October 2, 2008
Weather or Not, A Brand Name That's Cloudy
Steve Ballmer recently announced that Microsft will soon be launching a new OS called "Windows Cloud," for developers who want to write applications for cloud computing. Although the system most likely will not be called "Cloud" by the time it's released.
This move demonstrates that Microsoft clearly wants to be part of the "cloud computing" phenomenon; a phenomenon that has elicited a huge response across the Internet, mostly because it's so hard to define.
Larry Ellison is already denying the existence of clouds while others feel that cloud computing is "overhyped," even though few of us feeling the hype can, hand on heart, say that we understand what it actually is.
GNU founder Richard Stallman says cloud computing is a "trap" (well he would, wouldn't he? This is the fellow who says it's "worse than stupidity" to use Gmail).
My feeling? Cloud computing is here to stay, but this may be a case where the product name preceded the product in a big way. The best thing about it, from a naming perspective, is that the name itself has got us curious, and even arguing about it. I have already written about how the "Cloud" name has had trademark issues as eager developers try to make this particular product name theirs and think up a product or application for it later.
But by actually calling the new OS "Windows Cloud," Microsoft helps bring clarity and credence to an otherwise cloudy phenomenon.
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