Analysts Discuss Stallman and Googles Clashing Perspectives

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-12-19 Print this article Print

Citrix Systems, a company that buttered its bread provisioning local computer services for remote access, is on board for Chrome, even appearing at the Chrome OS soft launch this month to show its support. 

Citrix, which has 250,000 customers, could provide a great entry point for Chrome OS in the enterprises. Will consumers follow by buying Chrome OS notebooks next year? It's too early to tell, especially with tablet computers capturing mind share and market share of late.

IDC analyst Al Hilwa said Stallman makes a crucial legal argument related to data custody and control, which are significant concerns "when you think that corporations can be subject to governmental data audits without their knowing."

Even so, he believes the notion of hosting and managing workloads off premises and charging users for it on an incremental basis without a perpetual license is a legitimate business model that meets the requirements of many users in the industry.

"The question is how can privacy and data control norms or even laws can evolve to make these innovations more suitable for a broader audience," Hilwa said. "It is likely that without such evolution cloud will eventually reach a glass ceiling of adoption."

Industry analyst Rob Enderle agreed, noting that the concept of the public cloud has a lot of risks that we generally don't talk much about.

For example, Google users are daily ceding data to a company that is in the business of providing access to information not protecting it. He believes there should be enforced disclosure rules with regard to the rights Google and the user have over the data.

"People had trouble with sending their PCs in for repair and got really upset when they came back with new hard drives and no data," Enderle said.

"Imagine what will happen if there is a catastrophic failure with regard to protecting their data online or if private files leak from this service onto the Web. Particularly if it comes out that none of the Google executives would touch this service with their own private data with a ten foot pole. Next decade will be interesting for Google."




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