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Here Come the Clouds

June 17, 2011

Photo by Bruno Monginoux (cc-by-nc-nd)

In a recent post on the O’Reilly Radar blog, Alasdair Allan compares the different cloud computing strategies of Google, Amazon, and Apple. Amazon is focussed on service providers, rather than end users. Google and Apple are both trying to attract end users, but with very different services and approaches. Google docs allows customers to dispense with native applications and a reliance on personal computers for file storage by providing applications and document storage in their cloud. It frees up the individual and allows for real-time collaboration. It also increases Google’s opportunities to expose users to online ads. By contrast, Apple’s cloud solution, which was announced on 6 June, is designed to increase their customers’ reliance on Apple hardware, applications, and content, by creating a walled garden online that isn’t open to the wider web. As Allan comments: “From the chips inside the devices to the data centers their customers’ data ultimately resides on, Apple is committed to controlling the user experience, and the web has no place in that.” For some, this future offers a safe, convenient, and predictable experience that satisfies their needs. Others, including Electronic Frontier Foundation, forecast partly cloudy skies, because of the limitation that Apple is placing on consumer choice.

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