Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Down Side of the Cloud

I've been using Windows 8 for months and I'm not ashamed to admit that I like it. One of the features I've found particularly useful is the ability to share settings between different PCs once you have linked your Microsoft account (formerly known as a Windows Live ID) to your PC login.

I regularly use two machines, a multi-monitor desktop in the office and a touch enabled tablet. The tablet is used both in the office and when I'm out and about and having my settings replicated on each machine (particularly IE bookmarks & links) is proving to be a great time saver. This is achieved by seamlessly copying the settings to and from the cloud.

The cloud features heavily in other ways as well, with Microsofts' SkyDrive storage service being pushed as the way to store your documents, photos etc. allowing them to be accessed anywhere. Windows Store apps (formerly known as Metro style apps) also have limited local storage capabilities and are encouraged to store their data in the cloud, certainly for any meaningful line of business applications it will be the only option as databases such as SQL Server can't be directly accessed from the new Windows runtime (although they still can from a desktop application).

Relying on the cloud to store settings and data is all well and good if you've got the connectivity, but it soon unravels when you don't. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of people in the tech industry who assume that we are connected to the internet wherever we are all of the time.