The growing importance of cloud computing was made clearer recently when Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, resigned from the board of directors of Apple.
Cloud computing is the general term used to describe anything that delivers hosted services over the Internet. The name was inspired by the cloud symbol often used to illustrate the Internet in flow charts and diagrams. When a service or an application of any kind can be downloaded from the Internet to your device, whether a computer, laptop or cellphone, it is referred to as existing in the “cloud”.
In fact, Google has been on a collision course with Apple for months as it offered products and services from the cloud in direct competition. Just last month it announced its new Internet browser, Chrome, which amounted to a competitor to the system that runs Macs. Chrome is an open system that is downloadable from the cloud. And Google Apps and Google Voice are both making inroads.
As if this weren’t enough to strain the relationship between the two companies, Android, the search titan’s free operating system for smart phones, is mushrooming on smart-phones that go head-to-head with Apple’s iconic iPhone.
Unlike Apple, whose business is making and selling devices, Google wants a world in which the mobile web is as open as the Internet and is accessible to any and all devices running any and all operating systems. More open access for more devices and services creates a more searchable cloud or mobile web. This is very good for Google. But not necessarily for Apple.