For and against the cloud

For: Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer: “We’ll need a new operating system. Just as we have an operating system for the PC, for the phone and for the server, we need a new operating system that runs in the internet. I bet we’ll call it Windows something. We’re going to announce it in four weeks. We might even have a trademark by then. So, for today I’ll call it Windows Cloud. And Windows Cloud will be a place where you can run arbitrary applications up in the internet that runs .Net.”

Against: Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, has warned that cloud computing is mainly “hype” and companies risk losing control of their data if they buy into such systems. “It’s just as bad as using a proprietary program. Do your own computing on your own computer with your copy of a freedom-respecting program. If you use a proprietary program, or somebody else’s web server, you’re defenceless.”

+ IBM: a series of cloud initiatives, including Bluehouse.

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