and then everyone else comments on it.

Not all software rewards this approach. I'd hate the idea of floating a document in progress on Facebook, and having people post suggestions without having any idea of what the whole finished product should look like.

As as practical uses, Facebook is a lot like Slashdot (but not as cool). I come here not for the chatter, off-topic posts, trolls (well maybe), but for the 10% of the community who know a lot and can think and weigh in on relevant topics.

If you can imagine a version of Facebook for a technical topic, it would be basically the same thing, except that those 10% would be doing the work while the rest goof off.

Re:Not all software is collaborative (1)

afgam28 (48611) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401555)

Maybe Benioff is right - a feed is a lot like a version control log. I can't imagine developing software without git or something similar. And I'd love it if word processors and spreadsheets made it easier to track version history.

"A version of Facebook for a technical topic" would probably look like my git log - internal to my company, closed off to non-developers and full of useful information.

Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41401243)

Oh god, I hope not.

Specialized Software vs General Applicatiions (3, Insightful)

hutsell (1228828) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401291)

If the software Marc Benioff is referring to are applications meant for business communication and collaboration -- with his knowledge, experience and success -- he has a decent probability (imho) of being right.

However, the Internet isn't ubiquitous and doesn't have the following properties:
1. The Network is reliable.
2. Latency is zero.
3. Bandwidth is infinite.
4. The Network is secure.
5. The Network is homogeneous

Until it does, instead of trying to turn my computer into a dumb terminal, the applications I use not requiring bandwidth are better being used offline at my convenience on my own equipment.

I believe he believes that... (2)

junk (33527) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401297)

I work for a company that has a love affair with social media and a bit of a love affair with SalesForce... kinda. I've seen their software and we've tried hard to even use some. When Chatter was brought to our company, it was well received. Once people started trying to use it, it became extremely obvious that it's a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. The only problem that it could possibly solve is "How to we get our employees to act more like they're using Facebook?" Sorry guys, we're not (all) children and we want Big Boy Tools to get our jobs done.

Do you really want your employees to feel comfortable posting their photos and comments from drunken nights of debauchery on company systems? Seems like a bad line to start trying to make fuzzy.

Slashdot post, Dateline 2085 (0)

phrackwulf (589741) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401415)

Mr. Beniot 010010 opines in today's edition of the "Silicon Age" that "in the future all software will look like Blertify."

Repeat as needed.

Re:Slashdot post, Dateline 2085 (0)

BigBunion (2578693) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402087)

Who'd have guessed that this is the only page on all of the intertubes that has the word 'blertify'. Better go ahead and copyright that one!

E-Mail is the "poor man's" feed (2)

Conficio (832978) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401481)

Welcome to the 20th century,
what do you think notification e-mails have been playing as a role in Enterprise communication? It's the feed, it has been since the 1990s.

I disagree (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41401629)

I would argue that native applications are the future, as the raw processing power is accessible on local computer, while some of the data is stored to personal data servers (like using OwnCloud software or Smartphone or raspery Pi kind small computers (Plug-PC)) what is then shared to others trough links and access codes.

The user interfaces are being to changed more to Unix style where user gives direct commands for the data to poke it around. Like instead Facebook style of opening and sending data or searching, users just drag'n'drop files over contact lists or type "send grouppicture to john@example.com" from universal command line what are in every window and taking commands from those functions. Then every picture, video, document etc are presented without windows and tools. Instead people just click anywhere and start typing, selects text and makes modification to text trough small pop-up (like now office etc).

And when someone calls, you get nice simple notification popping up with that person contact information and you simply click or say voice command for that "open video call" or "open voice only" without that taking focus from your other task.

Still, every creative tools like image manipulation or video editor software have more tools around the images and videos but without windows. And tools can be hided when out of focus.

All devices around the local network are connected if knowing correct password. Like having TV and tablet so you can just "push" files to them and continue working, without any "cloud service" being on the way. If wanted to keep presentation, just direction slideshow file to TV and thats it.
Having a party or photoshootout, it is just that camera can be set easily to send all photos to local network server where they are accessible from other computers with authorization.

Everything using open API's and open source and old fashion Unix technology. Nothing fancy HTML5/6 or anything with web browser.
In contrary, web sites are hided and all images, videos and text are pure files without any special layouts and they can be downloaded/pushed/directed with tools like wget and get them to be presented as any user wants. Like if user is blind, text only without ads and so on. If video is just interesting, you just command computer to show the video and it is presented.

The web browser is the one what is going to vanish and web designers are going to search new work.

Oh, and pure text files are coming back more and only very specific formatting is stored to metadata outside of the actual data.
Instead sending 1Mb document, you only send 7kb first and then if wanted the other 10Kb for formatting (bold, underline etc).

Robots (1)

maclark88 (2664803) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401635)

I haven't believed that line since Walter Cronkite said robots would be doing all our work before the 21st century.

really? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401673)

I look forward to the free version of salesforce then. Last time we looked into it they were charging over $2million/year for a contract.

