What do you think of Cloud Computuing?

Currently most employees of corporations and small businesses that use computers every day need their own computers. If that expense is not enough they also need to have the right hardware and software to do their jobs. The expense is huge and that is on top of all the software license fees. Every time a new employee is hired you have to buy more software or make sure that the license allows another user.

There is an emerging technology that could change the entire computer industry. Instead of installing a suite of software for each computer, you would only have to load one application. This application would allow employees to log in to a web-based service which hosts all the programs the user would need for their job. Remote machines owned by another company would run everything from word processing, email, and any other type of program. It is called cloud computing.

In cloud computing there is a substantial workload shift. Local computers no longer need to do all the work when it comes to running applications. The network of computers that make up the cloud handles the work instead. All the software and hardware demands on the user end decrease significantly. The only thing the user’s computer needs to run is the cloud computing system’s interface software, which can be as simple as a web browser, and the cloud’s network does the rest.

Most computer users have already used some form of cloud computing. For instance, if you have an email account with Yahoo or Google you used some form of cloud computing. You do not use the email program on your computer but instead log in to a web email account remotely. The storage and software does not exist on your computer but instead on the services computer cloud.

Is this technology going to change companies like Microsoft, Adobe and many others? What will it do to software sales? What is your opinion on cloud computing?