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Hey! You! Get Onto the Right Cloud!

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I dreamed I died and went to computer heaven. And lo, I had passed to the next realm, and found myself standing before the great and awesome entrance to my celestial reward, and there was a nerd in a business suit with no tie holding a tablet. And lo, upon that tablet was my life story, and he was regarding it with clinical detachment.

"Welcome to the Bill (formerly Pearly) Gates," he said. You have been sent to this entrance because your office was completely PC and Microsoft windows-based. Unless you select the negative option, you will be assigned to our cloud." And lo, I looked beyond him and I saw a very well-organized cloud looming up over his shoulder. And it was not a pleasant-looking cloud, but clearly a very efficient and huge one, centralized and massive, and subject to perhaps too much intrusion by the viruses, worms and other minions of Hell that loomed beneath. Was this the cloud in which I wanted to pass all eternity? I was not sure.

And then I noticed that somewhere over to my left there was another entrance to heaven entirely. It was staffed by a group of friendly-looking young androids in relaxed garb, and they were beckoning to me. "Over here!" said one. "We have a cloud, too!" said the other. I sauntered over, ignoring the baleful eye of the guardian of Bill's Gates. "Once you reject our cloud, we won't be responsible for the consequences," the angel muttered darkly.

"Welcome to Sergey & Larryland!" said the jolly androids that flocked around the other entryway. "We have no Gates here!" said one. "We're an open system!" They all started to sing. "I'd like to teach the world to browse in perfect harmony!" and dance about. It was jolly, but a little unnerving.

And in the distance, I beheld a very tasty and friendly-looking cloud, puffy and white and a lot less organizational and looming than the one I had seen previously. It made me a little nervous, though. It was obviously a relatively new cloud, and I would have to abandon my customary Outlook to enjoy it to the fullest. Learning a new e-mail system, one that I had always employed for personal use, and using it for heavy-duty lifting... the idea sort of scared me.

"Get over here!" said the guy by the big, scary Gates. "Come on in!" said the gaggle of Googlers. The two clouds reared up before me, each with its own allure and uncertainties. And in my dream I knew that I would be here in heaven for a long time and the choice that I would make at this crossroads would last until the end of time. "I don't know!" I screamed in my dream. And I was sorely confused.

And then from the vault above God him/herself appeared in a huge Hybrid Cadillac Escalade and his/her voice was like thunder. "Some mistake has been made!" he/she said. "You are not ready! Be gone!" And I was spun, yelling my head off, back into the mortal realm that lies beneath the cloud, where I found myself in my bed, my remote hard drive that stores all my essential information by my side.

"Thank God," I said, hugging my local hardware. "The clouds are beautiful, but there is plenty of time for that!" And then I rose, dressed, and went to work, my flash drive with all my documents on it resting happily in my very own personal pocket.

Get more Bing for your buck at www.stanleybing.com.

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