Friday, October 8, 2010

The Mission-Critical Cloud ... NOT!

Last May I wrote a post entitled “Perhaps Some Things Just Don't Belong in the Cloud;”  and I have to say that my opinion has not changed very much since then.  At that time I was writing about Tom Krazit's Relevant Results column for CNET News, on which he was reporting crash problems with Google Calendar.  Thus I am saddened by the fact that it was absolutely no surprise that today’s column should be about exactly the same topic.  The only real difference is that, between then and now, I have had a bit more experience with Google Calendar;  but that experience involved only the transition from my PC-based Outlook calendar to iCal on my MacBook.  All that mattered was that Google Calendar provided a “middleman” to which I could export from Outlook and import to iCal;  and the only problem was that it only worked for my Calendar data and not for my Tasks.

These days my highest priority is getting to the concerts I cover on time.  Thus, more than anything, I need to set up time-critical reminders for most of my calendar entries.  For this there is no substitute to software residing on my own machine that puts messages up on my screen and beeps when it does so.  There are too many unknowns between my screen and the cloud to entrust this to any environment managing software remotely.  This is just as important as the current Google problem involving losing data.

Meanwhile, I suppose I need to take this into account in thinking about considering Google as a “safer neighborhood” than Yahoo! Mail for my electronic mail.  As far as I can tell, Yahoo! never lost any of my mail, although they certainly had their share of denial-of-service glitches.  So, if Google provides a platform where my private information (such as my password) is less likely to be compromised, should I then worry about whether any of my mail will fall in their bit bucket?  Everyone even remotely connected to marketing likes to talk about “customer experiences;”  but do “experiences” like these signify to them?

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