Cloud computing is another definition for the grid computing technology used in the mid to late 1990's. Surfacing in late 2007, cloud computing is used to allow services used in everyday practice to be moved onto the Internet rather than stored on a local computer.
Email has been available in both methods for quite some time, and is a very small example of cloud computing technology. With the use of services like Google's Gmail and Yahoo Mail on the rise, people no longer need to use Outlook or other desktop applications for their email. Viewing email in a browser makes it available anywhere there is an Internet connection.
In 2007, other services including word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations were moved into the cloud computing arena. Google provided a word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications in its cloud computing environment and integrated them with Gmail and Google Calendar, providing a whole office environment on the web (or in the cloud). Microsoft and other companies are also experimenting with moving programs to the cloud to make them more affordable and more accessible to computer and Internet users. The software as a service initiative (the Microsoft term for cloud computing) is a very hot item for many at Microsoft.
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