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Cloud Computing Concepts - Part 4 - Cloud Computing in the Long Run

By Andrew Pollack on 11/18/2008 at 05:32 PM EST

What does Cloud Computing look like in the long run?

The best thing about predictions is that you very rarely get called to account. In this case, I’m going to make some pretty broad predictions. Some will come true, some won’t – but here’s how I see the market in ten years:

The Internet is the Cloud. Just as there is no “The” internet, but rather a lot of interconnected networks owned by a huge variety of people, nations, and companies; there will ultimately be no “The” cloud. Instead there will be a few very robust and interoperable frameworks. The applications we use to read mail, to create documents, and to work with each other will live in this framework.

In the beginning, there was computing hardware. It was small, and to make it do anything it had to be hard-wired to do it. BIOS systems came along and provided separation from that specific complexity. Later, the Disk Operating System came along and provided a consistent way for programs to interface with hardware through the BIOS. Most Operating Systems also provided thread security and prevented direct access to the BIOS or Hardware (Microsoft didn’t). More recently, Graphical User Interfaces came along – Windows, MAC OS, X-Windows, etc. provide a simplified way for users and programs to interact. Frameworks like Google Desktop, and Adobe Air, build on the work of run time frameworks like .NET and Java, Eclipse, Notes, and others.

Each new layer of separation seems to increase to generalization that programmers can enjoy when working to create new tools. Ultimately, these frameworks will grow robust enough to offer the security, stability, user interface, data storage, and functionality required for truly robust micro-applications to become pervasive. It is at that point when cloud computing will really come into its own.

Cloud Computing Concepts

* For those who care, I've used Planet Lotus links for the jumps in the table above, because it lets me track the count. If that bothers anyone, you can use the regular views on this blog to navigate or use your RSS reader.

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