Graaaagh! As a technically inclined individual, it drives me no small amount of bonkers when marketing terms start to get bandied about by folks who think they actually mean something. Usually I have Apple to blame for crap like this (‘Retina’ display!!!), but this time it is Microsoft that has done pissed me off to no end with their harping on the ‘Power of the Cloud’.
While far from the only offender of citing Clouds as a magic bullet that will change the way we work and play forever, MS’ claim of The Magical Microsoft Cloud increasing the ‘power’ (another ambiguous term that means nothing) of their upcoming Xbox One home entertainment system by 3 to 10 times is certainly the most egregious.
Without any facts or data, the media began to dream up their own ideas of what The Cloud would mean. I’ve heard improbable theories ranging from AI computations to graphical rendering being offloaded to virtual servers in MS datacenters. The truth would be far more possible and a good deal less impressive.
Titanfall was unveiled as being one the debut titles in this new age of Cloud powered gaming machines. The fact? Dedicated multiplayer servers. Yep, decades old PC gaming technology dusted off and republished under a shiny new banner of Cloud Computing.
PCmag defines what Cloud means quite elegantly as “A communications network. The word "cloud" often refers to the Internet.”. Then they totally drink the Kool-Aid and ramble off into nonsense like “However, the term "cloud computing" refers to the services that have enabled the cloud to become so prominent in everyday life.” Man, magazine writers have it easy these days…
If you can’t substitute the word Cloud for Online or Internet and have it make sense, be suspicious. Cloud storage makes sense; You’re using an online server to store files. Cloud computing is a stickier wicket, but in the modern sense refers to utilizing an online server to do work like running an application. Web apps like YouTube or Google Docs are good examples of cloud computing.
The claim that a device will “Harness the power of the cloud to make it better” is marketing FUD and is best left ignored. Or mocked.