Q&A In The Cloud: Interview With Google Apps Product Leader

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razor512

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Most of what that person had to say about the benefits of the cloud, was BS

For example, software ownership. If I "buy" a music album and I have it on my computer, amazon.com can go out of business and I will still have my music.

But if it was all in the cloud, then when the cloud dies, so does all of the software I had on it.

The cloud can never replace local storage and having everything locally. When you go with the cloud as a replacement for local, you are amplifying your chances at failuse as not only can a hardware failure at your home PC cause you to lose data but a failure in the cloud can also cause problems.

Or for example suppose a cloud version of photoshop was released, where after buying (not renting) a copy of photoshop, it was only available on the cloud. then the cloud service decided to up and die/ go out of business, will you still be able to run photoshop.

How many cloud based music services have there been which when they dies, all of the purchased music also died with it? while some offered to help users get the music locally, most others simply died, leaving users without the music that they purchased.

Sure when you buy software, you are buying a license to use the software. but think about it this way.

I have programs from like 13+ years ago that I bought and which came with a serial number. If I wanted to, I can pop in the cd and install the software now and enter in the serial thats on the case and they will run.

But if I had the software from a cloud based service, a while back there was a service I think it was called Stream Theory
users can buy games, then play the games without downloading the entire game to their hard drive. they simply buffered some of it to their PC and the rest was read from their service, almost like a remote install to save hard drive space.
Well when the service died, so did all of the games that users purchased through the service.
Games where if they purchased retail copied, would still be working today.

Cloud has some benefits but it cant guarantee as much safety of your data and programs as you could for your self if you have them all locally.
Do you want all of your data and programs on a cloud where they are at the mercy of shareholders who can quickly kill the service when profits drop, taking your data and programs with it, does that seem like a sound investment to you?
 

virtualban

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Well said.
To me it's also the fear of: "you bought the software, you're stuck with us, because if we go belly up, all what you bought and still have at our belly will go away too", but the shareholders viewpoint is very accurate and strong.
Still, unless they kill competition, I don't think users will be without a choice. I will not have software, operating systems and games that I can't offline install and use in case of need, let alone entertainment media. So, for me even DRM is bad with offline use. Including dear Steam.
If I set up all the Steam games to be playable offline, but then I happen to reinstall the OS, and by that time Steam is no more, then what?
Why should I be depending on a service and connection for something that does not need it? It's not like a MMO. I am sure I am not alone in this, and that's why I think producers of entertainment and work platforms will want to please me too. Maybe the top quality entertainment or work platforms will still be dependent on the services and connection, but I will still have choice, I hope.
 
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Razor512: plan for failure. That is one strategy. I prefer to be more optimistic - besides, if Amazon goes away we will have more problems than loss of data.

What OS/processor do you run your 13+ year old software on? Why bother upgrading *ever*?

--written on my Osbourne running Xenix.
 
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cloud computing is not necessary for today's users:
1. Personal computers are very fast and have terabytes of cheap storage available.
2. Software has gotten a lot less expensive.
3. The illusion of increased security by having your data off-site, is just that: an illusion.
as virtualban so aptly points out: it's VERY risky to invest money in any kind of 'cloud' venture, as the company can and will fail eventually, taking all your data with it.

There ARE advantages for corporations to market and sell the idea of 'cloud' computing.
here are a few thoughts I had on that, perhaps you can think of others?>
1. They can stop making and developing software for all these different kinds of computers we have, each uniquely set up the way WE like it. (different OS's, Hard Drives, video cards and screens, etc.)
2. they can charge us every month for this 'cloud SERVICE'.
so no need to do more developing, just sit back and take in the money.
until they decide to retire, the company and our data.
Or, to retire the company for a tax write-off (needed due to all the money they made with no work on their part.)
 
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ah, looks like that was from razor512 04/19/2011 10:12 PM,
not virtualban
good post on the consequences of depending on any kind of 'cloud' computing.
 

amk-aka-Phantom

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Agreed. I totally don't see why should I shift my stuff to the "cloud". As I already said in one of my other posts - it's really funny how NO ONE really wants this cloud services (and those who do just need to figure out how proper computers work) and yet all the big businesses start to convince everyone that it's the future. As billtech said, it's perfect for them, but not so great for us. I've seen people rambling about how they want to access their data "from everywhere where there's Internet" - well, I've got a solution for you: get an external HDD, and then you'll be able to access your data everywhere there's a COMPUTER - not even with the Internet access! And it will be much faster and safer, too. So far I haven't seen a single argument for cloud computing that makes sense.
 

