27 Sept 2008

The Cloud

The Cloud is the trendy name for the process of computing in Web2.0 when all our data will be on the Internet - in the cloud.

The advantages of this are that you can use the most up-to-date software without downloading it to your local computer. All your information will be available anywhere at any time since it is stored in the cloud, not in a personal machine. You will be able to access all your own data and any other information you might want on the move via a small reader like a 3G phone so 'offshore location' takes on a new, positive meaning. You will have everything with you, everywhere.

The Cloud sounds like a wondrous place to have your information stored. It has connotations of a big white fluffy blob in the sky. It is almost cuddly. The advantages it offers a mobile world seem endless.

However, one thing is the concept and another the reality. Google, among others, have been hard at work building the Cloud right here on earth. It consists of a series of computer farms spread round the globe at places where there is a rich supply of electrical energy. This is the down-to-earth picture of Google's cloud :

So why should big companies be spending so much cash on Web2? One reason is that the investment will probably be very profitable. The Apple iphone is paving the way for mobile computing which will require the Cloud if it's going to be successful. After all you can't expect people to lug around laptops containing their data forever. No, Apple and Google's android operating system will ensure that you can access all the information you want on a small screen.

The info., of course, won't be on your 3G phone, it will be in the Cloud. And guess who owns the Cloud? The owners will have to be trustworthy since they will be the keeper of all your data, who you are, what and how much you buy, where you move, when you go, your preferences... In a word your full and evolving profile.

Is the Cloud beginning to look blacker?