Freedom from the Cloud?

This morning’s Observer column.

“The novelties of one generation,” said George Bernard Shaw, “are only the resuscitated fashions of the generation before last.” An excellent illustration is provided by the computing industry, which – despite its high-tech exterior – is as prone to fashion swings as the next business. Witness the current excitement about the news that, on 2 March, Apple is due to announce details of the new iPad, the latest incarnation of what the Register disrespectfully calls an “uber-popular fondleslab”. Yves Saint Laurent would have killed for that kind of excitement about a forthcoming collection.

To put the hysteria into some kind of context, however, consider how we got into this mess…