And that got me thinking, after reading about how Windows 8 Win will start implementing cloud integration into their operating system (mostly to prevent pirating by checking the kernel it sounds like for now), with google on track of building everything in the cloud, with cloud computing taking off, and with Microsoft wanting to stay big (their now playing catchup into the cloud arena google has already been on the ball), it begs the question, is the client OS on its way out?
Yes your going to need some sort of local OS, but how much of an OS will there be? To me, the future OS looks to be thin, with a combination of caching mechanisms for when one is offline, combined with accessing all your applications and data in the cloud, which then begs the next question, your privacy, how much are you willing to give up for the convenience of the cloud?
What is everyone's take on this route which everything seems to be going this way?
Unfortunately, I think our stuff is going to be integrated with the cloud more and more whether we want it or not. Think about this. If the OS's starts to integrate with the cloud, we may not have a choice. This is where I can see Linux picking up from here, I just get the feeling Microsoft and Google is heading that way, Apple as well, Google being the instigator (not blaming Google just that innovation to the cloud by one party with a mainstream of users willing to go this route is going to cause the others to go that way just because to most users, simplicity seems to be more important then confidentiality). Business will follow what works, that means Microsoft and Apple will follow what the masses want, and if Google leads the way, and the masses follow, Microsoft and Apple will too.
Here's the part I dont like and I see happening. As companies go this route, those company's clients (you and me) may be forced that direction too unless we want to not use their services. Those company's will go that route to cut costs, we will either agree to their new terms and follow or not use their services. Basically its going to get harder and harder not have our data in the cloud.
So what does this leave people? Well, taking the time to find out what each company you rely on - where their data is placed, but this takes time that most people are not willing to do. Just look at how quickly technology changes, who takes the time to do this? The company's know this and they know that if we rely on them now then 99% will make the transition of change even if we dont want to just for the sake of how integrated they are in our lives. Look at cell phones. 10 years ago, if I told you you couldn't have a cell phone no longer, it probably wouldnt be a big deal for most people, now you couldnt say that, as that technology is so integrated with our lives and the systems we use.
So this is the toughest part, but what you can do is utilize existing technologies as much as possible that allow you to keep your data confidential and private.
Who knows, maybe someone can start some sort of cloud-watch that does the research for people, telling them how much or little those companies utilize cloud technology and where exactly your data is stored, now that would be cool!
Other then that, stick to linux, OS's, and application software that keeps your data confidential!