How exactly can Microsoft, Apple and others expect us to rely fully on their cloud based services? Every couple of months, we hear of an outage, a hack exposing users' credentials (and/or nude photos) and other horror stories. Even for products as simple as a messaging platform.
Case in point: Skype, the service that's been around since the relatively early days of widely accessible Internet and that Microsoft purchased for some big bucks with the intention that it replaces all of its other communications products, has been down for at least 6 or 7 hours at this point. The worst part about it is that there is no easilly accessible information on what exactly went wrong, what is being done to fix it and when the service will be back online.
As luck would have it, yours truly was supposed to have an important video conference just about the time the service went down. Luckilly all the parties has other video conferencing tools installed, but that isn't always the case. So, again, how can we rely on these cloud based services for mission critical tasks? No way, it seems.
Maybe Bittorrent Bleep, with its distributed server-less organisation is more stable? We're not sure yet, as it has only been around for a short while and doesn't really have millions of users to thoroughly test it yet.
Our piece of advice to you, dear readers, would be to never invest large sums of money into one company's solution. That might get you stranded when you least expect it and the steep investment might keep you from looking at other options. Like you back your data up (which of course you do, right!?), you should have a back up for all of the important services you use.
Even if you're not willing to go to a relatively enterprise-unfriendly free/open source/alternative software and services, there are still enough major companies to cover almost any business need. When competition goes away, so will choice, so let's do our best to facilitate competition by keeping our solution providers on their toes.