Back in July I did a Discussion Point podcast that talked about how the OS War could be heading into the clouds as all the major players stake their claim on this new computing platform that has everyone running around like crazy. I followed that up with a full post on the cost and the dominance factor in the cloud computing arena but it seems that there isn’t a week that goes by where someone else announces that they are jumping in as well.
I realize that competition can be a great thing however I wonder if in this case this everyone in the pool idea is such a good thing. First off lets take a look at the companies currently involved with cloud computing and those who have announced their intention to join the party. After a quick search this is some of the companies that I found to add to the ones I already knew of:
- Microsoft – currently active
- Google – currently active
- Amazon – currently active but directed primarily at web developers
- Dell – active
- Apple – active
- Sun – currently spinning off their utility computing operation into a separate company
- IBM – currently building out their cloud computing infrastructure
- Intel, HP and Yahoo – announced partnership to create a cloud computing test bed
- AT&T – announced the launch of their cloud computing offering called Synaptic Hosting
- Verizon – intends cloud computing offering in Q1 of 2009
- eBay – a possible move being planned
It is easy to tell from even this cursory list that this field is becoming the next Internet gold rush with everyone looking to get their slice of the proverbial pie in the sky. The problem is that all these different companies all have different ideas of how cloud computing should be implemented, how the platform should be structured and how it should be accessed. Potentially this could make the OS war that we are use to know seem like a walk in the park on a sunny afternoon.
Something that should in theory provide a level computing playing field for us the users could end up being just another minefield of protocols, access method and program interoperability – you know … those things that have been haunting our current computing life. I know I could be wrong about this worry and I hope I am – really I do – but history has shown us otherwise.
What do you think – will having all these companies (with more to come most assuredly) make the adoption of cloud computing easier or harder?