The way that we use technology not only in our work lives, but also in our everyday lives have changed dramatically over the past several years. We can now run our lives from our laptops and cell phones, and the concept behind this shift is popularly referred to as Cloud Computing. Even if you have never heard this term before it is likely that it has changed the way you manage your free time and work life. So what is Cloud Computing and what affect will it have on both the future of technology and on our lives?
What is the Cloud?
Cloud Computing is more of a concept than an actual technology. It is the idea that has lead to an increase in software and applications that are used via the internet or a mobile network rather than directly on your computer through traditional software. This includes email, contact lists, and personal calendars. It also includes office software and media files such as music and video. The most common form that these types of applications are available is through packages of online services that are designed to make accessing your information and data anywhere any time easy and live.
Some Popular Cloud Computing Applications
There are several major technology companies that offer online suites for syncing all your devices. Here are the most popular options.
MobileMe is Apple's answer to Cloud Computing and it allows you to sync up your computer, iPhone, iPod and even the new iPad so that all your files and media are available to you all the time. It includes the ability to update your email, contacts and calendar on all these devices in real time, and stores your data on an online drive called your iDisk. It even offers a feature to help you find you portable devices through GPS should you lose them.
THE GOOGLE CLOUD
Google is a leader not only on the World Wide Web, but also in Cloud Computing. Their integration solution is referred to as Google Cloud and includes their popular email application Gmail as well as Google docs. What is great about Google's Cloud Computing applications is that not only are they available on your personal devices, they can be accessed on any computer in the world. To use these applications all you need is a free Google account.
If you primarily use Microsoft products and software then the Windows Live option may be the best for seamlessly integrating all your documents and devices. It includes your email, instant messenger, and your calendar, just to name a few. A unique feature of the Windows Cloud Computing option is SkyDrive which allows you to save all your passwords securely and access them remotely; a useful tool given the number of passwords we need in the Web 2.0 world.
If you haven't already jumped on the Cloud Computing bandwagon you will likely be compelled to in the near future--if not for the abundance of space and resources available online, then for the sheer convenience of having all your data at the touch of your fingertips. And by using one of these popular and easy to setup options you can be linked up in no time!