—once the purview of IT geeks and software developers—has gotten personal. For several years, there’s been a movement to transition software from the desktop or local server to the cloud
(which, most broadly defined, just means Internet-enabled, on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources that can be rapidly accessed and used with minimal management effort).
One example is Web-to-print software, typically offered as Saas (software-as-a-service), but which has more recently been referred to as cloud
-based. But in the past year, especially with the introduction of iCloud,
Apple’s foray into offering cloud-based services to individuals, the cloud
is getting decidedly personal.
Recently, Google joined Apple (iCloud) and Amazon (Whispersync
) with the introduction of its contribution to the field of personal cloud
-based file saving and sharing, called Google Play. Google is marketing the free Google Play
as a way to share all of one’s personal digital stuff—music, books, movies, apps—across all of one's digital devices instantly. It has built a very iTunes-like store
where one can find all of the above mentioned digital stuff, sans iPhone/iPad apps. (Android-only, thank you very much!) Cloud printing
is another player in this area, a place where Google plays, as well, with its Google Cloud Print.
Google isn’t the first or only vendor in this space; printing industry familiar EFI offers EFI PrintMe,
and Xerox offers Xerox Extensible Interface Platform
(EIP), “a software platform upon which developers can use standard Web-based tools to create server-based applications that can be configured for the MFP’s touchscreen user interface.”
The basic idea with cloud printing
is that a person can print to the cloud
(i.e., a virtual print file holding pen) and later the file is released to a specific remote printing device. Expect to see more cloud-printing
options in the near future.
Having recently experienced the theft of my iPad (astoundingly, it was recovered—thanks to the local police!), I can appreciate what I now consider the necessity of cloud-based
storage for all of my digital acquisitions (not to mention a very strong password
How about you?