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Cloud Computing Unites Yahoo, HP, Intel

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Yahoo, Intel and Hewlett Packard announced an alliance to advance "cloud computing," backing a global trend that threatens Microsoft's iron-fisted grip on packaged software installed on computers.

Earlier this year Google and IBM teamed up to advance research into providing SAAS (software as a service) on the Internet hosted by data centers.

Cloud computing isn't as futuristic as it sounds. Web-based email (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail) offered by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft is an example of cloud computing. Google has expanded its online software offerings to include word documents, spread sheets and more under the Google Docs brand.

The cloud computing initiative falls in line with Yahoo's goal of open systems. Results of research done at the centers will be made public to make it easier for software developers to write applications for cloud computing.

"We believe this collaboration will do a great deal to take the research to the next level," Yahoo Research chief Prabhakar Raghavan said during the conference call.

"We are really fueling the ecosystem here... Inevitably an application developer will build more readily for the cloud."

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