Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 5th Mar 2010 18:25 UTC
Microsoft Seventy percent of the 40000 people who work on software at Microsoft are in some way working in the cloud internet, CEO Steve Ballmer said in a talk to comp sci students at the University of Washington. "A year from now, that will be 90 percent," he said. Ballmer also said that Microsoft wants to help foster the development of different cloud internet-computing services, both private and public. All Microsoft products including Windows, Office, Xbox, Azure, Bing and Windows Phone are driven by the idea of being connected to the cloud internet.
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Good idea if...
by theTSF on Fri 5th Mar 2010 19:03 UTC
theTSF
Member since:
2005-09-27

They don't do what they did in the 90's by trying to tie its services to Windows/IE... If they make their services so they run off the web/cloud and your can use Safari/Firefox for whatever platform I would be all for it. Otherwise they are missing the point leaving it open for other companies to get in... As for right now Microsoft Web sills are pathetically sub par.

Reply Score: 5

Wow...
by fretinator on Fri 5th Mar 2010 19:19 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe Google should try that too!

Reply Score: 4

argh
by yoshi314@gmail.com on Fri 5th Mar 2010 19:41 UTC
yoshi314@gmail.com
Member since:
2009-12-14

i feel like a dinosaur for being sceptical of cloud approach. i only can go as far as gmail in that regard.

i think this is after my time. and i'm not even 30 yet.

Reply Score: 4

RE: argh
by Zifre on Fri 5th Mar 2010 21:21 UTC in reply to "argh"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

i feel like a dinosaur for being sceptical of cloud approach. i only can go as far as gmail in that regard.

You are not alone. The "cloud" is a buzzword that basically means the Internet. Soon, it will fade.

If computing had always been in the "cloud" until now, then we'd suddenly all start flocking to native applications, and it would be the latest, greatest, coolest thing ever.

Basically, the reason for this obsession with "cloud" computing is that companies want to charge you monthly fees and/or get ad revenue, rather than customers just paying for something once.

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: argh
by Kroc on Fri 5th Mar 2010 21:33 UTC in reply to "RE: argh"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

On Demand → Software as a Service → Cloud Computing → ?

The buzzwords keep changing, but the technology doesn’t.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: argh
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 5th Mar 2010 21:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: argh"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Cloud == internet. As simple as that. In OSNv5, I say we use the swearword replacement thing we have now to replace "cloud" with "internet".

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: argh
by Kroc on Fri 5th Mar 2010 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: argh"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Ah, but should that be "internet" or "Internet"!?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: argh
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 6th Mar 2010 00:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: argh"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Without the capital, obviously. What are we, British?

Oh, wait.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: argh
by abstraction on Mon 8th Mar 2010 10:45 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: argh"
abstraction Member since:
2008-11-27

Ah what a beautiful day. The sky is blue and not an internet in sight =)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: argh
by fretinator on Fri 5th Mar 2010 22:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: argh"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

No, no! Today we can fully leverage our distributed information capitalization strategies. In the past, we merely synergized various vertical information silos. It's a world of difference. Don't you get CIO magazine?

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: argh
by dylansmrjones on Sat 6th Mar 2010 00:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: argh"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Fully what...? synerhuh?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: argh
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 6th Mar 2010 00:04 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: argh"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Synergyyihuidurnltihseuirgnoseli,rhj`;cwzg,nreuoizchgn k,bhkfn

*cough*

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: argh
by Laurence on Mon 8th Mar 2010 10:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: argh"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Not to mention 'time sharing'

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: argh
by vaughancoveny on Mon 8th Mar 2010 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: argh"
vaughancoveny Member since:
2007-12-26

The buzzwords keep changing, but the technology doesn’t.


That's because one of the first buzzwords was buzzwords.

We hadn't heard of buzzwords before but all of a sudden it became a buzzword.

(Paraphrased quote from Australian comedian Barry Humphries [Sir Les Patterson])

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: argh
by nt_jerkface on Sat 6th Mar 2010 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE: argh"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

There is a key difference which is that cloud hosting is supposed to handle scaling automatically. But it is too often used as a buzzword when internet will do.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: argh
by XA Hydra on Mon 8th Mar 2010 21:28 UTC in reply to "RE: argh"
XA Hydra Member since:
2010-03-08

Darn right!!

