01/12/2009, 01:30 PM
CGK -- great example -- I pretty much got this concept before your post, but I hadn't seen it so simply put before. There are many here for whom this is a completely new paradigm, so it's reasonable that people haven't considered this before – especially those with a long-time local hotsync history. Personally, I can’t wait for the day I don’t need to hotsync for my PIM content… (my financial info for Quicken is another thing entirely!!)
I’ll take your example one step further to demonstrate the 'benefits' of "synergy". There are actually multiple "clouds" not just one big one as some people seem to believe. I think this is important because some (many) people keep referring to the "Cloud" as if it were one big repository somewhere that can be broken into, or might go down or out of business, or might steal / sell your data without your permission....
An example could be that you have three calendars to manage your life (in this example, feel free to replace 'calendar' with contacts, memos, tasks, and especially email accounts... )
- Your Exchange calendar where your work schedule resides. It is on YOUR COMPANY'S server or your company's hosting providers' server. It is protected by whatever safegaurds your company deems are necessary (which might include restrictions which prevent you from getting to it from your shiney new PRE by the way--but that's another story).
- Your Family Calendar which you, your wife, and your teenage son all have access to which sits on Google calendar under a family login -- this is where you put your family things like vacations, soccer games, and family nights out.
- Your Personal Calendar which we can assume is on a hosted provider to whom you pay a monthly fee (I use 1and1) with Exchange (which I currently do not, but I’ve heard it’s less than $10 per month). I’m not proposing most people should / would do this, but only present it this way to have a third ‘cloud.’ This could easily be Google or Yahoo instead and a free service…
While the PRE will integrate each of these three calendars into a single view (and I imagine could be customized to see just one of the three or 2 of the 3), the data from each of the three individual sources in the 'clouds' is never actually intermingled..., so work data remains protected and separate – except in the GUI presentation screen. I assume that when you make a calendar entry (just like when you compose a new email) you will select which source 'cloud' you would like the new entry put into and as CGK says, it will be OTA synced with in real time back up to that source...
By no means does this alleviate the issues posed by some of the MD's and JD's among us who note the privacy and legal concerns related to having data 'out there...', especially with medical information. But in the scenario where you are already doing things like scheduling on a company server with Exchange, then nothing will change... your schedule will still ONLY reside on your company’s server and your device, not anywhere else on the WEB (cloud)*!!
* To be fully complete, the one "Issue" which Palm will still need to address is backup and restore – if there will truly be a ‘cloud’ backup offering, then it is possible that the local PRE cache of all three calendars could be backed up to Palm’s (or a third party’s) servers for a device restore… in that case, my separation and protection of data theory goes out the window, since that private work information could be uploaded to some third party with whom you don’t have a business relationship and which might not have the same protections for your data as your company’s server has.
Again, I hope this message can begin to help clarify this 'cloud' issue for those who are confused. It’s possible I don’t have this perfectly described here, so my apologies if so.
Finally, for those of us who prefer a desktop client (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc...) when we are at the office or at home, there is a use scenario which would allow you to access all three calendars and view them together on the desktop in a similar way to how you would on your PRE. That is a lesson for another day...