"The wager? That the era in which companies pay to have software installed on computers is drawing to an end. That services such as sending emails, using documents, managing calendars and updating spreadsheets will no longer be tied to an individual computer but be accessible everywhere via the internet, and that companies will only pay for how much they use. And, finally, that many businesses will no longer bother having their own computer networks at all. Welcome, then, to the world of cloud computing. The phrase, in which the word cloud is used as a metaphor for the internet, has been generating gigabytes of excitement among technologists, developers and futurologists for the past three years."