For cloud computing to take off, there need to be tools available that enable a developer to build and deploy an application without having to download anything to their desktop. This requires an on-demand development tool that sits on top of the cloud and provides a development Platform as a Service (PaaS).
There are two paths that a vendor can take to create a development platform for cloud computing: cloud-first or tool-first.
* Cloud-first approach to PaaS: first build a cloud platform, then build a development tool that runs on top of it. This is the approach pioneered by Force.com and followed by Coghead and Bungee Labs.
* Tool-first approach to PaaS: first build a development platform that is host-able tool (e.g., studio runs in a browser), then "push" that platform into the cloud. This is the approach taken by WaveMaker.
For Force.com, it made a great deal of sense to take the cloud-first approach. SalesForce.com already had a robust cloud platform and expertise in building proprietary development tools to create their CRM application. There was also no requirement to make Force.com work on any other cloud, because SalesForce is aiming to be the only cloud you will ever need for all your enterprise apps.