Those that are in IT have known about this idea for years. For those that aren’t in IT, it is having most of your computing needs on servers somewhere in a “cloud” instead of installed on the hard drive. The cloud idea keeps them distributed or spread out, so if something happens to one server it isn’t disabling to what you are trying to do. So suppose you want to run a program that tabulates mortgages if you change payment structure. Instead of opening a program that is installed on your home computer, the installed program is on a server that you access over the internet. Because Broadband is pretty widespread in the US, the speed of traveling over the internet isn’t a problem.
Most people are familiar with idea of using web based email (hotmail and yahoo), but aren’t as keen to the idea when it comes to office tools like Excel or PowerPoint.
But now is the time for it. Why?
- computing storage devices are getting smaller
- wireless internet is getting easier, cheaper, and more available
- being mobile is preferred, not just for travel, but because there is no reason to have a desk
- the adoption of server based programs is growing and the programs are getting better
Check out this old story (Aug of ’06) by Eric Schmidt of Google called Google CEO’s new paradigm: ‘cloud computing and advertising go hand-in-hand’ to see what direction Google is pushing their weight.
But what has me really excited is the Eee PC by ASUS. It skimps on things that aren’t needed in a Cloud Computing world. It forces you to adopt the paradigm. It is fairly cheap at $399. It really focuses on the basic essentials and nothing more. Since Christmas is coming, I see it as a great gift for a Grandmother who is new to email or for the kids that are just old enough to not be into toy versions of computers but aren’t really responsible enough to get on the family computer.
I don’t have any reason to promote this product and if another better product comes along I will probably highlight that too.