The release of Chromium, the open source release of Chrome OS, has stirred up what I think is excellent debate on the merits and drawbacks of working in the Cloud, that amorphous realm of computing on the Internet. There’s still a lot of progress to be made in the areas of reliability and connectivity. My question, however, is why do (or don’t) you want to see this progress made? Do you want and/or need to be able to do your computing entirely in the Cloud and why?
For me, it’s a matter of both need and want. My job is highly reliant on a web-based manuscript processing system. This is absolutely necessary as our authors, editors, and reviewers live and work around the globe. A large portion of my job can be done from anywhere via this system and Citrix remote access to files and Microsoft Office. Thus, the cloud is essential to my work.
However, my job also requires advanced editing and manipulation of images and files in various formats, which keeps me tied to a workstation loaded with powerful client applications, such as Adobe Acrobat. Tragically and ironically, I am bound to an aging desktop (without admin rights or pen input and no budget for improvement). Thus, a complete cloud computing solution offering the freedom to do my job from any computer, most notably my own Tablet PC, holds great appeal for me.
Arguably, what I desire is not a “pure” cloud experience since my goal is primarily to bind myself to a different set of hardware with my own client-side software, albeit one tailored for my usage needs, but that’s how full cloud computing would help me. How about you?