We have talked about the evolution of application development platforms from the batch operating systems of the 1950s to the Internet today. (See this note and this chapter). Does this quote from a column by Robert Cringley ring true?
The importance of all our digital stuff along with our fear of losing it will shift us more and more toward central backup and storage. And once you have your life sitting on some company's server, are you going to move it on a whim? No, and that means there will be a LOT of money to be made providing these services. Storage and automated backup and probably some form of netboot with a fresh OS image every time is the future of computing whether we're talking about desktops or notebooks or mobile phones.What are the pros and cons of keeping your digital material on the Internet? If you get a fresh OS image every time you reboot, is it likely to come from Microsoft?