Cloud Computing

How long will it take? That's really the only question there is surrounding cloud computing. The fact of the matter is, the lack of reliability and general incompetence and backwards thinking associated with your company's or school's IT department, will eventually become too much to deal with. Google, along with many other companies, have come up with a solution to this: let them store all of your information, keep it safe, maintain it, and as a bonus you don't have to worry about the large costs associated with upgrading and the headache that will no doubt issue associated with aging hardware and budget problems. What e-mail client does your company use? Browser version? OS? ...old is the answer.

It may take time, but soon enough we'll all be computing on the cloud. I admit, I too did not see the utility in switching over from Microsoft Word and local computing to google docs for example, but with the use of multiple computers per person growing, this will make more and more sense. Especially now that google docs is perfectly capable of handling Microsoft's .docx format. Oddly enough, yet too late, Microsoft has also jumped on the cloud computing model, and if memory serves me, the next version of office will be incorporating online storage and management of your documents in a big way.

The best part about google, and what gives them a leg up in the arena, is the way in which they make their money allows them to offers services such as these for free. This will make them much more attractive, and eventually paying $99 for MobileMe, and $300 for Microsoft Office will become harder and harder to justify.

Cloud computing also represents a new direction in computing in general, which is the general understanding that you're really not on the computer until you have a broadband internet connection. It really does make sense though, for most of our computing to transition to the browser. This way the computers that we have can be less powerful, yet maintain or even increase productivity level. As hard as it will be for some of us, myself included, the idea of a bigger and beefier computer will soon fade in favor of larger bigger and better computers we all access from cheap and plentiful terminals.