The thought of giving up that much control really makes me uncomfortable... Putting my stuff on some server somewhere that belongs to someone else, where they can hold it for a monthly ransom... I'm sick and tired of companies trying to take my control away and nickel and dime me to death. Local apps will always have a place with me. Just look at what happened recently with UBISoft's servers going down- no one could play the game they BOUGHT. One day those servers will go down for good and unlike our good old software from ten years back, these people won't be able to pull it out from under their bed, pop it in and enjoy the good old days.

...Sheesh, maybe one day soon we will just get sued for claiming to own anything

Reply Score: 1

RE: argh
by Bobthearch on Fri 5th Mar 2010 23:21 UTC in reply to "argh"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Count me in too. I sure as hell don't want to be dependent on internet access to get work (or play) done.

Bad enough all of the streaming crap instead of downloadable media files...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: argh
by robojerk on Sun 7th Mar 2010 07:03 UTC in reply to "RE: argh"
robojerk Member since:
2006-01-10

Google Gears already fixes that.

Offline access to Google Docs, Gmail... Hopefully the HTML5 version works just as well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: argh
by BluenoseJake on Mon 8th Mar 2010 16:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: argh"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Google Gears already fixes that.

Offline access to Google Docs, Gmail... Hopefully the HTML5 version works just as well.


Microsoft Office or OpenOffice already fixed that decades ago, not to mention Wordperfect, Photoshop, thunderbird, even vi(I could go on for days).

Offline access to your docs, email, whatever.

Reply Score: 2

RE: argh
by darknexus on Sun 7th Mar 2010 10:46 UTC in reply to "argh"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I second, and I'm only 24. While I like the convenience of having things available anywhere I can get an internet connection, I will never leave my data exclusively in the cloud. It belongs to me, and I want it saved locally. Syncing to a cloud is fine so long as I can choose what to sync (note, using the word cloud to mean remote server clusters). As for apps, forget it. I want my apps to be local, I don't want to depend on the internet for that. For me, it's selective sync of cloud data, but cloud apps? Forget it.
Also, remember that cloud is just a buzz word for thin client computing over the internet. The only difference is that it's done via web browser rather than remote desktop or dumb terminal.

Reply Score: 2

It's a passing phase...
by cefarix on Fri 5th Mar 2010 23:30 UTC
cefarix
Member since:
2006-03-18

And I say this while working in the so-called "cloud" computing industry. The best way to deliver applications/data is to have as much of the computing done locally as possible, and sync up your data with a backend. The way it has always been done. Duh.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's a passing phase...
by google_ninja on Mon 8th Mar 2010 18:09 UTC in reply to "It's a passing phase..."
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I would say that is happening with modern web development. check out http://280slides.com/, very little of that is server side.

Reply Score: 2

Bold move
by sakeniwefu on Fri 5th Mar 2010 23:34 UTC
sakeniwefu
Member since:
2008-02-26

If I was a shareholder I would be very angry. There is nothing to indicate that normal people will ever use this InterNet thing.

Some scientists and academics, maybe, but the general populace?

People just don't care about computations - they won't pay for a slice of computing time in a server even if it was cheap enough to be affordable.

I think MicroSoft has jumped the shark. They should go back to their BASIC business before it is too late.

Reply Score: 3

is the desktop dead?
by rjcwlgnz on Sat 6th Mar 2010 00:32 UTC
rjcwlgnz
Member since:
2010-03-06

So, is he saying the desktop is dead then?

Reply Score: 2

Enter the Matrix...
by juvenile4909 on Sat 6th Mar 2010 00:54 UTC
juvenile4909
Member since:
2007-08-04

Cloud computing will be used by all eventually. Thin clients will return. Pc's will be touch screen and login and use/access over the internet. ISPs will be depleted and current online hosting services will compete at a higher level as cloud takes off.

