cloud computing (1996)

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Mon Jan 14 11:07:49 UTC 2013

In our entry we already cite from that Compaq document. I'm looking into
why we didn't cite from the (alleged, but apparently trustworthy)

Jesse Sheidlower

On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 01:03:24AM -0500, Ben Zimmer wrote:
> Nice piece tracing the origins of "cloud computing" to usage in late
> 1996 by two technology executives at Compaq Computer named George
> Favaloro and Sean O'Sullivan. (The article notes that the "cloud"
> metaphor was already in use in describing telecommunications
> networks.)
> Who Coined 'Cloud Computing'?
> Antonio Regalado, October 31, 2011
> [begin excerpt]
> Exactly which of the men — Favaloro or O'Sullivan — came up with the
> term cloud computing remains uncertain. Neither recalls precisely when
> the phrase was conceived. Hard drives that would hold e-mails and
> other electronic clues from those precloud days are long gone.
> Favaloro believes he coined the term. From a storage unit, he dug out
> a paper copy of a 50-page internal Compaq analysis titled "Internet
> Solutions Division Strategy for Cloud Computing" dated November 14,
> 1996. []
> The document accurately predicts that enterprise software would give
> way to Web-enabled services, and that in the future, "application
> software is no longer a feature of the hardware—but of the Internet."
> O'Sullivan thinks it could have been his idea — after all, why else
> would he later try to trademark it? He was also a constant presence at
> Compaq's Texas headquarters at the time. O'Sullivan located a daily
> planner, dated October 29, 1996, in which he had jotted down the
> phrase "Cloud Computing: The Cloud has no Borders" following a meeting
> with Favaloro that day. That handwritten note and the Compaq business
> plan, separated by two weeks, are the earliest documented references
> to the phrase "cloud computing" that Technology Review was able to
> locate.
> [end excerpt]
> Looking forward to seeing how the OED cites O'Sullivan's daily planner entry.
> --bgz
> --
> Ben Zimmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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