The History of Office 365 Cloud Computing - dummies

The History of Office 365 Cloud Computing

By Ken Withee, Jennifer Reed

Contrary to general belief, cloud computing is not a new concept that arrived with Microsoft Office 365. The arrival of in the late 1990s was indeed a milestone, but the idea of an “intergalactic computer network” was first introduced in the 1960s by J. C. R. Licklider, one of the most influential men in the history of computer science.

Licklider headed a group at the Advance Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in 1962 to improve the military’s use of computers and brought time-sharing and networking capabilities to the forefront of computer technology and research.

Other people attribute the emergence of cloud computing to John McCarthy, another computer scientist who in the 1960s proposed that computing be delivered as a public utility similar to service bureaus that provided services to businesses for a fee.

The popular “Did You Know/Shift Happens” series from XPLANE claims that the computer inside a cellphone is a million times cheaper, a thousand times more powerful, and about a hundred thousand times smaller than the computers in the 1960s.

Back then, massive computing was conducted with supercomputers and mainframes occupying whole buildings. Thousands of central processing units (CPUs) were connected to divide the computing tasks of supercomputers in order to get results faster. The very high cost for creating and maintaining these supercomputers precipitated the discovery of more economical computing means.