27 March 2009

Cloudy days coming

Cloud computing is the latest industry buzzword. There is a lot of debate within the industry as to exactly how Cloud Computing is defined but, basically, what it refers to is the concept of providing applications as services over the Internet, supported by a remote pool of servers doing all the computing hard work. Examples include services such as Hotmail and Google Docs. The user of the application doesn’t need to install any software on their PC except for a web browser to access the application, and has no idea where the application is running, or on what sort of computer.

While Hotmail is one of Microsoft’s most popular current cloud offerings, they are planning a massive expansion of applications they make available ‘in the cloud’, which could eventually lead to versions of Microsoft Office, paid for via a subscription model, accessed via your web browser. Microsoft’s cloud system is based on a new technology they have developed called Azure Services Platform. The interesting thing is that this allows other developers to write software that runs in the cloud, on Microsoft’s servers, potentially rendering Windows, and the desktop PC as we know it, redundant.

Acknowledgements to Stefan Johnson of Windows Adviser who writes cool news in Plain English and gets to know stuff like this earlier than many.

No comments: