Tech To Watch 2012: The Cloud Eclipses Gadgets

Cloud Computing

The cloud isn’t new. The personal cloud is.

“The current state [of the cloud] is this type of digital locker,” explained Gartner Research’s Michael Gartenberg. But with last year’s release of iCloud and Microsoft improving its Windows Live Skydrive, the cloud has begun to move toward a multi-device synchronization model, with users able to sync and update files across all of their gadgets.

Why It’s Important

The cloud is fast becoming the next great frontier in personal computing, offering users near-limitless amounts of online storage, processing power, and content.

“We are at a point where brands and platforms and even devices are ultimately going to be defined not by [processing] speeds, but the services they offer. And those services are almost entirely going to become cloud based over time,” Gartenberg said.

How It Will Change Your Life

According to Dharmesh Mehta, director of Microsoft’s Windows Live division, the cloud as it currently exists can be broken down into three divisions: the file cloud, the device cloud, and the app cloud. The file cloud is made up of file storage services such as Microsoft’s SkyDrive, while the device cloud is made up of services such as Apple’s iCloud. The app cloud is the use of connected apps that allow users to bring their information and settings across the web.

Within those cloud divisions are the service providers such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. These divisions create compatibility issues between brands. But we’re beginning to see a paradigm shift away from a reliance on one company’s cloud service. “Over the next 6 to 18 months, you are going to have more innovation on bringing these together,” Mehta said.

With a less fractious cloud, users will be able to move and access their files using any device with any service.

“For 2012, one of the important aspects of getting people to recognize the value of cloud is how it can be a unifying influence over their complex lives and straddle areas like entertainment and documents and messaging and communications and address book,” said Dana Gardner of Interarbor Solutions.


A device- and OS-agnostic cloud might end our obsession with getting the most powerful gadget. “We are talking about a whole new wave of, not only technology, but services,” said Gartenberg. “And that means platforms become less relevant, devices become less relevant, they are all just connected screens.”

Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
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  1. Evangeline Sadeghi Says:

    Although on Amazon is pre-ordering, mine was bought earlier from lenovo official website (It’s a 2G version, so I’ll need to buy a 16G or 32G sd card soon). Lenovo a1 seems tough-build. The size is exact the same with my kindle 3 but double the thickness because I can put my kindle 3 case on it, tightly. I don’t think you need screen protection film. The screen looks and feels like a thick glass. very bright, I even had to dim the light to the lowest. A1 is very easy to use. So far no lag time. Everything so fast (maybe it’s new and I do not have many apps yet?) One offline GPS apps called Navdroyd. It was not a full version since it’s free which only allows you to download a chosen state map. I guess you can buy the full version from android market for $7. Another apps named Navigation doesn’t seem to work without wifi. Anyways, the Navdroyd has turn by turn and speak street names correctly (tried highway and local small rd both). There’s lot of input languages to choose from. picture and video quality is fine. I have to say comparing to iphone 4s picture quality it’s not as good but it’s not bad at all. One thing I love it is the convenience. Using USB. Basically just drag files between your PC. Then you can back up and read doc excel pdf epub mobi mp3 mov, you name it (of course you have to have the good apps from android market which are usually free too). Much easier than that sync thing for iphone and itures. Music played smoothly. I recommend qqplayer to watch video since it plays all kinds of formats. I did try use adobe flash apps then played web flash, it worked. I don’t know what will happen since I just heard adobe flash ceased mobile business. I have only used this tablet for 2 days, so I can’t guarantee it will be good forever. But I really love it for this price and this quality.

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