Cloud computing allows businesses and individuals to do more work while using fewer resources. Cloud is a dramatic rethink of how we work with technology. We’re only starting to explore its potential.
Thanks to the cloud I can work on documents using my PC, iPad or smartphone. It doesn’t matter where I am, all I need is a net connection.
Cloud computing isn’t expensive. Many popular services for individuals are free. That’s where things get silly.
Because I have an HTC Smartphone, I have 26.5GB of free storage at Dropbox. Microsoft is almost as generous, there’s 25GB in my SkyDrive account. I have another 5GB of free cloud storage at Google Drive and 5GB at Apple’s iCloud. There’s also 60MB with my free Evernote account. If there are others I’ve forgotten about.
That’s a total of 60GB; none of it costs me a penny. As I’ve pointed out before sometimes free is too high a price.
Looking a gift horse in the mouth?
While this sounds great, it isn’t problem free. Each service installs apps on each device. Each syncs data. Often.
I haven’t tested this, but I suspect collectively they chew bandwidth and slow other online applications.
There’s also a lock-in.
Google, Microsoft and Apple cloud services integrate tightly with other products from those companies. Although documents can move between, say, Google Docs and Microsoft Word, the process is not seamless.
Just one cloud
Ideally, I’d be able to commit to just one cloud service. Dropbox is the most open making it the best candidate. That way I’d only need to learn one way of doing things and worry about a single password. It would also mean only one lot of syncing.
I’d pay for that.