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Microsoft's Ballmer in D.C. to sell the cloud; Post Tech over the weekend

Microsoft hosts its annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C. starting Monday, which means thousands of business and government clients will be at the Verizon Center listening to the software giant's pitch to move their enterprise technology into the cloud. I'll be there, listening to CEO Steve Ballmer's keynote and interviewing him after.

But to start Post Tech's week, please take a look at my piece in the paper over the weekend on going all wireless onto the Web:

By Cecilia Kang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lashay Johnson and Simon Casselle walk along the U Street corridor with their cellphones outstretched like urban compasses guiding their way. Johnson stares at MapQuest on her Blackberry Tour, and Casselle is looking at a list of local businesses served up on his LG Chocolate.

They are summer interns doing old-fashioned door-to-door ad sales for a new online magazine. And they are using their cellphones as street map, Yellow Pages and events guide to the neighborhood. The two college students are also among a fast-growing population of cellphone users -- led by minorities -- who are taking advantage of more powerful devices, an explosion of applications and cheaper access to the Web.

Six out of 10 African Americans and Hispanics use their cellphones to get onto the Internet, a greater portion than for the overall adult population, according to a report by the Pew Research Center released this week.

Experts say the reasons for the high adoption rates are numerous. Ethnic minorities are often first-adopters of new technology. Cities such as Washington have become giant hot spots, with free Wi-Fi connections in public libraries, community centers, bookstores and coffee shops. And a phone with a flat-rate data plan -- while still expensive for many -- is more affordable than a $1,000 computer and monthly broadband connections of more than $50 a month.

For full story, please read here.

By Cecilia Kang  |  July 12, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Microsoft , cloud  
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Cloud Computing
Eventually all is retro. I am now 76. I was exposed to computing on an IBM Mainframe at Lockheed Missile Systems Division. It was tended by a cadre of IT priests. Punched card decks were accepted on Mondays and Wednesdays; results delivered on Tuesday and Thursday. Open 8 'till 5, except closed for lunch. One entered and exited the throne room facing the computer. A slight genuflection was always appreciated. The rule for software was the same as Henry Ford's color rule for automobiles (or AT&T for Telephones). As time passed the card decks were replaced by dumb terminals, and those in turn by somewhat vapid terminals, but the choice of software was the cadre's and more and more they held the data hostage. The server became multiple servers, the terminals linked by data lines, but software control was the cadre's and data was hostage.
Why my goodness! I do believe I have described cloud computing.
When the PC appeared, a shout went up across the land, and there was a gushing of software. Data and software control passed to the user.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Lower costs?? Sure. Let us do the worrying. Sure.
Don't be offset by the lock boxes at the door. It is just a friendly custom for male customers to deposit their testicles and females their ova.
In the meantime, I have this magnificent bridge for sale, called the George Washington.....

Posted by: rakarlin | July 13, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

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