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Cloud Computing in Plain English

Common Craft explains Cloud Computing in Plain English. It’s a (very) broad overview of cloud computing, explaining it from the perspective of a business owner. But it seems unsatisfying and too simplistic. Most internet users have experienced some aspect of “the cloud” (in some ways, the cloud is a return to mainframe computing where storage and computation are not local) in their daily online interactions. Major software companies are pushing their data and software online – Google Docs is a great example…and Microsoft is releasing an online version of Office in 2010 (I initially thought would be MS counter to Google Docs, but the service only allowed users to upload and share documents, rather than collaboratively edit).
Cloud computing is a nebulous concept – is it a service? a concept? a technology? a series of protocols?. Currently it basically means “whatever our software company is doing right now” – just like web 2.0 in the mid 2000′s.