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Can someone explain cloud software to me?
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Mac Elite
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Aug 10, 2013, 05:51 AM
 
Hi,

alright, this might sound a bit wild, but - I just don't get the point. I now know that MS Office, Adobe CreativeSuite and now the iWork apps, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, are going to be offered cloud-only. Why is that? What's the whole point? I do understand the point of clouds to synchronize your documents, to use them as backups, to share calendars with colleagues, right. But then? I just need some down-to-earth-explanation.

Greetings,
PeterParker
     
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Aug 10, 2013, 08:08 AM
 
You're confused between cloud STORAGE and cloud DISTRIBUTION.

Adobe stuff is going online-only for DISTRIBUTION. There is absolutely no requirement for any of your documents and data to be stored online, at all.

All Apple software has been cloud-only for a while now — it's all sold via the App Store.

I use iWork, and I don't use iCloud document storage at all, yet, though: it's far too inflexible at this point to be useful to my business. The only aspects currently useful are keeping contacts, calendars, bookmarks, and game and app statuses synchronized across devices — the "invisible" stuff.

I do use DropBox to store work material that I need to access from various devices, or share with others. I keep my archive of sheet music in PDF form in Dropbox, along with various "master" versions of songs, set lists, demo material, and other documents that I need to access in their latest version on the Mac, the iPad, and the iPhone.
I also have numerous projects I collaborate on with others, so we have a centralized storage folder for each project, where everybody has access to the same material, latest versions or recordings are automatically passed to everybody, etc.
     
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Aug 10, 2013, 02:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
You're confused between cloud STORAGE and cloud DISTRIBUTION.

Adobe stuff is going online-only for DISTRIBUTION. There is absolutely no requirement for any of your documents and data to be stored online, at all.

All Apple software has been cloud-only for a while now — it's all sold via the App Store.

I use iWork, and I don't use iCloud document storage at all, yet, though: it's far too inflexible at this point to be useful to my business. The only aspects currently useful are keeping contacts, calendars, bookmarks, and game and app statuses synchronized across devices — the "invisible" stuff.

I do use DropBox to store work material that I need to access from various devices, or share with others. I keep my archive of sheet music in PDF form in Dropbox, along with various "master" versions of songs, set lists, demo material, and other documents that I need to access in their latest version on the Mac, the iPad, and the iPhone.
I also have numerous projects I collaborate on with others, so we have a centralized storage folder for each project, where everybody has access to the same material, latest versions or recordings are automatically passed to everybody, etc.
Yes, it's true, I just don't understand most of this. So, what does it all mean? I thought Apple just announced they were going to iCloud with Pages, Keynote, Numbers - right? So I can't download an app any longer, but they are just offering it as a total online version. So, this is not about distribution, I thought, but when my online connection doesn't work I can't use the application. Am I entirely mistaken (that's quite possible by the way)? I thought that's the way the new Office and the new CreativeSuite are heading - I don't really mind downloading applications, although - to me at least - it still feels inhabitual, I'm just not used to it. Am I wrong?
     
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Aug 10, 2013, 02:54 PM
 
One other reason for moving apps to the cloud is cross platform compatibility, and that's a pretty big deal. I have not heard of plans for Apple to abandon the desktop versions of iWork though, to date the cloud version has just been a supplement.

There are ways for these apps to work offline.
     
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Aug 10, 2013, 06:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by PeterParker View Post
Yes, it's true, I just don't understand most of this. So, what does it all mean? I thought Apple just announced they were going to iCloud with Pages, Keynote, Numbers - right? So I can't download an app any longer, but they are just offering it as a total online version. So, this is not about distribution, I thought, but when my online connection doesn't work I can't use the application. Am I entirely mistaken (that's quite possible by the way)? I thought that's the way the new Office and the new CreativeSuite are heading - I don't really mind downloading applications, although - to me at least - it still feels inhabitual, I'm just not used to it. Am I wrong?
I'm going to suggest you completely forget "iCloud". It's marketing, and just confuses the actual meaning of the "cloud", which is simply "on the Internet, as opposed to your hard drive".

Here are the cloud business models the "big four" are using. They're all different, which is what's causing confusion. You can see each company's "DNA" in how they decided to implement things.

