Here is an example of cloud computing versus onboard sync'd storage:
My T-Mobile G1 wirelessly synchronizes with my Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts AND receives OTA updates as needed. My iPhone needs to be hard wired sync'd with one particular laptop with its' iTunes profile for back-ups, sync's, restoration, and OS upgrades. So my G1 and Google services are more available to me than when I update information on my iPhone. Because just the iPhone is updated but not my Google services. Here is where the cloud comes into the picture.
For me, the winner is the G1. As more and more of us become mobile and use our browsers as miniature operating systems utilizing AJAX, Java, and the SaaS model we will be plugging more and more into virtual computing clouds to get our data and needing less native storage on our interface devices. Whether I use Gmail on my PC, G1, or any other device I could care less WHERE Google's servers are just that they are available.
This short tutorial gives a good understanding of how and why cloud computing is valuable:
Way back in 1998 in the 20th century at Compaq Computer we were told by vendors like EMC that one day we would have virtual storage that could be added on as simple as plugging into an electric wall socket. Well my friends, we're almost there. The Enterprise space is already doing this by virtualizing the operating systems then the applications for high availability and the virt data is being homogenized into a storage cloud that can be accessed by web API's and used anywhere a browser is available.
Today's workforce is increasingly more distributed and remote than ever before and the data we need usually come in two transports: e-mail and the world wide web. The new netbook phenomena along with new mobile internet devices (MID) like the iPhone, G1, BlackBerries, and every other new smartphone coming out has turned us into constant consumers of information.
Whether it be constant Facebook updates, Google Reader, or VPN'd corporate e-mail we all need our fix.