Saturday, May 30, 2009

Computing: Unlocking the cloud | The Economist

Computing: Unlocking the cloud | The Economist:

Unlocking the cloud

May 28th 2009
From The Economist print edition
Open-source software has won the argument. Now a new threat to openness looms

"...
The argument has been won. It is now generally accepted that the future will involve a blend of both proprietary and open-source software. Traditional software companies have opened up some of their products, and many open-source companies have adopted a hybrid model in which they give away a basic version of their product and make money by selling proprietary add-ons (see article). The rise of software based on open, internet-based standards means worries about lock-in have become much less of a problem."

But now there is the danger of a new form of lock-in. “Cloud computing”—the delivery of computer services from vast warehouses of shared machines—enables companies and individuals to cut costs by handing over the running of their e-mail, customer databases or accounting software to someone else, and then accessing it over the internet. There are many advantages to this approach for both customers (lower cost, less complexity) and service providers (economies of scale). But customers risk losing control once again, in particular over their data, as they migrate into the cloud."

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