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[News] Poll: Microsoft Won't Snatch People's Data

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SaaS: Service Providers Predict Google Will Beat Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Five years from now, Google — rather than Microsoft — will dominate the 
| software as a service (SaaS) market, according to 48 percent of managed 
| service providers who participated in MSPmentor’s reader poll for the week 
| ended January 30, 2009. Here’s a closer look at the poll stats — and a 
| surprising snub involving Oracle.    
| MSPmentor asked its readers “Five years from now, who will dominate SaaS?” 
| Exactly 100 readers participated in the poll, and responded as follows: 
|     * Google, 48%
|     * Microsoft, 28%
|     * Oracle, 0%
|     * None of the above, 20%
|     * All of the above, 4%


Firms back data protection pledge

,----[ Quote ]
| Firms are being encouraged to back a pledge to safeguard the data they hold 
| about citizens and customers. 
| Drafted by the Information Commissioner, the Personal Information Promise 
| tries to improve respect for the data companies have gathered. 
| Firms and organisations who use data that people surrender do not always take 
| enough care with it, said Richard Thomas, Information Commissioner.  



Is the end near?

,----[ Quote ]
| With all the doom and gloom over the recent financial meltdown where bankers
| and stock speculators are making it difficult for the rest of us while
| getting a free ride from the government (it’s best you not get me started),
| you might think that this event alone would be a sign of the apocalypse.
| Nope.
| Here’s the real sign that the end is near: Richard Stallman and Larry Ellison
| agree on something, namely the fact that the nebulously phrased “cloud
| computing” is a farce.


Avoiding Ruinous Compromises

,----[ Quote ]
| The free software movement aims for a social change: to make all software
| free so that all software users are free and can be part of a community of
| cooperation. Every non-free program gives its developer unjust power over the
| users. Our goal is to put an end to that injustice.
| [...]
| It's no use going faster by taking the wrong road. Compromise is essential to
| achieve a large goal, but beware of compromises that lead away from the goal.


Do 'Clouds' Get in the Way?

,----[ Quote ]
| No one would accuse IBM senior vice president and group executive Steve Mills
| of having his head in the clouds.
| IBM's top software honcho heads up a $20B operation at one of the world's
| foremost IT players. Still, Mills maintains that clouds are getting in his
| way. More precisely, Mills was speaking this week about cloud computing --
| and the casual way most companies and users throw around the term to describe
| anything and everything that has to do with Web-based activities and
| applications.


Stallman warns against cloud computing

,----[ Quote ]
| In an interview reported by The Guardian, he said, "It's stupidity. It's
| worse than stupidity: it's a marketing hype campaign."
| Stallman warns that cloud computing is simply a trap to entice users' into
| entrusting their data and computing applications to proprietary systems that
| are beyond their own control and which service providers could make more and
| more expensive for users over time. He doesn't trust the vendors.
| "Somebody is saying this is inevitable -- and whenever you hear somebody
| saying that, it's very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make
| it true," Stallman said.


Cloud computing is a trap, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman

,----[ Quote ]
| Web-based programs like Google's Gmail will force people to buy into locked,
| proprietary systems that will cost more and more over time, according to the
| free software campaigner


Cloud Computing: Perilous Pitfall or Panacea?

,----[ Quote ]
| "I think Richard is right," Kevin Dean, a blogger on Monochrome Mentality,
| told LinuxInsider. Dean recently posted an article supporting cloud
| computing.
| "I sit here and type this out on my Gmail interface, but the truth is you DO
| give up some control when you place your data in the hands of other
| companies," Dean explained. "Your data is on their servers, but it's
| inaccessible if their servers crash, if they have a routing problem or --
| even worse -- vanish like several Web-driven services providers have, and
| your data is just gone. We place our trust in Web service providers to give
| us constant access to our oh-so-important data, yet we're fundamentally
| limiting ourselves by doing so."


Stallman vs. Clouds

,----[ Quote ]
| Still, I think that RMS is onto something. The core promise of computing,
| even on a vast network that connects us all, is autonomy and independence.
| It's being free (as in freedom) to operate on your own, and to share what's
| meant to be shared in ways that nobody else can control, and to improve
| useful goods in ways that work for everybody. There are, in those core
| values, imperatives that seem at odds with the dependencies that "cloud
| computing" can sometimes involve.

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