Life in the Cloud: Windows Azure Is Released
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The App Store models of the iPhone and iPad coupled with the widespread usage of netbooks has begun to challenge the traditional structure of software. For the last few decades, using programs was pretty straight forward: installation from portable media onto local storage, running program from operating system, doing whatever you needed to do on your computer. And it worked wonderfully, until we started to use multiple computers on a regular basis.
The current solution is to install all necessary apps on every computer that we use, which requires a lot of setup time. However, one of interesting aspect of the iPad’s adoption of the iPhone OS will be being able to transfer apps already bought from the iPhone to the iPad. This is a major advantage over the current options available to most major netbooks. If most software were still on physical media, then netbooks would have been crippled without optical drives.
But we live in an age where content delivery is all digital, where we save our files on Gmail and download our music off iTunes. Steam promises instant access to our game libraries, without the hassle of CDs or serial keys. So, the next logical step is to do all of our computing in this magical internet cloud. What the iPad really brings to the marketplace is the promise of an interface or screen by which we have access to manage our libraries and do our tasks.
So far the cloud has been more theoretical and experimental than anything else. Yes, Google Docs has existed for quite some time now, but it still lacks so many of the features provided by Microsoft Office. Major corporations are now all lining up to usher in a new age of web development. Web 2.0 brought social interaction, and Web 3.0 stands to profit off the fact we are a web-bound people.
Microsoft this week announced the opening of its cloud platform, Windows Azure (see pic above). A ChromeOS tablet would be the perfect incarnation of these new products, serving as a window into the cloud world. Will we live in a world where each family has a server in the basement and only tablets or netbooks for daily use? Most likely not, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see the tablets to serve as mobile tools for us to access our home desktops.
Via ZDNet image via Microsoft.