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.