Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cloud Based Service


HP recently announced that they were discontinuing their TouchPad tablet (Jaenke, 2011).  Additionally, HP is considering, after acquiring Compaq a decade ago, to sell off its Personal Systems Group, its PC division.

The announcement of discontinuing HPs TouchPad tablet may not come as a big surprise to most since they were a late entry into an already competitive market.  However, why would a large computer manufacturing company, as HP is seen from most, discontinue or sell off its PC division?  The bottom line is that HP is looking to buy Autonomy Corporation plc.  Autonomy Corporation is currently the second largest software company in Europe (Introduction to Autonomy).  Autonomy provides 'access to information' so people can form and understand their data and automatically process it.  This is provided by Autonomy's "pan-enterprise software infrastructure that automates advanced operations" (Introduction to Autonomy).

General statements from HP indicated that they wanted to concentrate on software and enterprise.  This move shows HP as one of the companies leading the push toward cloud software platforms.  Additional signs that corporations are growing their cloud based services can be found in Asia.  Google is looking to invest $200 Million in Asia Data Centers.  Google is planning on building their own data centers which house computers, telecommunications and storage systems (Kim, 2011).

New cloud based services are being introduced as features in new devices.  Look at the new iCloud being offered by Apple Inc.  This new service will provide backup for a user’s “music, TV shows, apps, books, devise settings, app data, messages, ringtones and images in Photo Stream” (Mossberg, 2011, D3).  In addition to these free service backups user’s email can be stored as well, although the email will count against the allotted 5GB of free storage per user.  Any user with an Apple device (iphone, ipad, ipod, macbook) will be able to view the data saved on their iCloud account from any device as they choose.

Anderson, (2010) provided futuristic outlooks, from technology experts, relating to cloud computing.  Their opinions ranged from the desktop computer will be replaced with cloud software peripherals, to a hybrid cloud/desktop in the future, to no further expansion of cloud based services than what exists today.  The majority of opinions agreed that cloud based platforms will play a major role in the future.  From Anderson's (2010) Pew Institute Research Report on the future of cloud computing,  71% of the participants agreed with the following:

"By 2020, most people won't do their work with software running on a general-purpose PC.  Instead, they will work in Internet-based applications such as Google Docs, and in applications run from smartphones.  Aspiring application developers will develop for smartphone vendors and companies that provide Internet-based applications, because most innovative work will be done in that domain, instead of designing applications that run on a PC operating system" (p. 2).

The move from HP, looking to sell their PC division and acquire Autonomy, is indicative of a larger move from PC manufacturing to designing and maintaining cloud software platforms.  

References:

Anderson, J. Q. (2010).  The future of cloud computing.  The future of the Internet series, retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/The-future-of-cloud-computing.aspx

Autonomy.  Retrieved from http://autonomy.com/

Introduction to Autonomy (2011).  Retrieved from http://www.autonomy.com/content/Autonomy/introduction/index.en.html

Jaenke, P. (August, 18, 2011). HP buys autonomy, also drops TouchPad and ponders spinning off PC business.  Icrontic.  

Kim, Y-H (September, 29, 2011).  Google puts $200 Million into Asia data centers.  Wall Street Journal, B10.

Mossberg, W. S. (October 12, 2011). The iPhone finds its voice. Wall Street Journal, D1 & D3.
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