You Are Still Underestimating Cloud

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There are two primary drivers for our current economic recovery.

One is oil, specifically fracked oil and gas. I think we have overestimated its importance, because fracked wells don't last. Their costs and depletion rates are high. They're a bridge and not the highway.

Second is cloud, the computing revolution that began in the last decade. I think cloud is the highway, and here's why.

Back when I started as a tech reporter in the 1980s, one theory held that computers could do just one thing at a time and could run just one operating system. When the Web was first spun, sites could go down if there was a rush of traffic to them.

Cloud changes the paradigm. Distributed computing allows for infinite scale and parallel processing of jobs. Virtualization lets a computer run multiple operating systems, which allows for infinite scaling using the cheapest chips.

Google  (GOOG) and Amazon  (AMZN), to their credit, have pushed this idea to its extreme. Google has used cloud technology to become the low-cost provider of everything a computer can do. Amazon has used it to make cloud computing a commodity anyone can buy and use.

Cloud is behind the social boom. Cloud is behind the mobile boom. Cloud elected Barack Obama, and then re-elected him. Cloud is behind the National Security Agency scandal. Cloud makes Healthcare.gov possible. Cloud is why Hewlett-Packard  (HPQ) fell from grace and why IBM  (IBM) and Microsoft  (MSFT) are following it.

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