Microsoft, ‘The Cloud’, and Hotmail

Microsoft’s current marketing focus is ‘the cloud’, the story that you would be better off storing your story with Microsoft, rather than attempting to curate and collate your various files on your local network. “Give us your stuff,” they say, “and we’ll help you use it in a million new ways.”

An intriguing idea. Certainly not novel – Cloud computing is all rage right now, from SalesForce to VMWare to F5. Just look at their stock prices. But Microsoft’s edge was never novelty, was it? Much of Microsoft’s historical edge was taking raw, adolescent ideas and turning them into rational, productive adults. Something that Bill Gates was awesome at, and I respect and admire him greatly for it.

Change subject. Yesterday I logged into my Hotmail account. I haven’t used Hotmail in years. Not really, anyway. Maybe 1 legit email comes through every six months. But it did contain years of personal correspondence. Part of my life’s journal, 1998 – 2002. The emails I wrote to and received from new friends during my first trip to Europe.

Guess where my correspondence is?

Gone.

Forever.

Vanished by policy. Some shortsighted jackhat who decided a few bucks (relatively) in hard drive space was worth TRUST.

So. Microsoft. Let me ask you this. Since you already flushed part of my life down the drain when I trusted your with it… why should I trust you now with your ‘Cloud’?