Earlier today I heard the news about a new desktop cloud service offered by a company called iCloud. I did some research – ok, ok, I googled the word “icloud” – and retrieved several links. These days, that counts for research! The link that stood out the most was titled “iCloud Puts an OS in the Clouds.” The first thing I noticed was the screenshot at the top of the page, and I thought “umm, ok someone has put a stripped down version of Windows Vista\Windows XP on some type of share service on the web, or maybe Microsoft has a new Windows Live thing feature or something. No biggie.” Well it turned out my guesses were wrong. I went onto the iCloud website and saw that this was for real… the producers have culled together a desktop operating systems on the clouds!
As mentioned, the desktops, called Webtops or Cloudtops, look almost identical to the Windows Vista and Windows XP environments that a majority of computer users are accustomed to. They are very elegantly configured, with high quality wallpapers and everything that can provide a great user experience, including the same objects you find in normal desktops:
- Recycle Bin
This cloud operating system also comes packaged with several applications, such as internet service tools, document editing tools, Media Player tools. It even has a Google Maps utility, so it’s pretty well equipped to say the least. In order to use this system, all you need is access to one of the supported browsers IE or FireFox (The FireFox version is currently in beta). The first thing I did was change the wallpaper with one of my own, I uploaded a pretty rad punching clouds wallpaper (which, incidentally, is available in the download page) from my computer directly to the interface without any problems. I played around with the features by creating a few documents, sending some emails, and even uploading some pictures.
All in all, this is another example of where technology is headed — another service coming to the clouds. With such an innovative design, the Cloudtops are obviously not going to remain free of charge. This model seems to be available in three different packages; two of the three will require a fee. The question is, will you pay for a service like this? Is this something you can use on a regular basis? Take a test drive for yourself and see what the experience is like. Let me know what you think it may be missing and what possibilities you see this having on the horizon of cloud computing.
iCloud Free Desktop Service Demo