It’s Tuesday afternoon, March 16 in Manila as I am finishing this story. I started it last night, when I was struck by the similarity of quotes from Larry Ellison and Richard Stallman about Cloud Computing.
Both have expressed doubts about the term: Larry because he thinks (or thought at one time) that Oracle was already doing many cloudish things, Richard because he sees a vast conspiracy in turning over personal computing assets and capabilities to corporations. Richard’s apparent viewpoint syncs up nicely with the succinct words of John Dvorak, who wrote that “the cloud stinks” recently, referring to the idea of Microsoft delivering future personal computing apps through a metered cloud (which they would control completely) rather than through hard copies or downloads.
My idea was to contrast Ellison’s and Stallman’s quotes, then write a bit about how it’s time to define precisely what we’re talking about when we’re talking about Cloud Computing. We don’t want Cloud Computing to become just another cliche along the lines of Web 2.0, which although articulated well by Tim O’Reilly a few years back, today is more of a handwave than a precise definition and has come to mean whatever someone (or some company) says what it means.