Type on the screen.
Navigate with your fingers.
Save your work online.
One devices to rule them all.

=-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Enter the Matrix...
by judgen on Sat 6th Mar 2010 01:14 UTC in reply to "Enter the Matrix..."
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

Touchscreens does not work well for serious work:
Arm strain (alternatively very painful sitting position)
Dirt and blotches
Fingers obstructing the screen objects. (that is why we have a cursor if you didn't knew)

Nah i will use a non touch screen based controlling device until they are no longer produced/sold. (if ever)

Back on topic, the "cloud" or whatever they will call it is so sensitive in so many ways, people will still use local backups at least for a decade or more, and with local storage comes the benefits of running the apps from said storage. It will be the next big thing, not needing internet connection! =D

Reply Score: 2

WHAT A NEWS!
by aargh on Sat 6th Mar 2010 09:54 UTC
aargh
Member since:
2009-10-12

I love that prophet

Reply Score: 1

I hate cloud computing
by twitterfire on Sat 6th Mar 2010 13:04 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

I don't want some *entity* to have ownership over my apps and files and to lend them to me for a monthly basis. Do you?

I love my computer and my apps& files should stay there, not on some corporate virtual space.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I hate cloud computing
by kaiwai on Sun 7th Mar 2010 22:20 UTC in reply to "I hate cloud computing"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't want some *entity* to have ownership over my apps and files and to lend them to me for a monthly basis. Do you?

I love my computer and my apps& files should stay there, not on some corporate virtual space.


Who said that cloud computing would replace peoples desktops and laptops? at best the only thing I see cloud computing as is simply a giant warehouse that you can retrieve your information from when using multiple devices.

Btw, no one will have 'ownership' over your 'stuff' - you will still retain ownership just as if you were to rent a flat; even though you don't own the flat, you still own the contents of the flat - the bed, sofa, television and so on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I hate cloud computing
by Soulbender on Mon 8th Mar 2010 09:33 UTC in reply to "RE: I hate cloud computing"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Btw, no one will have 'ownership' over your 'stuff' - you will still retain ownership just as if you were to rent a flat


You're forgetting that we're talking about the "all-your-base-are-belong-to-us" IT industry.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I hate cloud computing
by darknexus on Mon 8th Mar 2010 11:26 UTC in reply to "RE: I hate cloud computing"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Btw, no one will have 'ownership' over your 'stuff' - you will still retain ownership just as if you were to rent a flat; even though you don't own the flat, you still own the contents of the flat - the bed, sofa, television and so on.



One important difference there, if you rent a flat then *you* are the one who goes inside it. You can see your stuff, and remove it at will.
Who owns the off-site servers you're going to be putting your data on? Do you see them? Are you able to have your data expunged when you wish (not just have them tell you it's been removed, but actually know that it has)? Who owns your data if they decide you no longer deserve access to your account? What happens if their servers go down and you lose all your data and, if the environment these cloud companies want comes to be, you have no local backup?
The old bit of wisdom still applies. If you don't want something known to others, do not put it on the internet. As does the other old bit of wisdom: Always keep a backup, and keep a backup of that backup, and keep yet another backup of the second backup...

Reply Score: 3

cloud systems are a step backwards
by Laurence on Mon 8th Mar 2010 11:06 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

I wrote a piece on clouds only last week - so given the relevence here, I'll quote it:


For some people (myself included) cloud systems are a pointless step backwards.

While time sharing made sense in the 70s when computers were a commodity, in the 21st century they're not.
Since we can already do everything we need to on our budget PCs (let alone those that fork out for high end systems), cloud computing strikes me as a lose / lose scenario:
* reduced functionality (except in regards to networking clouds - but hey, I could already do everything facebook (for example) does now, back in the 90s)
* less control of your data (tinfoil hat for a moment, but can you really trust complete strangers with GBs of personal data?)
* slower applications (I don't give a toss how much JS interpreters have come along, they still under perform compared to a native C++ application. And don't get me started on the pig that is Flash)
* in terms of my particular home set up - less secure too (though this is debatable for some people - particularly those that surf the net on a Windows administrator account and no adequate anti-virus)

In fact, the only benefit I can see from cloud systems are off site back ups - but even this has proved unreliable in 2009 with a number of high profile incidents involving data centres loosing customers data.


