Some 69% of online Americans use webmail services, store data online, or use software programs such as word processing applications whose functionality is located on the web. In doing so, these users are making use of “cloud computing,” an emerging architecture by which data and applications reside in cyberspace, allowing users to access them through any web-connected device.
Most internet users are unlikely to be aware of the term “cloud computing.” But online Americans who use webmail services such as Hotmail or Gmail are taking advantage of data storage capabilities managed by a network of computers, which in turn permits access to a user's email through whatever device he has at hand.
Convenience and flexibility are the watchwords for those who engage in cloud computing activities. At the same time, users report high levels of concern when presented with scenarios in which companies may put their data to uses of which they may not be aware.
Read the full report Use of Cloud Computing Applications and Services on the Pew Internet & American Life Project Web site.