GNU and Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman told The Guardian that cloud computing is a trap. Like Nicholas Carr, I think Stallman is a bit late and a bit paranoid. I agree with him and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison that cloud computing is overhyped to the point that the term has lost meaning–at least I always assumed it was just a sexier term for web-based utility computing. I also think that both consumers should be wary of committing their information to proprietary platforms–web-based or otherwise.
But there’s no question in my mind that the average user benefits from divesting IT responsibilities to the cloud. After I had played my filial tech support role one time too many, I moved my mother to web-based email. I would have uninstalled Microsoft Office if Google Docs could have met her needs–and I’m sure it will someday. And what’s good for my mom is probably good for most users, whether consumer or enterprise.