Apple has...
Cloud storage (iCloud)
Cloud application distribution (App Store)
Cloud services (iCloud)

Google has...
Cloud storage (Google Drive)
Cloud applications (Google Docs)
Cloud services (Gmail, Google+, and more)

Adobe has...
Cloud storage (Creative Cloud)
Cloud application distribution (Creative Cloud)

Microsoft has...
Cloud storage (SkyDrive)
Cloud application distribution (Office 365 with Office 2013)
Cloud applications (Office 365)
Cloud services (Outlook)
Physical media (Office 2013)


The most important thing to note is these companies often use the same term for entirely different things, which also causes confusion.

The second thing to note is the difference between "applications" and "application distribution". Cloud applications you use in a browser, and if they duplicate an existing program, they tend to be hobbled. This is the case with Office 365. Cloud application distribution is buying and updating the app over the Internet.

You'll note Apple has the distribution only. When their apps became "iClouded" all that meant was they were hooked into the cloud storage. There's no way to use it as a cloud application (i.e. fire up any web browser and use it that way).
     
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Aug 10, 2013, 06:52 PM
 
^ That is very nicely sorted, right there.

The only thing I'd add, which is one point Peter specifically mentioned in his OP and that is obviously confusing, is that Apple is also offering iWork as Cloud applications, starting this autumn.

That does NOT mean that they will stop offering the online-distribution (via App Stores) of locally stored iWork apps for iOS and OS X.
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 12:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
^ That is very nicely sorted, right there.

The only thing I'd add, which is one point Peter specifically mentioned in his OP and that is obviously confusing, is that Apple is also offering iWork as Cloud applications, starting this autumn.

That does NOT mean that they will stop offering the online-distribution (via App Stores) of locally stored iWork apps for iOS and OS X.
Alright, so I think I understand most of this... (I really don't get the point of Apple porting iWork over entirely to be online applications - why is that?)

So is it really such a big change for Adobe to stop physical media distribution? They are going to rename CreativeSuite even, as far as I understand (instead of just calling it CreativeSuite 7 or so). And why does MS online distribute Office? Can I run the online version on a Mac?
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 01:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by PeterParker View Post
So is it really such a big change for Adobe to stop physical media distribution?
No, not really. Although, there's a huge advantage to having physical discs on-hand, just in case. Adobe's switch to online distribution, though, isn't necessarily about doing away with physical media (though that's definitely a financial win for them) What the new cloud scheme is really about is switching from the traditional purchase-and-own model, to a rent-or-lose-access model. They're leveraging the cloud to enforce a more steady income stream.
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 02:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
No, not really. Although, there's a huge advantage to having physical discs on-hand, just in case. Adobe's switch to online distribution, though, isn't necessarily about doing away with physical media (though that's definitely a financial win for them) What the new cloud scheme is really about is switching from the traditional purchase-and-own model, to a rent-or-lose-access model. They're leveraging the cloud to enforce a more steady income stream.
And that's going to work !? Currently, I think there's a student version of CS 6 (the whole suite) for 380 Euros, so, that's not so much in the way that you get PS, ID, IL etc. How about the future?

I think I'm starting to get the point, but it sounds strange and cruel to me, though, in a way. Will this work? Will all software be rented in the future?
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 02:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by PeterParker View Post
Alright, so I think I understand most of this... (I really don't get the point of Apple porting iWork over entirely to be online applications - why is that?)
Together with iCloud data storage, this makes your documents available anywhere (probably limited in some ways), including Chromebook and Windows machines, without Apple having to build apps for those platforms.
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 05:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The second thing to note is the difference between "applications" and "application distribution". Cloud applications you use in a browser, and if they duplicate an existing program, they tend to be hobbled.
Cloud applications are not just via browsers - this is why we have so many apps in the mobile market place.

If you want a 'standard' definition of what cloud computing is, see the NIST definition : http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/ni.../SP800-145.pdf
Yes, clearly a light hearted joke is the entire problem here. Not the narcissistic ego bukake that is the lounge.
Salty (http://tinyurl.com/k7vr3we)
     
Clinically Insane
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Aug 11, 2013, 05:44 PM
 
For example?

(I'm not disagreeing, the terminology issues mean I don't know what you're talking about)
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 05:48 PM
 
Dropbox, LinkedIn, BBC News etc etc.

We spent the last 20 years going from thick client in business to trying to get everyone to use a browser and now for Joe Public we're doing the opposite.
Yes, clearly a light hearted joke is the entire problem here. Not the narcissistic ego bukake that is the lounge.
Salty (http://tinyurl.com/k7vr3we)
     
   
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