Saturday, May 31, 2008

Clouds for the masses

I've been hearing about "The Cloud" for some time now. Mostly from Microsoft engineers. There is 'Cloud Computing' and 'Cloud Storage'. Sending things to 'The Cloud'.
The cloud in this case is of course the internet. They use the term "cloud" because when you draw a network diagram you usually symbolize the internet with a cloud.

So as a developer I've been hearing about clouds for some time now. And now Valve (makers of Half-Life and Portal) have announced Steam Cloud. The Steam Cloud framework enables games to store settings and saved games on their servers on the internet (in the cloud). Aside from this being totally awesome, it's just funny they chose the 'cloud' name. Of course it fits perfectly with their 'Steam' brand name and it makes sense to most people because steam produces clouds. But to the developer it also makes sense, because it does something in "The Cloud".
I thought it was funny to see a developer-centric term go mainstream without losing its meaning (even though non-developers probably won't give it the same meaning developers do).

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