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VMforce: Cloud 2? I was just getting used to Cloud 1!

No, no, no! It can’t be! Please tell me it’s not true!

I used to hate the term “cloud computing” — like, in a “I totally despise this phrase and will go to the ends of the Earth to avoid using it” kind of way. I thought it was another meaningless phrase, ripped from the marketing-ese dictionary to generate hype.

But over time I realized I was fighting a losing battle, and that cloud computing was catching on — not just as a term, but as an actual IT strategy. And as an added bonus, it relies on everyone’s favorite technology, virtualization!

It still seems a little silly to say something is in “the cloud,” like it’s this magical, ethereal place, when it’s really just someone’s else data center (or even your own, if we’re talking about private cloud). But whatever, I can deal with it.

So imagine my dismay when I started reading about today’s Salesforce.com and VMware news, and I saw a new buzzword staring me in the face: “Cloud 2.” I felt like kneeling down, looking up to the heavens as rain poured down, and screaming, “WHY?!?!?!?!?”

Unless you’ve been living in a cave (the opposite of a cloud), you know that Salesforce.com and VMware announced VMforce today. Basically, VMforce is a Java development platform, hosted in the cloud. The major components are the Spring platform, which VMware acquired last year, and Salesforce.com’s Force.com platform. And the goal is to get developers building social, mobile and collaborative applications for businesses and organizations.

These are the so-called “Cloud 2 apps,” as Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff called them in the press release. I understand the companies want to set themselves apart from the rest of the cloud crowd (try saying “cloud crowd” three times fast, by the way), but when you look at it, they’re APPS developed and run in the CLOUD. Let’s just call them “cloud apps” and spare everyone another buzzword.

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