If you watch any big technology company presentation, they will inevitably show you a slide that is their stack of products, some built in house over many years and some acquired. The bigger the company, the bigger the stack and the more of an eye test the diagram turns into.
Miraculously, the presenter tells you this ‘stack” is entirely integrated. Never mind that the products might be built using different technologies and UI’s and require the users to install and administer every one of these apps and technologies separately.
On the other hand, cloud platforms like Force.com approach this problem entirely differently. The basic technologies provided on the platform are all embedded into one application environment, such as workflow, reporting, social media for example. The user does not have to do anything. They just start using these technology components. These technologies are all part and parcel of the cloud and are helping to empower users and reduce the dependency on IT.
To my way of thinking, that’s what it’s all about. The cloud is really about providing the platform as a service in a way that users are empowered and can easily adopt the technologies. It is not merely a collection of stack technologies that can be accessed over the internet (the false cloud).
There is a big difference.