Cloud Computing: Online applications

In addition to online video-sharing sites like YouTube, the web also offers free online image-editing and video-encoding tools, but it seems that standalone web applications haven’t yet gained enough traction, as much as applications common to social networks like Facebook have. Or maybe it’s the social networking buzz that’s driving online application to a great extent, who knows?

In our cloud computing week , we’ve spoken about various aspects as to how far will people adapt to the technology and whether it will see as much success as far as the end consumers are concerned. In this article we’d like to have a quick discussion on which applications or application areas, for that matter, are used on the cloud.

Now, some people might be using online applications for various tasks and not even realizing that they’re actually working in the cloud. Let’s take for example Google Docs, where we share documents that are stored in some server somewhere across the globe, and they can be accessed and edited by a group of people, from anywhere. We think, that’s an awesome tool for bloggers, online publishers and freelancers alike.

But it doesn’t obviously end here. There are other application areas that are taking to the cloud, like photo-sharing, photo-editing, logo-making and such. But not all are received very well. Let’s quickly look at some of the websites that many of us might be using on a regular basis. Also, feel free to add your favorites to this list, be it for data storage, sharing of digital media or any other application that’s in the cloud.

  • Google Docs
  • Microsoft Office Live
  • Fotoflexer.com
  • www.freeonlinephotoeditor.com
  • www.zenfolio.com
  • www.Smugmug.com
  • Flickr.com
  • Picasa.com
  • Photobucket.com
  • Armorgames.com
  • Miniclip.com
  • Lulu.com
  • Writing.com

In the past week, we discussed Cloud Computing with different perspectives. Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft, spoke on the subject with a holistic view as to how the technology will play a major part in the future of computing. Then, industry veteran, Vijay Mukhi clarified a few aspects as to how cloud computing could be the mainstay as far as using office documents like spreadsheets, documents and such, are concerned. We even touched upon the topic of the cloud on smart phones . Today, we’ve short-listed a handful of online applications that can be used (or are already popular) for trivial tasks and to avert the use of heavy applications when not needed.

Although by now, we have a certain amount of clarity on the concept, what’s most important is, to know what we, the consumer wants, and is likely to use. For instance, personally, I don’t see myself using an online photo-editor, and I’d rather stick to Photoshop or a similar application that is feature-rich. Instead of using an online video-transcoder, I’d rather use Avi Demux or a similar application which is not only free to use, but offers a plethora of options. Similarly, each one of us has a set of applications we use for different purposes. So, can these applications actually be replaced by what the web offers today? Are you comfortable uploading personal pictures or data for editing or storing them online? If you don’t want to invest a heavy amount for certain software, wouldn’t you rather opt for a cheaper or even free alternative? Is social networking the prime reason that online applications and games are becoming popular? Speaking of which, there are people who ridicule Farmville, which perhaps is one of the most famous applications on Facebook. So why would a majority of people rave about it?

In any case, these are some of the questions which a consumer can answer best, so tell us what your opinion about cloud computing and online applications really is and maybe we’d know where the technology is really going.


Published Date: Jun 12, 2010 05:31 pm | Updated Date: Jun 12, 2010 05:31 pm