An Englishman's forecast of applications on the cloud:

Dull and drizzly.

There have been lots of talk over the past couple of years, and now more than any time in that gap of applications on cloud. Netbooks have been talked of:

Wikipedia: “A netbook is a small to medium sized, light-weight, low-cost, energy-efficient laptop, generally optimised for internet based services such as web browsing and e-mailing.” Which basically says to me, run a minimal system on your side and let the cloud do the rest.

This is all well and good, conceptually it’s a brilliant idea. In fact, I do this and more everyday at work (large server serves me not just apps, but also my session on the OS) However, why would we stand for such a poor service!? I can’t even watch an hour and a half programme on iPlayer without it stopping and buffering, stopping and buffering…Why is this? Crap servers at the BBC? No. Poor internet connection? Well that probably is a contributor. The main reason is that someone in the house is taking all the bandwidth by torrenting. I’ve just fired up my SunRay and it can’t even establish a VPN connection to work, yet I know that when the torrenting stops, I’ll have no bother.

Why would I forsake the applications that run on the computer that sits on my desk (which happens to be portable), for something which I may not be able to access, at all. I can happily program on the train, edit video clips, prepare slides for the lectures I have given. If all this was on the net, I’d need to fork out for internet through my mobile, which would cost me, and isn’t even that reliable in the middle of Wales…

Why are some of the leading companies wishing to forsake the speed, reliability and the access of our work or working environments by putting these things on the cloud? Something that doesn’t boast speed or access. I guess the only thing it does offer is reliability, your trusting someone else to backup your stuff…Companies are plugging this (I believe Bill Gates was praising this at the D5 conference a while back), and yet we have companies such as BT saying that they aren’t going to make our connectivity any better.

People I talk to everyday truly believe this is the future, I just can’t see it somehow…I have seen it work on a ‘small’ scale, throughout a company. But I think we are not ready to use the internet as a method of delivery for applications, when we struggle to deliver data in a timely fashion.

(I guess)