Monday, January 18, 2010

Cloud computing - Google's ever increasing dominance

A lot of people who write on the sites and blogs I frequent use and swear by Googlemail, and Google in general - Google Calendar, Google Contacts , Google Apps and so forth.

It always seems such a clean and neat idea to have everything in one place under one "brand", and I frequently think I should migrate all my email and PIM type activity to the monster that is Google, but I haven't yet done so.

I do have a Googlemail address, although my primary email address is on a long standing Pipex account (which incidentally I've been threatening to leave for years). I've slowly been advising some of my contacts of my gmail address and changing contact details on the multitude of websites I've registered with over the years, and sooner or later, my gmail address will become my primary address.

However, I'm less inclined to migrate my contacts and calendar. I used to use Outlook on my home PC (an old XP version), which was adequate rather than great. OK it was horrible.
Since buying a Macbook Pro, I signed up to Mobile Me, and now all my contacts and calendars are managed via my MBP or iPhone, syncing seamlessly via Mobile Me. OK, it's costing me, but it's a price I'm currently prepared to pay. There's the bonus of 10G of iDisk space too.

Additionally I have an irrational thought that storing my 250+ contacts on Google's servers isn't very good for data protection, but conversely seem to ignore the fact I'm happy enough having them sitting on Apple's Mobile Me servers!

My calendar and contacts needs are pretty comfortably met by the iCal and Contacts apps on the MBP (I don't use the Windows PC for this at all now), and being an iPhone user everything "just works" pretty much flawlessly, which after some of the issues I had with my Palm devices with duplicate entries, disappearing entries etc (not often, but enough to be irritating), I'm just happy to see the iPhone and MBP work like they're joined at the hip (which I suppose they are).

So, email aside, I have no real need to move Contacts/Calendars to Google currently. But the worm is slowly turning. Email is going slowly that way. One of the two websites, the cricket one I run is now hosted on Google Sites (, and the other ( will be going that way this year, and of course this very blog is now part of the Google empire. For the moment though, Apple hold sway in calendar and contact management.

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