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Traditional desktop software often sought to be all things to all users, pleasing few.
But many cloud-computing developers, in marketing their products, tap into the anxiety of small-business owners by selling simplicity and focusing on underserved niche areas.
John Bracken founded Speek.com, a Washington, D.C.-area start-up that enables cloud-based teleconference calls, to ease the cumbersome task of rounding up attendees and dialing on speakerphones. An average call takes five minutes to coordinate, he says. "No one knows who's coming. You beep and you say 'Who's that?' " he says.