What is cloud computing?

Recently, I asked this question to group of people & they have given different answers:

Cloud computing is platform which provides free space where we can keep our data securely.example gmail,Dropbox

Cloud provides you software on rent

Cloud is the new type of hosting. Earlier we had shared,dedicated & now cloud hosting

Cloud allows you to rent computer(resources), so you can do work that requires i7 CPU with much slower intel Atom processor.

Are these people correct? this is what cloud computing means? Well...yes & no. Confused?

What is Cloud?

Cloud is different things to different people. The perspectives are very different; depending upon whom you are you asking this question. such as,

In My opinion, what is cloud computing according?

To me, when someone says cloud; depending upon the context it could represent any of the following: Cloud can be Application hosting platform(Google App engine, Microsoft Azure), Cloud can be Consumer Internet service like Gmail Dropbox, Cloud can be On-demand virtual machines,Cloud can be way of managing I.T infrastructure(servers,storage, networks etc) & so on...

Hence, I like to think Cloud computing more as marketing term which doesn't mean much, but at same time its a term that most people across spectrum can understand enough get hint on what it it could it be related to. This marketing term also helps to push latest advances in Virtualization Technology, IT resource managent, Deployment & provisioning tools, Standardization & Inter-Operability efforts. so the term might be vague & may have different meaning depending upon the context which it is an useful term explaining all these areas.

So, that how I think about The cloud. what comes to your mind when you think about cloud?