To say that the Cloud is becoming crowded is an understatement. For every installable application created there seems to be a dozen options that are Mobile Ready and living in the Cloud so with the Cloud Price War that was started by Google when they dropped the price of Google Drive is set into motion a future that is not only price conscious but also very focused on a real dig your heels in and not give an inch philosophy of corporate battles.
Amazon and its AWS services may have pioneered the world of flexible computing and storage but there are many others nipping at their heels, not the least of which is Google and Microsoft looking to score a piece of the IaaS and PaaS puzzle. The Cloud as we know it today will be radically different in the coming years as collectively we really start to move away from the need for storing anything ourselves.
I have experienced the benefits of this in two major ways myself:
I took advantage of an amazing deal on a Chromebook after Christmas that came with a 160 GB HDD but I almost exclusively take advantage of the Google Drive attached to my login. It is seamless, easy and accessible anywhere where I have an internet connection. The Cloud Applications that comprise the options within the Chrome Store make life without installing anything locally very easy…although I do run a dual boot to Ubuntu for those times that I need something a bit more robust.
Windows 8.0 and Office 365
When I was working from home in the first part of 2014 I used Windows 8 and Office 365 using web versions of Office on my Chromebook but also taking advantage of the Sky Drive connection and got involved with some SharePoint Development (although I was less than impressed with the capabilities of SharePoint to be viewed on a non-windows device).
Both of these options opened my eyes to the ease that we collectively can share our content out into the nether regions of the World Wide Web and then pull it back in when we need it. For larger files though I still prefer to store them locally in my 11 TB (soon to be 25 TB) Local Network but I then turn that outwards using some crafty tools and connections that enable me to pull what I want to the devices that I am using…so in the long run I am still accessing what I want through a Cloud Service.
The Price War that is looming is not likely only to be on Personal and Corporate Storage. With companies trying hard to win your business, Cloud 2.0 is going to get even more crowded and the lines drawn in the sand with Google’s first shot…well it will be interesting to see who will remain standing after all is said and done.