We've got so much to look forward to. (1)

bhengh (2029204) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401741)

Also, in the future all restaurants are Taco Bell. And all ice cream is Dippin' Dots.

he's actually right (4, Interesting)

plurgid (943247) | more than 2 years ago | (#41401819)

I'm loathe to admit that a trend-surfing PHB is right about something, but in this case, he's actually dead on the money.
You guys are thinking about software applications like eclipse, photoshop, or excel/word, etc.
That's probably not what he's talking about. What he's talking about is software you use to run your business.

I build this kind of thing for a living at a truly gigantic company. "Ticket systems" they used to call it back in the 90's but these days you'll hear "workflow management", etc. I'm continually amazed at how well facebook does a kind of massive collaboration platform that literally millions of people use all day every day, that is so simple to use, that there are literally no instructions and nearly everyone in the world who wants to, can use it just fine.

Sure they're "collaborating" by posting captioned cat pictures, arguing with their long lost high school buddies about politics, and playing dumbassed flash games with social hooks, instead of troubleshooting routers and customer equipment, but the principle is damn near IDENTICAL.

I'm amazed by this because I've been building this stuff for like 15 years and every off the shelf product gets it wrong. Nearly all of the industry standards get it wrong. Every purpose-built in-house project gets it wrong. But these spiky hair'd startup kids got it right without even knowing what they were building.

Kind of amazing really. Those of us in this field DO have a lot to learn from facebook.
now I guess I've gotta turn in my "krusty old guy" card or get back to telling 'em to get off my lawn

Mod parent up (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402165)

He's right. The issue is not what Facebook shows. It's how the pages are put together. It takes work by a lot of servers to assemble each page. The user-facing servers send out queries to servers which check the feeds of everything being followed - friends, events, calendars, messages, applications - and create a page to display. This page is updated automatically if you keep it open. You can look at any of these items in more detail, and go back into their past if desired.

That's what managers do - follow many changing items superficially and look at some of them in detail. A management version might have feeds for shipments which missed their ship date, incoming orders, customer complaints, personnel absences, due dates for major supplier shipments, and other items of interest. Different users would be watching different things, some info would be available only to some users, and users would set what they wanted to see. If you've ever used a Bloomberg terminal, it's a lot like that, but with worse graphics.

Facebook has a reasonable platform for that sort of thing. The back end is databases and message passing. The business logic and formatting is mostly in PHP (for which Facebook has a hard-code compiler, so it doesn't take forever). Facebook also has decent solutions to the "tell me if it changed without polling too often" problem.

Thoughts from a Salesforce User.... (4, Interesting)

Above (100351) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402361)

Several of my companies "suppliers" use Salesforce.com's tools to manage their customer base, that means me. As a result I've been a user of Salesforce's "solution" for some time. The result is some really, special hate for Salesforce.

Aside from the usual complaints that their software is super-buggy, requiring almost monthly tickets with my vendor to have someone on their side open a ticket with Salesforce to fix some relatively minor data corruption issue that should have never of happened, I can also see where he is going and how stupid everyone at salesforce.com must be to go along. In the latest iteration rolled out at one of my vendors I can "friend" people in my vendor portal, and get a news feed from my friends. Of course, my vendor won't let me see what their other customers are doing, so the grand total of my "friend" list is myself, my boss (so he can place orders if I'm hit by a bus), and my vendor sales rep. Never mind that under normal circumstances there is zero activity for my boss or my sales rep, but even though they have disabled me seeing other customers the software repeatedly asks me if I want to "find more friends", or share what I just did with them.

I'm leaving out what my vendor actually does, as it's esoteric, and now going to use a made up example.

Me: Please ship me 1 case of packing tape. Web site: Did you know your friends might be interested in Packing Tape, would you like to share?

I can see some niche markets where they might have a play, but honestly for most people using their software their direction makes absolutely no sense. More importantly, spending all the time on these "social" features when the base application is buggy and slow and never works right makes absolutely no sense to me. Their various iterations have been so bad my boss has actually agreed to add a "no salesforce.com portal" to the checklist for new vendors, and it's one of the major reasons we're thinking about moving away from one of our current vendors.

Segway (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#41402387)

Yeah, yeah yeah, we've heard this a million times before. I seem to recall an invention that was going to change the world that "cities were going to be built around this", and it was going to be so revolutionary that we'd forever alter the way we interact with others.

So did paperback books, the sony walkman, etc., just because something's cool now doesn't mean it'll be cool in 10 years. I mean, do you see anyone wearing leg warmers anymore?

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41402489)

I wonder if the future interpretors for HTML and Javascript will be written in HTML and Javascript, oh wait...

Well That Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41403215)

I mean, there's only so much douchebaggery to go around.

In the Future... (1)

mooboy (191903) | more than 2 years ago | (#41403229)

In the Future, *all* restaurants are Taco Bell! ...finally, I got something out of seeing that crappy movie :)

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