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What's an iCloud? Survey Says Most Don't Know

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By: Corey Tate
August 10, 2011
Apple and their iCloud offering may still be in pre-boot mode, but they've got a long way to go before the world knows what "cloud computing," "in the cloud" and iCloud really means. iCloud will let users do many of the same things that they can now do with MobileMe (bookmarks, iCal, email, etc). It will be a cloud-based storage service, and includes the long-anticipated Apple music service.

And now a survey done by The NPD Group found that only 22% of people knew what cloud computing" meant, but 3/4 of them though that they had used some type of cloud-based service. Apple launched their iCloud.com site last week, and will be launching iCloud as a service later this year. Storing things "in the cloud" generally means putting them online so that they can be accessed from many devices, like an iPhone, iPad or computer. Google Music, Amazon, Spotify and other streaming music services use cloud storage to make your music available and synched on any device you own.

"Whether they understand the terminology or not, consumers are actually pretty savvy in their use of cloud-based applications. They might not always recognize they are performing activities in the cloud, yet they still rely on and use those services extensively. Even so, they are not yet ready to completely give up on traditional PC-based software applications," said NPD analyst Stephen Baker in a statement.

Here's the details on the survey, from The NPD Group's "Digital Software and the Cloud Report" 2011

Activity: "Savvy" "Non-savvy"
Email: 84% 68%
Gaming: 47% 38%
Tax: 44% 39%
Photo: 49% 33%
Video sharing: 44% 31%
Office productivity: 33% 24%
Disc back-up/storage: 31% 20%

iCloud comes with with 5GB of free storage, with an option of 10GB for $20/year, 20GB for $40/year and 50GB for $100/year. Apple just added TV show rentals to the iCloud service last week.

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