These days it is becoming more and more common for the programs that we use to be be internet software as opposed to something that runs on your machine. This is basically what has become to be known at cloud computing. Cloud software (also known as website software) runs in cyberspace in a web browser for you, and your data is saved on a server. With cloud computing you are basically just using your computer as a way to connect to the internet, and all the “doing” is happening on the cloud.
Cloud Computer Providers
Because cloud computer has become so popular there are quite a few big name competitors getting in on the action. Some of the cloud computer leaders are Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. Google got into the game very early, and is still a leader. Microsoft picked up on the idea kind of late but has a decent market share because they are Microsoft and they are everywhere pushing Sharepoint software. Amazon’s cloud computing play for right now is more of an online hard drive, offering competitive rates for large amounts of cloud storage.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
The main advantage of cloud computing is that everything is based on the internet, including the application and your data. So as long as you can get to an internet connection then you have access to all your work. So you no longer have to carry your files back and forth to work from home or out of town to presentations on some kind of media. You can just log online when you get there and you are ready to go. The other thing that is nice about cloud computing is how much easier it is to share files and collaborate on work. You don’t have to email files back and forth and wonder if it’s the most recent version. You can just give someone access to your file and you are always looking at the same version of the same file all of the time. With Google Docs you can give someone full access to a file and you can both be online viewing and making changes at the same time!
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
The only real disadvantage to cloud computing is that you are putting a lot of trust in the company that is handeling your applications and data. Suppose you got out of down and your presentation is a Google Doc. You are expecting to log on when the presentation starts and use it to illustrate for the audience. But if for some reason Google goes down (which is fairness almost never happens) you are left there with nothing to present. You are also trusting these companies with your data too. I mean, if you are saving your favorites recipes, then it’s not that big a deal. But let’s say you are saving some personal financial data for all your customers. If that company gets hacked your could have real issue on your hands!
Over all cloud computing is really taking off and is a great thing. The key for it truly being the future is in the hands of the companies that offer these applications and data storage. As long as you can always get to the applications and your data, and your data doesn’t end up the in the wrong hands then it is going to be the wave of the future.