FTC looking at the cloud — and other news

It looks like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is checking out cloud computing.

Information Week reports that the FTC is looking at data and security implications when it comes to cloud computing for consumers. The action is in response to a Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Notice of Inquiry about how broadband and data portability relate to the cloud and privacy.

FCB has contact the FTC (say that three times fast) — and hopefully we’ll be able to tell you more about this soon.

Vint Cerf, the man often considered the father of the Internet, says there should be standards when it comes to cloud computing. Computerworld reports that he talked about the various clouds (offered by companies such as Microsoft and Google) and the fact that no interoperability exists between them. He likened the current cloud situation to the lack of communication and familiarity among computer networks in 1973. In addition to interoperability, he discussed security and other topics during his presentation.

What’s scarier than concerns about security, compliance, privacy, and management? Hype. That’s according to Bob Evans of Information Week, who writes that 2010 might well be the year of the cloud, but that could pose some serious problems if proper planning isn’t done.

Hype isn’t stopping smaller companies, however. BCS reports that more small and medium sized businesses will embrace the cloud this year. A study, conducted by Easynet Connect, found that the number of SMBs that are planning to adopt cloud technology within the next five years rose from 47 per cent at the end of 2008 to nearly three-quarters of respondents at the end of the last year. They also found that the number of SMBs that are planning on switching to cloud computing in the next 12 months rose 28 percentage points to 50 per cent of those questioned.

Speaking of what’s new in 2010, Microsoft has announced that it’s Azure platform will be available on Feb. 1. This is Microsoft’s first foray into cloud computing since the launch of Microsoft Online Services.

Dell and Infobird have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to provide cloud solutions in China. The MOU will bring cloud-based call center solutions to customers in China. The two companies are currently negotiating the more definitive agreements for the cooperation.

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