Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Get Off Of My Cloud

"Cloud" or web-based apps are all the rage, in part because your data can be retrieved anywhere, anytime, and can't be lost as easily as on a fallible local hard drive. But what if all of those things -- retrievability, access, durability -- are liabilities rather than assets?

QuickBooks, the popular accounting software, has apparently bumped into this problem. Making the app available online would be great, say, at tax time. But business customers see it differently.

Rather, Cook says, his customers want to know where their data is at all times, since in many cases, they're keeping somewhat fictional accounts for their tax reports. Should the IRS come knocking, Cook says, "Format C:..."

Oh, dang.

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