Opinion

Is Gmail a bad advert for cloud computing?

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I'm constantly amazed as the omnipotent power of marketing in IT. Mumbo jumbo really has conquered the world.

If you repeat a lie often enough, people will inevitably start to believe it and pass it on. You wanna get a solar panel, they'll say. I know someone who generates so much electricity he has to sell the surplus back to the electricity board.

Nobody has ever produced a single case study of this happening. I almost bought a wind turbine for my house but, at the last minute, the vendor backed out because I wanted to publish the results. There's confidence.

There's the same blind acceptance of every marketing claim about the cloud.

You're already using the cloud but you don't know it, evangelists will say. 'Hands up here anyone who uses Gmail?'

Gmail? Good grief! Gmail is dreadful. As if being ploddingly slow (that's the cloud for you) wasn't bad enough, they've built in some new unwanted features that make finding a message pointlessly fiddly.

Am I the only person driven mad by that cascading thing they do with all the emails from each person? So when you have to search for the email that someone says they sent you last week, you end up having to place your cursor on the right message header needle that's buried in a massive haystack of old correspondence.

Pah!

I never thought I'd say this, but give me Microsoft any time.

Microsoft. Now there was a company we could trust.

This was first published in September 2011

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