Fast Company

Tech Trend: Cloud Computing

All internet users should be familiar with cloud computing. Anyone that uses a web-based e-mail service (think Gmail or Hotmail or Yahoo!), or manages a social networking profile (such as Facebook or Twitter) should be familiar with the cloud computing concept. We are moving our lives progressively to the web. Whether it’s for social networking, business, news or e-mail, we are spending more time in the digital space. Advancements in bandwidth and technological development have enabled users to access more information at faster speeds than ever before. Elements Accessibility — In the past, when you lost your computer, you lost everything — documents, presentations, pictures, etc. With cloud computing, you can access your information from any machine. Connectivity — Cloud computing allows users to share entire histories (either via photos, or personal blogs) within seconds. While software-based information lives on a single machine, information in the cloud can be shared with the world. Examples Google Profile — Many web users have profiles on many different web service. For instance, a photographer could have a Flickr and Picasa profile. A Google profile aggregates all of Google cloud computing services to one place. Chrome OS — Chrome OS is a web-based system built on a Linux OS kernel. If you combine the simplicity of Apple’s Leopard OS, the utility of Window’s Vista and move it to the web, you have Google’s Chrome OS. In general, all of Google’s web services operate in the cloud — from Gmail to Docs to Pages to Wave. Google’s new OS speaks to the potential of cloud computing. Aviary — Aviary exemplifies how software can work in the cloud. Aviary is a suite of photo editing and design programs that allow users at any machine to edit, manage and share their images. Essentially, it is a light, web-based...

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