Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ask Tim Grey - Cloud Software

This is a good explanation of using "the cloud" by Tim Grey for folks who are confused about the topic.
From: Tim Grey
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2014 8:06 AM
Subject: Ask Tim Grey - Cloud Software - April 28, 2014

Ask Tim Grey eNewsletterApril 28, 2014

Providing Answers to Photographers for Over a Dozen Years...
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Today's Question: I have recently purchased Photoshop on the cloud but have no idea exactly what that means or how it works. I know I get updates/downloads automatically but where exactly is all that info and where is it stored? All I know is that it's not sitting on a cloud!
Tim's Answer: I think it is perfectly understandable to be confused by the term "cloud" when it comes to software, because as far as I'm concerned this term has been co-opted and used beyond what I would consider the "real" meaning of the term.

From my perspective, the term "cloud" in this context refers to servers on the Internet, generally in related to running software via the Internet rather than on your local computer. For example, if you are accessing email through a website, such as might be the case when you're using a web browser to access Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or any other online email provider, you're using the cloud.

By contrast, if you're running a local application on your computer to read your email, it would be fair to say you're using "the cloud" to download your email, but you are actually working locally.

To me, the use of the word "cloud" in the Creative Cloud offerings from Adobe has only created confusion. The implication, for many who have become familiar with cloud computing is that you might be running Photoshop through a web server. In fact, the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription simply involves downloading software from the Adobe servers, but running that software locally on your computer. In other words, this is nothing more than downloading software from a website and running that software locally.

That said, one of the advantages of using software such as that offered through an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription is the ability to receive frequent uploads to that software. So, while a "normal" installation of Photoshop might be something of a fixed installation without any frequent updates, with the Adobe Creative Cloud you'll find that updates are issued somewhat frequently and can be accessed online very easily.

I think the best way to think about all this is that in many cases what is referred to as "cloud" computing is really just software you download from a website and that might have an online component for updates and other features. But in general you can probably think of this issue as being a matter of marketing terms causing a bit of confusion. I suspect there would be less confusion overall if the term "cloud" simply wasn't used in the context of most software.

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