At the moment cloud computing is receiving a lot of attention by people claiming it could transform the fortunes of small businesses. But cloud computing has also been useful for personal users, and is only set to become more integral to the way we all use computers.
Cloud computing by stealth
Even if you aren’t aware of it, you’re probably using cloud computing services. For example, if you use web-based email such as Gmail, you’re using the cloud. Such services allow you to access your emails from any device capable of connecting to the internet. You can start writing an email on your mobile phone while waiting for a train, revise it on your tablet while travelling, and then send it when you get home – all seamlessly.
Cloud computing for entertainment rather than productivity
Then there are services such as Spotify, which has been considered a pioneer in the way cloud technology is utilised. Spotify allows you to stream music from a host of connected devices, so if you discover a new song you love while out and about you can easily add it to a playlist. The next time you log on at home your playlist will be updated with you having to do anything.
Even personal users need file sharing from the cloud
The internet has made it easier than ever to stay in touch with people around the world, and sharing photos has been one of the ways people manage to do this. Before cloud services such as Flickr and Picasa most people shared photos by emailing them. Sending high-resolution photos to multiple people could take a ridiculous amount of time. By uploading photos to a website just the once and sending people a link users are able to spend their time much more productively, whether online or offline.
Moving computers made easier with the cloud
For many people getting a new computer or laptop involved two stages. The first: being excited about your new gadget and everything it can do. The second: getting deflated about the fact that you have to transfer all your data. Except with more data stored on the cloud there is much less to transfer.
Even if you don’t particularly want all of your data on the cloud, there’s no denying that being able to use a service such as Dropbox in place of a USB stick or to make sure priceless documents are kept safe has been a huge benefit to many people.
The future is in the clouds
Cloud computing has already provided many benefits to personal users. Many people may not know services they are using are cloud based, but they are certainly taking advantage of them. With increases in the functionality of cloud services in the future, it looks as if personal users will only have more of a reason to get excited about the possibilities of cloud computing.
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