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Personal clouds will be on 90% of devices by '15

Within three years the personal cloud will be ubiquitous on consumer devices, Gartner predicts in a research report released Tuesday.

Consumer cloud services that allow users to store, synch, stream and share content over the Internet will be integrated into 90% of consumer devices by 2015, the paper predicts.

Technology vendors must stretch their offerings across multiple devices -- including smartphones, tablets, televisions and PCs -- in order to tap into the $2.2 trillion that consumers are expected to spend in 2012 on content, devices and services, Gartner said.

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"The shift to the personal cloud will accelerate rapidly in 2012 as consumers learn how to use new services on their devices," said Andrew Johnson, a Gartner analyst. "As cloud services become part of people's lives, device vendors and platform providers must integrate cloud services in order to win customers in 2012 or risk being displaced by those that offer these services."

Brands such as Netflix, Google Apps, Amazon Music, Microsoft SkyDrive and Apple's iCloud are market leaders in this space already, the report says.

While online backup and synchronization are not new technologies or products, the advancements in how consumers are using them will be the greatest shift in coming years.

Still though, the study estimates that less than 10% of consumers will use cloud services as their main storage in 2014, citing the continual need for traditional storage functions.

Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social media. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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