Cloud computing baffles average American

“‘The cloud,’ as a concept, may be all the rage in the technology industry, but consumers are baffled by the term,” Thomas Claburn reports for InformationWeek. “Research firm Ipsos OTX MediaCT recently conducted a survey of 1,000 American adults that plumbed respondents’ thoughts about cloud-based services. In reporting his firm’s findings, researcher Todd Board suggests that cloud computing is as alien to most consumers as the term ‘woolpack,’ an obscure word that, among other things, can be used to refer to a cloud resembling sheep’s wool.”

“‘When presented with brand names, nine out of ten consumers indicate they are using some type of cloud-related service,’ the report finds. Ask a Yahoo Mail user if he or she enjoys the cloud and chances are you’ll hear, ‘No, I prefer Yahoo,'” Claburn reports. “This perception gap is most pronounced with regard to email services and music services; users of online storage and web-based productivity apps mostly recognize that they’re cloud computing customers.”

Claburn reports, “The message for tech marketers, the report suggests, is to talk about comprehensible benefits and brand value rather than the ill-defined cloud. Apple, due to the strength of its brand, may not have trouble convincing customers to use its iCloud service. But the Amazon may have to work harder to sell its Cloud Drive, particularly in light of the recent EC2 interruption, the report argues.”

Read more in the full article here.

81 Comments

    1. The cloud is nothing new. It is just a term made up by both techno-egos and WS shysters as aarketong tool.

      Most people are smart and inherently knOw that this is much ado about nothing. Apple should have done the updates this way a long time ago. I guess they needed to build more storage capacity.

          1. I distinctly remember seeing many diagrams with inputs leading to a cloud image labeled “And then a miracle occurs”. I’m thinking it’s going to take Apple to make the flow exit that event on the True side.

  1. I would’nt worry about it that much. Ask any normal American where Canada is and the usual response is either where is Canada or, isn’t that a county in Alaska.

      1. I was going to write “Canada is where they burn cars and loot stores after 40 years of frustration, then go back to politely tolerating Championship Hockey to the South.” or some such thing… but, seems someone beat me to the punch.

        1. Yeah but…here in the US we have so many idiots looking for a village. Ask the question, “Who is buried in Grant’s Tomb?” and then you’ll see why. It’s truly pathetic.

      1. That is so sad – mortally embarrassing really. Surely they filtered out some intelligent responses.

        I hope that the rest of the world is doing better in educating its citizens. Someone is going to have to pick up the slack when the plague of ignorance takes down the U.S.

    1. Of course blame the unions.  Don’t blame parents for not noticing their kids lack of knowledge, or the kids showing up for school stoned.  It could not be the conservative decades long effort to get rid of useless class like history, civics, art, and music; only fund English, math and sports.  It could not be that the clip did not show people with the correct answers, or that most people were busy, and did not care about their answer that much. No it is only the unions fault.  

  2. Honestly? I blame those baffling Microsoft “To The Cloud” ads. Those ads are so obtuse and unclear about what they’re trying to communicate, I think they’ve taken something that could be explained fairly simply, and have turned it into something most people now feel mystified by.

    (Much the same way Microsoft keeps Windows users puzzled, scared and confused – easier to push ’em around that way!)

    1. Obtuse and unclear like Microsoft’s entire business strategy.

      Funny thing about those cloud ads, is that most of what they showed really wasn’t what cloud computing is at all. Streaming a video from your laptop at home? Uh, no, thats not cloud computing.

      I blame Microsoft for the confusion.

    2. They’re even more stupid because as well as being used wrongly, they’re using it as if it’s something are going to say on a day to day basis. No-one is ever going to say “to the Cloud!” outside of one of those ads, or when talking about how crap those ads are.

      1. Microsoft runs a series of commercials that make absolutely no sense, and do not demonstrate anything pertaining to the “cloud”. When the average consumer sees the commercial they assume that Microsoft knows what it’s talking about and that the reason the commercial makes no sense to them is that they are somehow missing some vital point. They think they don’t understand the “cloud” because Microsoft’s nonsense doesn’t make sense to them.

        1. Exactly. This was more or less my mom’s reaction when she asked me about those commercials.

          This is part of why Microsoft’s consumer-oriented marketing continues to fail – they can’t seem to stop themselves from making technology seem confusing and intimidating.

        2. Exactly. My mom had pretty much this exact same reaction when she asked me about Microsoft’s “To The Cloud!” ads. I have no doubt they were directly responsible for her initial puzzled questions to me about iCloud.

  3. How the hell do you compute at 30,000 ft without an airplane? what about those bright sunny days when their are no cloud in the sky? The weather is going play havoc on cloud computing.

  4. People don’t need to know what the cloud is. It’s a marketing term which is used in random ways, much like ‘digital’.

    All that matters is what it does for them and people are smart enough to realise that documents which synchronise magically on all your devices is a pretty useful feature.

    1. Exactly. The storage of data away from your appliance has existed since the mainframe days.

      WS shysters are just playing with the teem so that they can manipulate stocks like amazon and find bagholders (most likely pension funds and mutuals) whe they clean up.

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