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What is cloud computing?

The latest trend in information technology is Cloud computing, the use of applications for word processing, accounting, music downloading, and other IT needs through a web browser. Essentially, the “cloud” application resides on the web and you access them through your browser.

Documents, data, reports, music, video and the like can be printed locally or stored on the web. This allows the use of “thin clients” (any device that runs a web browser is sufficient to run applications) because the processing is done in the cloud (using broadband, consequently the “cloud”) and not on your workstation.

Any small business can sample this trend! Microsoft and other providers have set up cloud computing sites for small businesses.

Examples:

• Microsoft: Word processing, spreadsheet and presentation cloud software equivalents of MSWord, MS Excel and MS Powerpoinbt are available at Microsoft office.

• Google: Word processing and other application free for all at Google.

QuickBooks: Accounting software free trial. After a test run online for free, Intuit is now offering a trial of QuickBooks online.

• Amazon: The ability to upload your music to the cloud and download it on your phone Amazon Cloud Music.

• Google is also going to enter the cloud music market and there are many stories on the net about Google, Amazon and others.

• Drop Box is a file sharing and storage space site using cloud. Small businesses will find it quite useful at DropBox.com.


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