The cloud is coming. We’ve been hearing it for years now, we’ve seen all the signs, we’ve listened to the inexplicably spieling early adopters talking in a code that could scarcely be understood by the enigma machine, never mind us lot, and indeed we’ve watched the base technology evolve and grow and transform into a world-domineering monster. At least among those who have taken the plunge and gotten all cloudward already. Essentially though, the technology is still in its infancy, certainly in comparison to what it could do, what it could become and how we could end up using it as an integral, intrinsic component of the everyday internet. Like Google. Or that meme with the cat dressed in a jacket and tie.
There are a number of major players in the world of consumer cloud services, though it seems with the recent announcement of home video games console/set top telly box the Xbox One, it’s Microsoft who are really looking to take the cloud by the horns and charge full force at the living room. How, why and what effect will this have on cloud computing as a whole? Excellent questions undoubtedly, all of which are answered below!
So how is Microsoft’s new TV-based gaming system going to Cloudify the world? Well, it won’t be doing it alone, that’s for sure, but as it was only revealed to the world on 21st May, the way it will purportedly utilize the cloud is pretty progressive for the mainstream audience, something that might lend itself to all aspects of industry in fact.
One Way to the Cloud
Essentially, the bafflingly named Xbox One (the third iteration of the Xbox, bear in mind) is going to have cloud computing built into the very core of its operating system or at least into the way it functions while it’s running software. The way it allows you to do what it’s always done, play video games, will now be in the cloud. How? Well, Matt Booty, General Manager at Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, the brains behind the machine, sat down with tech magazine ARS to explain it all.
He said how the Xbox One’s new cloud component would be supported by a staggering 300,000 strong server architecture, before going on to explain how this would work in practical terms. He essentially outlined that many of the processes that occur in the gaming system don’t need instant and perpetual changes – environments for example, lighting and more complicated things like physics modelling and fluid dynamics, could all be shifted into the cloud. This means the processing would be done on different, more powerful hardware elsewhere, leaving the machine to deal with what’s left – the visceral front end engagement the user needs to see straight away.
Technically, this leaves game designers with the ability to play with a whole new realm of power that the user doesn’t even need to own for them to be able to harness.
Connected and Cloudward
So, the other components of Microsoft’s big cloud-based plans? Known as the Microsoft Connected Experience, the company’s Skydrive, Hotmail and Instant Messaging services are all cloud-bound together and stirred healthily into a big pot of Windows 8. Really, MS want you to use a single ID across all these devices and programs; the data for which, is stored in the cloud.
Now, the more successful the confluence of these cloud programs, and this significant mass market piece of technological hardware is , the more we’ll come to know cloud computing as an intrinsic part of our infrastructure, the more we’ll all begin to adopt it.
Ushering in Tomorrow
Present cloud computing to an SME who only knows of it through their Xbox One under the TV, and explain how that same technology could deliver powerful, business data, information and fully fledged software to you on any device wherever you are, and suddenly the business advantages start to make sense. With what could be a real-world comparison for sceptics, and an introduction to hardware based cloud computing on a truly global scale, are Microsoft about to cement the cloud in our hearts and minds? It certainly seems so.
So, over to you! Are you interested in Microsoft’s new home entertainment solution? Are you excited about its cloud functionality, or what it could mean for the cloud of tomorrow? Or are you deeply inquisitive of anything Microsoft do, and simply see this as yet another device taking natural, progressional advantage of the cloud? Let us know!
This article was written by Rob Vicars of Giacom, experts in the cloud computing space. Hosted Exchange from Giacom offers solutions to businesses large and small across the country!