The Download: Smart guide to... Cloud computing
Google is seeking acquisitions to help boost its cloud computing strategy. The search giant's chief executive, Eric Schmidt, revealed that he is looking to snap up firms capable of helping Google exit the personal computer era and enter the age of cloud-based apps.
- The term cloud computing has become something of a buzzword. It refers to the practice of storing information - such as emails, photos and documents - on web apps that can be connected to at any time, rather than on localised operating systems like Microsoft Windows.
- Cloud-based services such as Google's Gmail and Microsoft's Office Live are already proving popular with consumers, while Facebook, Flickr and YouTube are increasingly being used to store photos and videos centrally.
- Meanwhile, the use of netbooks - scaled-down laptops specifically designed for easy internet access - is also on the rise. Apple is rumoured to be launching a touchscreen netbook to bridge the gap between its £250 iPod Touch and £650 MacBook.
- Such is the potential of cloud computing that Google is betting the bank on it, investing in the development of Chrome OS, an operating system for netbooks aimed at weaning consumers off Windows.
- Google is hoping that its new operating system, in conjunction with its Chrome web browser, will encourage consumers to use more web-based apps and therefore click on more of its search ads.
- With Amazon, Microsoft and IBM also charging headfirst into cloud computing significant opportunities exist for brands.
- US bank Wells Fargo already allows users to keep digital copies of documents such as passports and birth certificates in its cloud.
- It is likely to be a few years before cloud computing becomes a mass consumer proposition, but smart brands are already exploring it.
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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