While I'm not sure I agree with the anti-authoritarian reason for the outrage over cheese-moving (I think people just generally don't like change), the cognitive dissonance over saying we don't trust while acting like we do does ring true.
I wrote a bit about what I hope is the swinging pendulum between centralized and distributed computing, and where I hope this is headed in a blog post a while ago: http://blog.byjoemoon.com/post/6277876911/the-personal-cloud
Distributed computing at the level we want is still WAY too hard for the end user. The goal should be to make it as simple as using Facebook today, but retaining control in a much better way than Facebook or Google let us do now.
The target demographic would be people who are concerned enough about privacy, ownership of online identity, and government access to corporate cloud data to pay for a self-operated solution.
The prerequisites for this to be viable as I see it are: cheap enough hardware; cheap enough full-access pipes; enough demand; good enough UX. The first two seem fairly obviously on the right path. The third I'm not sure, and the fourth is under the control of the vendor.
[Edit: Maybe wide publicization of stuff like this: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3036157 will help with the demand? Hey, a guy can hope, right?]
Demand can be generated, if you do it correctly. The hardware is less of a challenge if you do the distributed computing on several layers at once. Apple has shown us the way on UI/UX, as has science fiction literature for decades now.
We'll never get completely away from client-server (especially with mobile computing), and that needs to be part of the design. But we have seen the power of peer to peer networks, and even some kind of proxy network between the p2p base and mobile clients could be done in a non-evil way.
I guess what's interesting about your idea is that it presents control as a continuum as opposed to a binary. There are varying degrees of control/convenience possible, but most of the current options are heavily weighted away from user control.
Also, I don't think this thread is really about the cheese-moving/silent-upgrade phenomenon so much as data and identity ownership.
Also, bandwidth is only as good as the size of the total pipe between communicating entities. The cheap bandwidth has to go all the way to the end-user or it doesn't help too much. Think about backing up personal data. The initial upload takes forever in cloud backup systems.
The responses to Opera's marketing also indicated that a lot of people didn't understand what a server was. It launched about the same time as Google Wave, and both products had marketing campaigns which emphasized how easy each product made communicating with friends. As a result, many of the comments I saw on forums were people asking if the products functioned identically.
I feel that if it had launched with a peer to peer social networking application that synced messages and photos between friends, it might have been significantly more popular.
The key to solving this will be to find the killer app for always-on peer to peer home systems that won't get you in legal troubles.
Being a laggard can be difficult at times, but for me the user interface and experience are supremely important. (Software companies' widespread ineptitude with their UI/UX "upgrades" is hard for me to stomach.)
I don't think that's a realistic proposition for many. I wonder what the author think is the ideal web. Is it where everything stays static? Look at the v1 of Twitter or Facebook. They have changed dramatically since then but I believe they changed for the better.
You're blindly defending the one you like by refusing to see the larger picture.
You're conflicting two very different issues. The changes in location of control don't necessarily tie to the changes in price or upgradeability.
I use web "apps" that I pay for, some of them even require a large purchase for major-version upgrades. I use free, automatically self-updating desktop software. Free user-initiated update desktop software and everything in between.
The different nature of the SaaS beast doesn't mean that IaaS or PaaS systems are any less vulnerable to things going wrong (see the EBS outage earlier this year). But Iaas and PaaS providers are more vulnerable to customer loss if APIs change (due to the instantaneous breakage) than SaaS providers are if UIs change.
p.s. i had the same stereo system as the one in the picture in the 90s, sigh