When it comes to storing personal digital data in the cloud and serving it up in interesting ways - we're in the very early days of a brand new paradigm.
Today popular online storage company Mozy announced that it has been merged by the company that acquired it with another acquisition called Pi (Personal Information) - into a new forthcoming service called Decho (your digital echo). Pi was founded by Paul Maritz, who is now the CEO of virtualization powerhouse VMWare. What do you get when you bring these kinds of stars together into one service? Only a few clues are available so far, but we're excited to see what Decho becomes.
Much as we love it, watching feeds of data stream past our eyeballs as we and our friends take different actions online (ala FriendFeed) is likely not the ultimate web application for personal aggregate data. There's a whole lot more to come and Decho looks like it's aiming to be a foundational part of that future.
Pi Looks Cool
The storage side of this arrangement, Mozy, is interesting because the company has almost one million customers and has been innovating in its marketing and services for some time. Much more interesting, though, is Maritz's stealthy former company Pi. Now a part of the new company Decho, Pi's web site contains little more than a tasty description of an unlaunched data-centered personal information service. The site says Pi intends to build on the metaphors of search, subscription, aggregation and publishing for both manual and automatic consumption.
See this paragraph, for example:
"One of the failings of today's tools is that it is hard to get back the complete context of a task. Think of being in a meeting and all the items of information that are relevant: presentations, a list of attendees, private notes by you, notes you wish to share, notes by others, action items. Today it is surprisingly cumbersome to capture all this information in a way that is easy to get back to, and if needs be share with others.
At Pi we intend to solve this problem."
API Level Innovation
Not much is known about what services Decho will create when Mozy and Pi are brought together, but the following slide from the PR deck sure looks interesting.
Though vague, that looks pretty hot to us. It looks like a turnkey point of entry for a whole world of innovation built on top of our aggregated personal data. Presumably the security emphasis found on the Pi site and in online storage service Mozy will carry though here, so Decho will allow for data owners to have complete control over access.
We don't know for sure what to expect, but we'll be watching Decho and the surrounding ecosystem of services closely in coming months.