While we potential users may argue the pros and cons of “Cloud Computing”, those who provide cloud-computing solutions are having to work hard for a living. That’s a pleasant change to having to pay the asking price to a monopolist, eh? I like that aspect of it. It’s also very efficient in that experts who should know how to run the service will fuss over it instead of the users or their randomly-hired staff. It is an ancient truth in the history of mankind that specialization is a good thing, all things being equal.
Of course the best laid plans can go wrong but we are still early in the evolution of cloud-computing. It should settle down to a routine sooner or later. In the meantime we can watch it, flee it or dive right in. While some see cloud-computing as a great role for FLOSS, others see software in the cloud as essentially non-free because the users don’t have any control over it. I think the competitive nature of cloud-computing will demand that FLOSS be used in the cloud because FLOSS is the most efficient way to obtain software. Further, putting compute/storage resources on the web reduces the need for big ugly client-computers. Instead, small cheap computers will be promoted and they almost always run FLOSS, so FLOSS wins both ways.