I’m a huge Cloud fan. In my world, I want the device to function merely as an access point, a gateway to the myriad of experiences living in the Cloud can provide. Lately, I’ve found myself explaining the how and why in many different settings, and to different people, but always with the same end result.
My parents recently visited from Ireland and on the last day of their visit, my dad’s ancient laptop died. I took him to Best Buy and we test drove a number of different devices. His PC requirements are limited to email, some occasional Word & Excel docs and Chess. This allowed us to select a nifty light Asus device for less than $300. I added one of my unused Office 365 Home Premium licenses, set him up with a free Outlook.com email address and he and my mum headed back to Ireland. Now all his emails and documents will be stored in the Cloud. A future device failure won’t result in the loss of data. It’s all in the Cloud.
Meantime, my son was looking for some photographs. All my photos are instantly backed up to my Skydrive. So if something should happen to my phone, a Nokia Lumia 920, the device where I take most of my photos, I don’t lose my data. For my past few phone upgrades I haven’t even needed to create a back-up. All my data is stored in the cloud and I just need to reconnect my accounts and go. Now I just need an upgrade available, so I can get this phone!
Music in our house comes from Spotify. Again, the device doesn’t matter. Whether my husband is listening on his iPhone, me on my Lumia or my son on his laptop, we all have our own playlists and can access our tunes from our preferred devices.
For entertainment, we’re an Xbox family! We gave up cable when we moved to North Carolina over two years ago and embraced the cloud for entertainment. Whether it’s Hulu Plus, Netflix or Amazon Prime via the Xbox or we switch to live TV via the Leaf Ultimate digital antennae (this serves my Downton Abbey addiction), we are a Cloud family! Not only that but my son tells me that he loves how he can just switch from a show to Minecraft on the Xbox, and doesn’t have to keep track of the disk or worry about it getting scratched… another benefit of Cloud based storage – always on, always available (with wifi of course). Once again, the device doesn’t matter, we can start watching something via the Xbox and switch to another device in another room. Multiple people can even be on different devices, accessing Cloud based shows at the same time. You are limited only by what each service allows and we rarely run into issues.
Phone calls? Skype of course! With Viber filling on from time to time. Again, the device doesn’t matter. There’s a Skype app available for all of our different devices and platforms. So on Christmas Day we can Skype with family members in Ireland, Germany, Spain, Dubai and Ohio and celebrate together.
Once you start considering always on, always available for home, you very quickly start to consider how to get there for work. Whether its mirroring tools you use at home, like Facebook for social collaboration or Yammer to connect with colleagues. Or moving to Office 365 or SkyDrive Pro. Devices start to become access points rather than storage units. The devices cease to matter and become more easily (hopefully) upgradable.
What’s your Cloud story? Are you hoping for a Cloud related gift this Holiday season?