Something that has been recommended for computer users for many years, yet one that we almost instinctively ignore is backing up our data. While the introduction of Time Machine on Mac has made things simpler for a lot of Mac users, the vast majority still don’t back things up in the traditional way- i.e. on an internal or external hard drive connected to your computer. But you know what? Maybe they don’t need to. Slowly, gradually and silently, our backups are already being done for much of our data without us even realizing it.
In case you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about how much of our digital life has moved to the Cloud. Ten years back, I used to install Microsoft Office as one of the first things on a new computer, but now GMail and Google Docs take care of my emails and documents. MSN and ICQ are also gone, replaced by Facebook and Twitter. The pictures that I used to take from my digital camera and copy to my computer are now replaced with pictures taken from my Smartphone and uplaoded directly to iCloud or Picasa. My music sits in iTunes while streaming local radio stations have taken over my listening.
So basically, if my computer fails, there won’t really be much that I’d lose. All my photos, music, emails and documents are already backed up to the cloud without me having to worry about it. All I need to do is just load up Chrome on a new PC and I have pretty much all my data available to me.
So now that all our data resides in the cloud, the next change will be using all our applications on the web as well. There are already many instances of this- such as Google Docs or Microsoft Office Web apps, but there are still quite a few apps that I use on the desktop such as Photoshop and Premiere for working on images and videos before uploading them on the cloud. Yes, I know we have Pixlr.com and Brightcove that I can use alternatively, but they’re not as good- yet.
All I’m saying is that it’s just a matter of time before the Cloud becomes our primary platform for our digital life. And the device that provides you the best experience to do that will win. iPad anyone?