Apple’s (News - Alert) iCloud announcement can be read two different ways, it seems. Some say Apple's approach is more closed than open, more focused on device-based apps than cloud apps and actually is a private cloud, or a re-defined cloud.
Others disagree. “With iCloud, Apple is transforming the cloud from an almost tangible place that you visit to find your stuff, to a place that only exists in the background. It’s never seen. You never interact with it, your apps do — and you never realize it.”
Apple is going after consumers who have absolutely no idea what the cloud is, and don’t care. Apple is saying they shouldn’t care.
Google (News - Alert) seems to be aiming more for users who understand current computing paradigms and want to transition that knowledge to the future of computing, the cloud. Power users, if you will.
While some might argue the fundamentals are the same, Apple’s approach to the concept of the cloud is the opposite of their competitors. Apple’s belief is clearly that users will not and should not care how the cloud actually works. On the other hand, architects and developers might say the approaches are quite different.
For many of us, who are just end users, it probably doesn't matter that Google and Apple take arguably different approaches to how applications execute in the cloud and on the device. Developers, architects and geeks think it is more important.
At a high level, some might summarize the difference as Google viewing matters as “cloud and web.” For Apple, cloud computing means “cloud and software.”
All of the cloud computing services Google offers to consumers, like email, word processing and spreadsheets, happen within the browser. To Google, the point of cloud computing is to replace desktop software with the web. Apple is said to prefer execution within an app.
And of course, many will argue that there are many nuances. Some might say that Google tends to work with the browser are the frame, while Apple tends to work with the screen as the frame, for example. We dumb end users might have our own preferences. But I suspect most end users will appreciate elements of both approaches.
Want to learn more about cloud communications? Then be sure to attend the Cloud Communications Summit, collocated with TMC’s (News - Alert) ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. The Cloud Communications Summit will address a growing need of businesses to integrate and leverage cloud based communications applications, process enhancement techniques, and network based communications interfaces and architectures. To register, click here.
Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell