Every indication of the future of technology, at least in the consumer sense, is pointing toward the cloud. What is the cloud, you say? Imagine that every program on your computer, all of your data and settings and preferences, were being stored not on the computer you are usuing, but on third-party servers thousands of miles away. In this way, the entire computing experience is on-demand, with every computer becoming something of a kiosk, a way to access everything that you need whenever you need it. While some privacy issues have understandably come up, there is a great deal to be excited about here. Companies such as Google and Amazon are testing the waters of this new technology and it seems that the public is warming up to the idea of an on-demand computing and Internet experience.
As well, the world of gaming is setting up to be the next big adopter of the cloud computing trend. OnLive, an on-demand gaming service that stores and renders games on cloud servers, streaming games directly to the user over the Internet. Introduced in the summer of 2010, OnLive has gained quite the reputation for having not only impressive service and an expanding array of titles, but also for a lack of technical issues that would be endemic to a streaming service. Expect to hear a great deal more about this service as 2011 draws on, as over 20 video game publishers (such as Warner Bros and Ubisoft) have struck deals to present their games over OnLive.