Saturday, July 02, 2011

What is the cloud? And how do I get on it?

Marketing professionals are pushing the term "cloud" more than ever when it comes to technology and computing. And why not? Clouds are great. They're white and fluffy, look like different things, and never hurt anyone. But in the computing context, what exactly is this "cloud" they speak of? Here's a good article that explains...

USA Today - Demystifying cloud computing for consumers (June 23, 2011 by Scott Martin)

In a way, the cloud is as old and simple as the Internet itself. The cloud is really just about accessing storage or software remotely from a computer via the Internet. It's a modern twist on an old concept of timesharing on giant mainframe computers dating back to the '60s, industry experts say.

Think of TurboTax online, the Internet-based tax preparation service from Intuit. Log on. Crunch numbers. File from TurboTax. That's a cloud service.

Or easier yet, consider uploading images on the photo-sharing sites from Google's Picasa or Yahoo's Flickr. "In some ways, consumers have been using the cloud for a long time. There's a million online photo galleries where you've been leveraging a Web-based cloud service," says IDC analyst Danielle Levitas.

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