This is shaping up to be the year of the Cloud. It’s been coming for the past three or four years. We now have MobileMe, Dropbox (which is wildly successful) and many other similar tools to store our data on remote servers. And there are dozens of backup utilities which allow you to synchronise all your data to the Cloud, although they sometimes tend to be very slow and prone to problems.
It is just so convenient to have all your stuff available from wherever you happen to be, and on whatever device you happen to have in your hand at the time. Just as important, though, is that your precious data is stored offsite in addition to any physical backups you are keeping at home or office. With cloud storage there’s no need to send a monthly disk drive or CD to Aunt Sarah in the next county.
We’ve been hearing rumours of a revamped and cheaper—or even free—MobileMe service, plus the prospect of being able to store all our iTunes content at Apple’s North Carolina server farm. Today comes news that Amazon is working on a similar “digital locker” service to store customers’ music and videos. They’re already doing it with Kindle books and it works well. Extending the service to other digital media is a big step but one that I think will be very popular with Amazon’s army of clients.