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Thursday, 16 December 2010

Head In The Cloud/s

Google Chrome OS Concept"The Cloud" has become an almost repetitive term in the past decade, but the withdrawal of service by for WikiLeaks demonstrates a potential and strategic weakness.

If cloud-based services can be influenced in such a way by governmental pressure, will businesses feel comfortable putting all their transactional eggs into this online basket?

With the above in mind consider the implications of the recently launched Google Chrome operating system, which all intents and purposes has turned the Chrome browser into an cloud-based operating system.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt says:

"With Chrome OS, we have in development a viable third choice in desktop operating systems. Before there was no cloud computing alternative—now we have a product which is fast, robust and scalable enough to support powerful platforms. It’s something computer scientists have been dreaming about for a very, very long time. The kind of magic that we could imagine 20 years ago, but couldn’t make real because we lacked the technology".

While ChromeOS does not handle flash very well at this time, such glitches are to be expected during its testing period.

Where Google hopes it will beat its competitors is in speed and security; two business essentials.  The four guiding security principles for the product have been:
  • The perfect is the enemy of the good.  
  • Deploy defenses in depth.  
  • Make it secure by default.  
  • Don't scapegoat our users.
That terrible whirring sound that is the precursor to a hard drive meltdown might just have become a thing of the past.

As Jeremy A. Kaplan of Fox News put it:

"Stop worrying about when the hard drive in your computer will die. Google wants to kill it permanently anyway"

But the nagging question still remains, are users and businesses prepared for a shift to purely cloud-based computing?

Amazon's action may have given them pause for thought.
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