Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
The cloud is a general metaphor that is used to refer to the Internet. Initially, the Internet was seen as a distributed network and then, with the invention of the World Wide Web, as a tangle of interlinked media. As the Internet continued to grow in both size and the range of activities it encompassed, it came to be known as "the cloud."
The use of the word cloud may be an attempt to capture both the size and nebulous nature of the Internet. Where the Web was an upgrade that made the Internet much more user friendly by adding media to the text-file based sharing it already used, Web 2.0 and virtual servers allow people to run applications, create content, engage in commerce and carry out thousands of other activities that go well beyond media consumption. Calling all of this confused potential “the cloud” might not be the most elegant solution, but it stuck.