Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Future Is Bright -- The Future Is In the Cloud

A few days ago Google finally announced the long awaited Google Chrome OS. The reactions were various, from essentially negative, to cautiously positive. In my opinion, for whatever it's worth, the announcement marks a tipping point in how we use both the Internet and our computers. However, I do not believe that Chrome OS, as it is right now, is a true representation of that sea change I see on the horizon.

So, what is it that I see?

For one, I do believe that the future of how we use the computers and Internet is in The Cloud. Eventually, all our data and the processing of it will be delegated to some distributed storage and computational facility we connect to via some sort of communications channel. I believe that to be inevitable. Eventually.

Eventually, we will be using very light and thin (both in the physical and computational sense) clients as our window into our own, and data others make available. Chrome OS is a taster of what that might be like. It is nowhere ready for prime time. We really need to be able to have MS Office (no, not linking to them) experience available through a browser to say that we got where Chrome OS wants to take us.

But, for all its failings and imperfections, Chrome OS is a visionary product that will hopefully lead the way to where we really should have been already (Microsoft, I'm looking at you). Whether we want Google to be the keeper of all our data, and the tools to process them is almost beside the point. I guess ideally I'd want to farm this out in a randomly distributed way to several companies, each of which being capable to take over, in an instant, from whichever other one fails or I decide to abandon.

When will this all happen? I don't know. I hope soon.

Will it ever happen? I am positive it will.

We just need to be patient, and give credit where credit is due.