Then there is the problem of funding: Microsoft have openly stated they want to move to a subscription-based model for a number of their current products once the technology is in place to deploy them remotely via MS clouds.

While a subscription service might suit some people, personally I want to pay a one off fee for the products I use regularly and use free (or open source) alternatives for those services that I use sporadically.


So thank God there is an alternative to the world of clouds because thus far I'm yet to be convinced that 21st century needs a 70s revival.

With agreed standards in communication protocols and file formats there's little need to cloud compute - except for a centralised app store (e.g. iPhone app store, Linux software repositories, etc) to ensure everyones products are up to date.

</rant>

Reply Score: 3

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

So, the other side to the argument

- There is such a thing as "fast enough". Sure, a C++ calculator is faster then one written in javascript, but as the user, it is irrelivent.

- Deployment costs approach 0. You deploy once for everyone, the next time they hit up your site, they get the latest version of the app.

- While you have less control of your data, chances are your data is much more secure in the hands of professionals then it is on your HD.

- Fully cross platform, and accessible from anywhere by definition.

- Extremely low barrier to entry. When you run an executable, you put complete trust into not only whoever wrote it, but everyone who has had access to it on its way to your computer. There are no installers for webapps.

There are things that make sense as webapps, there are other things that make sense as native apps. Pledging 100% to one or the other is stupid, it is all about what solution does the best job fixing the problem.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

- While you have less control of your data, chances are your data is much more secure in the hands of professionals then it is on your HD.


Sure it is, until they decide to sell it for more ad revenue.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

So, the other side to the argument

- There is such a thing as "fast enough". Sure, a C++ calculator is faster then one written in javascript, but as the user, it is irrelivent.

There's no such thing as fast enough.
Nobody enjoys waiting for their computer to eventually respond.


- Deployment costs approach 0. You deploy once for everyone, the next time they hit up your site, they get the latest version of the app.

You don't always need the latest version of an app. Take your calculater example above - why should that need to be continually updated?

Besides, I'd already addressed this point earlier with app repositries.

Granted you have a point with data sensitive colaboration software - but for 99% of cases the current method of app deployment on the iPhone and Linux is more than sufficient.


- While you have less control of your data, chances are your data is much more secure in the hands of professionals then it is on your HD.

I'd already addressed this point in my original comment.
The crux of the matter is it depends on the user. For me, your arguement is not true, for my mum, you're completely correct. But I did already make that disclamer in my post.


- Fully cross platform, and accessible from anywhere by definition.

Indeed. Cloud's strongest argument.
But as I stated in my original post, open standards and protocols will achieve the same results (and other benefits) as closed clouds.

However closed clouds are more realistic than a world of open standards et al - so your point is the more realistic arguement. However it's not the only solution to the problem.


- Extremely low barrier to entry. When you run an executable, you put complete trust into not only whoever wrote it,

The same could be said for writing a web app.
So this point is some what irrelevent


but everyone who has had access to it on its way to your computer. There are no installers for webapps.

I'm not sure I get this point.
Everyone has access to the EXE on the computer? Because you can easily change that with Windows permissions (and that's ignoring Linux and OS X)


There are things that make sense as webapps, there are other things that make sense as native apps. Pledging 100% to one or the other is stupid, it is all about what solution does the best job fixing the problem.

Well obviously.
I'm not arguing cloud systems should be erradicated completely - just that moving to cloud-orientated systems is a step backwards (and this thread is about cloud-orientated systems, not a logical sprincling of the best technology for the best job)

Reply Score: 2

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

There's no such thing as fast enough.
Nobody enjoys waiting for their computer to eventually respond.


If that were true, everything would be done in assembler. Fast enough happens when the CPU is not the bottleneck anymore. A good example of fast enough for me is using 280slides.com with a webkit browser on a good connection.

You don't always need the latest version of an app. Take your calculater example above - why should that need to be continually updated?

