I appreciate cloud skepticism—the world could definitely use way more of it—and I found quite a bit to agree with in Cory Doctorow's recent anti-cloud rant in the Guardian. Doctorow's basic point is that most of this 'cloud services' talk is about one thing and one thing only: moving users away from an ownership model for both software and hardware and back to a rental model, so that service providers can find new ways to nickel-and-dime us to death. This is undoubtedly true for some reasonably large percentage of the VCs and entrepreneurs who talk up 'the cloud' at every opportunity, but Doctorow's analysis ignores two distinctions that are critical for really understanding the cloud phenomenon: 1) there's a difference between moving an old app into the cloud and designing new experiences with the cloud, and there's a difference between you and I pay for services and what a large company pays for them.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
"The Cloud": that term does not mean what you think it means: "