virtualban

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[citation][nom]amk-aka-phantom[/nom]Agreed. I totally don't see why should I shift my stuff to the "cloud". As I already said in one of my other posts - it's really funny how NO ONE really wants this cloud services (and those who do just need to figure out how proper computers work) and yet all the big businesses start to convince everyone that it's the future. As billtech said, it's perfect for them, but not so great for us. I've seen people rambling about how they want to access their data "from everywhere where there's Internet" - well, I've got a solution for you: get an external HDD, and then you'll be able to access your data everywhere there's a COMPUTER - not even with the Internet access! And it will be much faster and safer, too. So far I haven't seen a single argument for cloud computing that makes sense.[/citation]
Collaboration on documents in the cloud; security against loosing, breaking, stealing of the external HDD; the need to only remember the login and the rest is up to the cloud without needing to carry anything around; automatic software update since the software would be running in the cloud also; maintenance against viruses and similar (for elderly people that normally would be having a browser with 7 toolbars and only half of the screen usable); even no need for expensive hardware for gaming (which I strongly disagree on, because the true gamer that needs that kind of hardware to render, needs also the response time, but whatever); no need for more licenses for software (imagine going with data on HDD and finding out the computer you pop that HDD in has not the programs needed to view/edit the data).

And I still support the local ways more. Important data can be backed up in numerous ways, including cloud. Some data can be shared and accessed from the cloud, collaboration and portability, but going all the way to the cloud and having only thin clients I am strongly against. Still, the bottom line is money, and the benefits to the companies outweigh the benefits of the worker for the company or the end customers of computers. Let alone that many people would rather have the easy way and lack of control instead of trying to learn how a computer (which is indispensable part of their life) works.

Even if it's a loosing battle, I will not stop fighting.
 
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I agree: anything on the 'cloud' is also subject to the following risks:
1. being lost.
2. Data corruption.
3. Data DUPLICATION (I had 7,233 duplicates in my data on google calendar, along with other corruption.)
4. Risk of Data being stolen. & don't tell me it can't be hacked :)
5. Major difficulty accessing data on the cloud for various reasons, tech support not able to help, or tech support not existing.
6. Automatic updates to the 'cloud' software causing problems, and no tech support to address it.
7. Online gaming to a cloud is totally unusable. Major lag.
8. and the last point that the computer may not have the software to view the data: easy to also have that software on the portable HDD.
 

virtualban

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*nods at billtech*
Points 1 to 4 and 6 can be said about local data and programs also.
5 is the major point for me being against cloud.
7 - depends on what is called gaming. Farmville gaming? FPS gaming? WoW gaming? Rendered elsewhere and streamed video Gaming?
People tend to wish for WoW. Also Facebook made another example of why social gaming will go strong. FPS with online servers is a pain, yes. Those few milliseconds make a difference in headshot. And I am totally against streaming commands up and video down for games, unless those are totally conversation games (dragon age conversation type) and no action. Still it's stupid with all the hardware we got these days. We would need a lot lot lot of bandwidth to stream the quality of current graphic quality on gaming computers.
8. Software if it's free, Linux, Open Office, etc. yes, can be carried along. If it's by licenses, Autocad, MS Office, etc. (most people can't find regular commands on normal programs and call tech support for those), it can't work that way. Most of the people would chose the easy way always. And that leads generally to people not exercising their brain as much and ending not able to click yes or no when a web page tries to install an extra toolbar or malware.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/
Normally I would let people have their clouds and let me live my offline life/work. But, if everybody goes to the cloud as they are trying to scare us, that means fewer demand for high end hardware, which will produce lower prices at first with more supply, but then higher prices as mass production would not be for it.
I doubt it will happen, but it's always a possibility.
I know cloud is here to stay. I just wish the price for people like me and you is not as high as predicted.
 

ellett

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I've been using Gmail since its earliest limited release days, first to get what was the most innovative, powerful email system available and later because I found that being able to access my email from anywhere was worth a lot. I keep a local copy of my email, using Gmail's IMAP interface, but I've never had to use my backup.

Over the past year or so I've been doing all of my "Office" work in Google Docs. Google Docs isn't as powerful as MS Office (yet) but I've gotten to the point where on my latest desktop I haven't installed MS Office or any other office suite and I'm doing OK; I haven't yet needed to borrow my wife's PC with Office to get something done.

Doing massive "Office" updates on my phone isn't really practical but it's really convenient to be able to open a document to refer to no matter where I am or who I'm with, and being able to share a document I've created with business associates or family beats the heck out of having to email the document and then manually collect and merge all of the changes.

Ken's point about upgrading is also dead on. I have a fairly powerful desktop to do my media editing on, but for most things my little Cr-48 with just an Atom processor and 2GB of memory works great and I've gotten in the habit of taking it lots of places with me. I might want to upgrade to get a feature like backlit keys, but that's to satisfy my personal preferences, not because I'm running out of gas.

I think the biggest risk in moving to the cloud is not losing data or applications. Google, Amazon and Microsoft look like they're all in it for the long term; but becoming dependent on AT&T, Comcast or whoever provides your Internet connection gets riskier daily. There's an ongoing consolidation of ISPs, be they home, business or mobile, and the remaining giants are becoming more arbitrary and arrogant in their policies and the US still doesn't have any strong network neutrality policies or enforcement. Almost makes me want to move to Kansas City to get some of that Google Fibre:)
 
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