PCs

Putting the desktop in the clouds


Cloud computing is the catching on. From contact lists to online storage, the end of the spectrum marks the arrival of the Web as the next platform with desktops being independent of an underlying platform.

A quote from the article at Technology Review:

Having the look and feel of Microsoft Windows or other popular desktop programs, the Web-based operating systems bring together a selection of integrated Web-based applications that typically run with Flash or Java.

The article talks about two services, desktoptwo from Sapotek and Zimdesk, which provide users online desktops that have the look and feel of a desktop off the Web.

Computing totally off the cloud is a concept that is being adopted by the big guns, such as Microsoft (NY Times). However, the inherent thought of putting all your data into the "cloud" may appeal more to younger users than enterprises. Nevertheless, the concept is nifty, and it's another one of the innovations that's made possible by the availability of greater bandwidth and a wider reach of the Net.

In the longer run, do you think that cloud computing will completely cloud over desktops, making the OS virtually immaterial? Personally, I think it is an eventuality that may well be haunting Microsoft and other commercial OS companies.

4 comments
JCitizen
JCitizen

remote desktop; maybe we would be talking. However, once the "IN" crowd goes for it, security be damned; with interest comes improvement. Who really knows?!

john.decoville
john.decoville

Let's get out of fairly-land. While the young set might like this, Enterprises-- you know, the people who hire, will never do this. Nobody is going to run her business off a Web-based Desktop. My employer has a whole security department and multiple firewalls to protect our data and programs during the normal course of business. In addition to increasingly malicious Spam/Virus/etc. attacks, we have the phenomenon of iPod being off-line. A number of times per year, we lose contact with the web. The bandwidth is nowhere adequate. The security is a joke... more like "High Noon" We'll see if anybody remembers this one next year. -John

raw
raw

The technology itself is an excellent idea! Hosting your desktop on a server, making it virtual, makes a lot of sense. It makes backups easier, it allows you to access it from everywhere and change your computer with no set-up issues. If your laptop is stolen - just get a new one and continue working - your desktop is still available form the server. Great! Not universally though... This is only great if you actually control the server! For a company, this means you have your own virtual desktop server collecting dust in your server room, or you hire rack space in a secure data center. All the companies currently offering this want you to trust them. *They* own the server, they control your data and your (and other people's) ability to access it. Can you really trust them that much? Some companies, especially ones with a a couple of o's in their name, are known to use any and all data, personal or not, as and how they wish, and will certainly not stop doing that any time soon. So I think we need to distinguish between the technology itself and the services currently offered that happens to use it.

pr.arun
pr.arun

Will Cloud computing make the OS immaterial?

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