Bits from Bill Pytlovany: What on Earth is “Cloud” Computing

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By Bill Pytlovany

The new big buzz word in the computing world is “Cloud” computing. In the past I’ve been critical of the concept and even poked fun at Cloud Computing. Last month I released WinPatrol Cloud Edition and quickly learned that most people have no clue what Cloud computing means.

In simple terms, Cloud computer refers to having programs and data reside on an outside network device instead of permanently on your local hard drive. In theory it turns your browser into a flexible smart terminal and the main program you execute. The program you run and data you store is somewhere else on the planet similar to the old concept of a main frame.

Even the term cloud comes from the representation of actions defined by newer tools used to create programmer flow charts.

So why are we going backwards to terminals and main frames? It turns out in this day of application embed browsers and high speed internet “some” applications are very well suited for a cloud environment. If you’re using Amazon or Facebook, you’re already using a cloud application. A cloud can be public or private and becomes most valuable when a service or data can be shared.

You may be surprised to learn data including your photo may already shared by various cloud applications. Here’s an example of how my Email add-on called Xobni uses data uploaded to the LinkedIn service. This information is automatically displayed if I select an Email from Chris.

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This post is excerpted with Bill’s permission from his blog

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