Reasons why I don't use Google Docs
One hour of downtime in a year is pretty impressive for any service, so it's a little bit unfair to cite this problem as a good reason not to use cloud applications.
There are much more compelling reasons not to depend on them:
1. My desktop applications still work even when I'm without internet access or otherwise unable to access the server. The application provider usually isn't the weakest link in the chain.
2. If I really need to have portable document editing, I'll just use a big USB key with portable applications installed.
3. My data is my own. I know where it is, I know how, where and when it's backed up. If I choose to delete a document I know it's gone, within reason anyway. If I really, really want it gone, there are ways to make it so. If I choose not to delete it, I know I'll still have access to it 20 years from now. Whether I can read it is another story, but steering clear of proprietary formats in recent years has made it more likely that I *will* be able to.
4. When the Orwellian nightmare we call a government these days decides it wants to go trawling through everyone's data "for public safety, because terrorists write documents", mine isn't going to be caught in their nets. I really don't have anything to hide, but that's no reason to make life any easier for Big Brother. Who knows *what* they might decide is verboten in the future...
5. I'm not some Web-2.0 dreamer with my head in the Cloud, who actually believes that the internet is this great pervasive always-available thing which will solve all the world's problems. The internet sucks, pretty much. It's just better than what we had before. There might come a day where cloud computing is a technically viable option for everyone, but it's not here yet.
Even if the service had 100% uptime, and reliable internets were available everywhere, #3 and #4 will always be good enough reasons for me not to trust my personal data to the Cloud.
There's one exception here: I *do* use Gmail, on the basis that whatever email provider I use, I have no control over what happens to my email before I pull it off the server anyway, so I'm under no illusions of privacy or uptime where that's concerned.