Besides, I'd already addressed this point earlier with app repositries.

Granted you have a point with data sensitive colaboration software - but for 99% of cases the current method of app deployment on the iPhone and Linux is more than sufficient.


There is a significant cost in even that kind of deployment, and there is cost when CSRs have to field support requests around issues that are already fixed. When you are talking about commercial software, the end user eats some of that cost, either built in to the cost of the product, or as a service contract.

The same could be said for writing a web app.
So this point is some what irrelevent


A webapp cannot execute code on your computer, as soon as you run an executable, that executable will be able to do anything you can on your machine.

I'm not sure I get this point.
Everyone has access to the EXE on the computer? Because you can easily change that with Windows permissions (and that's ignoring Linux and OS X)


Everyone who has had access to that executable has had the chance to modify it. Unless you are checking sha1 hashes, you are basically putting your trust in them as well.

Edited 2010-03-08 20:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

I'm not going to get into this whole debate, but let me just point something out.

Your point about security is wrong.

A webapp cannot execute code on your computer,

Actually it does, just not native code.

as soon as you run an executable, that executable will be able to do anything you can on your machine.

This is not at all true. It is true with current implementations. JavaScript interpreters generally sandbox the code. OSs running native code generally do not. There is no reason this needs to be true.

In fact, it is already possible. Look at Google's Native Client. This may sound odd, but I would generally trust a simple code verifier more than a complex JIT JavaScript compiler.

Everyone who has had access to that executable has had the chance to modify it. Unless you are checking sha1 hashes, you are basically putting your trust in them as well.

Again, this can be solved with sandboxing or permissions. And if the other users of the computer run with administrative/root privileges (*cough* Windows *cough*), web-apps are not secure either, since the users could mess with your browser or OS, which are necessarily native apps.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


If that were true, everything would be done in assembler. Fast enough happens when the CPU is not the bottleneck anymore. A good example of fast enough for me is using 280slides.com with a webkit browser on a good connection.

And plenty of skilled developers DO still use ASM for critical processes that need the extra power, falling back to a higher level language for the less power hungry threads.

Plus C++ runs pretty close to the metal compared to Javascript and it's many layers.

Thus the difference between a stand alone app and a web app in terms of performance is visually noticeable (ie what users see and give a toss about).
So my point stands.


There is a significant cost in even that kind of deployment, and there is cost when CSRs have to field support requests around issues that are already fixed. When you are talking about commercial software, the end user eats some of that cost, either built in to the cost of the product, or as a service contract.


And equally there's a significant cost in having to drastically multiply the power of your servers to provide additional back-end processing to perform tasks that a thick client would normally run had it not been connected to a cloud service.

One could even argue that the difference here is your ideal set up is a guaranteed additional overhead where as my suggestion is just a sporadic additional cost for paying support contract licensees.

However all we're going to prove with you point is that either software model costs money to set up and maintain.

Also, who's going to field your calls when you have UI changes et al. Don't think that just because you're an online service that you won't suffer from all the same mundane support calls that a standalone application hotline would field.



A webapp cannot execute code on your computer, as soon as you run an executable, that executable will be able to do anything you can on your machine.


That is so far off the mark.
There's plenty of web technology that can execute localised executable code:
> ActiveX,
> Flash (remember any of the vulnerabilities to break free of Flash's sandbox? OSNews has even reported on at least one of them),
> JPEGs running executable code ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3661678.stm ),
I could go on....

Don't think that just because you're not manually running EXEs that you're guaranteed to be safe online.


Everyone who has had access to that executable has had the chance to modify it. Unless you are checking sha1 hashes, you are basically putting your trust in them as well.

Again(!) let me point out user file permissions.
You CAN stop people from doing this in Windows very very easily and many other OSs (such as Linux) does by default anyway.


I appreciate that you are pro-cloud systems - and I'm not entirely against them for internal corporate systems. But I'm also experienced enough to know that there's a time and a place for thin clients. It's not a "one size fits all" as many people would like us to believe.
Sometimes there is no substitute for having your own software loaded on your own PC.

Edited 2010-03-08 23:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2