When the Cloud Goes Down, is it Really that Bad?

Just the other week, Google Docs went down for about an hour. For me, it happened at a really bad time and luckily I was able to copy and paste the content from an open Google Doc into a Microsoft Word doc and continue working. But there were thousands of other people that were acting like the world was coming to an end.

I was watching the twitter feed on this topic and hundreds of people were stomping their feet and declaring their abandonment of Cloud Computing and Google Docs forever. Forever!

Though I feel their pain, I don’t think they are really thinking about all the downtime forced on them due to other circumstances.   Case in point:

Just today I had to apply 12 patches on my Windows laptop.  And of course as luck would have it, the patch process went terribly wrong.  The patches never got applied. The machine hung. I couldn’t log off. I was able to hibernate the laptop but then then I came out of hibernation, the machine was still hung.

By the time I was back to productive work, well over an hour had passed by.  Did I scream bloody murder, curse Microsoft, and swear off computers? Of course not. (Not that I didn’t think about it, mind you).

I’ve been working on Google Docs for years. This was the first time the service went down for more than a few seconds.  Comparatively, how many times have my patches went wrong? How many times did updates screw up my installation?  And let’s not even talk about how much time I’ve had to spend stomping viruses (from my co-workers computers, of course; never mine!)

So before we lament about an hour of downtime on Google Docs, think about how much total downtime and hair pulling you have to endure just to keep your “legacy” PC operations working.

Personally, I can’t wait until the Google Chromebook gets more fully fleshed out. I will be leaping on that platform with both feet.