What is old will become new again, right? If you have spent even .005 seconds in any kind of technical environment (store, forum, job) recently you’ve heard about “the cloud” and how it’s going to change everything. It’s new, it’s exciting, it’s the wave of the future.
Guess what? The concept of cloud computing is ~60 years old. Only recently has the entire picture of cloud computing come into focus – thanks to society’s acceptance of being constantly connected and having sufficient hardware to handle the data.
Great, we’ve identified that our generation of techies are not super-star geniuses, rather concept stealing hacks. How is this information supposed to make you feel better you ask? Let me explain:
Has this ever happened to you? You’ve copied files to your USB drive that you mean to take with you to the big client presentation. Once you get there you then realized you either forgot it, or grabbed the video footage of your kids’ bath time. It’s pretty hard to re-create a powerful dynamic and thrilling PowerPoint slide show by hand on a dry erase board and still walk away with that $500,000 contract (unless your name is Geoff Karcher). And that is exactly where the concept of the cloud will save you. By relying on a cloud provider you utilize the power of the internet to centrally hold your vital information that is then accessible from any other internet connected device.
Of course, like anything else with technology you need to do some homework to figure out which cloud provider will make your life easier. The standard big players – Apple, Google, Microsoft – are hard at work to give consumers the ultimate cloud experience with really only Apple and Microsoft having a long term shot in my opinion.
Step back and think of the devices you touch in a normal day and you can easily see why. Wake up to the alarm app on your iPhone (or Windows Phone 7), get out of the shower and stop by the iPad (or upcoming Surface) and read some email. Get to work and sit in front of your Mac (or PC). Come home and watch AppleTV (or play some XBox). Notice a trend here – your typical day has interaction with one company’s four or five hardware devices. What if that company offered a software system designed on each of those devices to utilize the cloud? You’re never away from your information. That is exactly what make today’s cloud services so powerful.
Look below at how three different devices are able to connect to my cloud storage to access and work with information from anywhere. My changes are saved in one location are then reflected on the other devices automatically.
As this wave of technology matures you can expect to see developers find new and intriguing ways to utilize what the cloud offers. A recent announcement from Microsoft regarding Office 2013 says that users will be able to work on existing Office documents even on computers that do not have Office installed. Instead, Microsoft will deliver a temporary Office via the cloud to the machine you’re using. From there, work until your heart is content then save. The temporary Office will be destroyed from the machine, but your work is safe in the cloud.
3rd party developers are figuring out ways to turn cloud storage into a streaming music provider. This means you can have your own personal jam session with your Bangles, Bananarama or Debbi Gibson collections anywhere on Earth.