Building upon their huge success with Datapower, IBM has another SOA appliance on the market: CloudBurst. With a form factor similar to that of DataPower, CloudBurst is aimed at companies interested in building a private cloud. CloudBurst utilizes virtual software images to securely deploy and manage these apps in the cloud. CloudBurst is pre-loaded with WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition (optimized to run in a virtualized environment) and will be integrated with other IBM products, such as WSRR, in the future.
Next up for Amazon AWS: the education market. Amazon already controls the Web Service market for research, with Google surrendering this space to Amazon months ago. With the newly announced AWS in Education, Amazon is extending its reach. AWS in Education offers "a set of programs that enable the academic community to easily leverage the benefits of Amazon Web Services for teaching and research. With AWS in Education, educators, academic researchers, and students worldwide can obtain free usage credits to tap into the on-demand infrastructure of Amazon Web Services to teach advanced courses, tackle research endeavors and explore new projects – tasks that previously would have required expensive investments in infrastructure." Essentially, hook them now on Web Services for a drastically reduced price, cash out when they choose Amazon for Web Servers in their professional life.
Ten years after acquiring Geocities for $4BIL, Yahoo has announced plans to close the free hosting site, with users encouraged to upgrade to Yahoo's paid hosting solutions.  Yahoo's hosting plans, however, are simply overpriced.  Jimdo is one company that is trying to woo existing Geocities customers. Yahoo has yet to announce a shutdown date.
Security is the #1 reason why my clients are averse to using a public cloud.  And for good reason.   Google made private documents public in an unacceptable security breach earlier this year. Salesforce.com suffered a phishing attack in 2007 in which a staff member was duped into revealing passwords. I encourage readers to read Computer Weekly discusses Top 5 Cloud security issues.

Apple's cloud has been plagued with problems since its release and created a credibility problem with enterprise users. Those problems, however, seem to be gone. It still has problems with Outlook Calendar but it's in good enough shape to receive Walk Mossberg's recommendation.
The economy is definitely picking up (or bottoming out) -- at least the leading economic indicators are showing that. And I'm seeing a pickup in hiring, outside devastated industries such as media. One new class of jobs: the "cloud administrator". Think of it as Admin 2.0. Some employers are posting positions for "cloud administrator" and looking for those with EC2 scripting skills, virtualization, DR, replication, etc.
Need another xAAS acronym? TheWebService.com is promoting its "Data as a Service" functionality. It's a simple, yet powerful service. You start by uploading an Excel spreadsheet or syncing with a datasource. TheWebService.com then builds your web service.  For an example, check out their Geocodes service. I like how   functions are provided for various programming and scripting languages, including Java, ASP, PHP, JS, #C, etc.