Microsoft has recently taken to the airwaves to promote its cloud computing
initiatives for consumers, which it hopes will attract customers that
have traditionally turned to the Mac or other platforms to satisfy some
of their more creative computing needs.
Cloud computing has been
around for a long time. We already use third-party applications over
the Internet every day – think online banking, Amazon.com, search, Maps,
or any one of a dozen or more applications from Google. Enterprises
have also been long-time users of cloud computing in everything from
inventory control to database processing to sales force automation.
Using the tag line “Cloud Power”, Microsoft has already launched Microsoft Office 365,
which features a number of options for businesses, allowing them to
bypass the need for their own expensive IT infrastructure in favor of
cloud-based computing, storage and networking services. Now Microsoft is
extending the cloud-based experience for the consumer.
initiatives recognize the fact that consumers are increasingly engaging
in more complex computing tasks like movie-making and video chat. With
better broadband access, it makes sense to house the programming for
these tasks elsewhere, rather than require consumers to constantly
purchase or download expensive software.
A move by Microsoft
towards providing cloud computing services would not have been possible
without a successful roll-out of Windows 7. The overwhelmingly positive
response to Microsoft’s latest operating system update has erased
memories of Vista, and has given both Microsoft and consumers the
confidence to embrace the new services.
Current cloud options
offered by Microsoft include photo-sharing and editing, movie-making,
live HD video chat, and file syncing and sharing. File sharing and
storage is handled through Microsoft’s Windows Live SkyDrive, a free service which includes up to 25GB on online storage.
To join Microsoft in the cloud, you need Windows 7 and Windows Live Essentials, which can be downloaded for free. Look out for many more cloud initiatives the weeks and months ahead.
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