Have you taken the leap into the cloud? If you don’t want to start with data centers in the sky, you can start with a desktop in the sky. Microsoft has offered Live Mesh for a while now. I wrote about live mesh on this blog. Live Mesh, even though it offers a desktop, is not much of a cloud OS. It’s more of a synch and remote desktop tool.
You could wait for Microsoft Azure. That’s MS’s services based, cloud OS. It’s still mostly fog at this point though. Fog, vapor? Get it?
Anyway, there are a few Cloud desktops that you can start using today. They run in a browser, offer desktop apps like word processing, email and file storage. Below I discuss three different desktops that are usable today (even though they may be in beta or alpha). All three of the desktop solutions below are either offered as an open source download and/or are free to use online.
EyeOS is an open source cloud desktop that you can download and run in your own data center. Download the software, install it and you have an instant Cloud OS and remote desktop for your organization.
EyeOS will install on any web server that supports WordPress or Drupal. EyeOS is a PHP application and does not require a database. Just Apache and PHP 5. Installation takes about 10 minutes and that includes the download time.
You can try it out by signing up for the EyeOS free server at EyeOS.info. You probably won’t want to host a large organization here but it runs well enough that I use it. If you don’t want to run it on your own servers and you don’t want to take the risk of using a free server, you can sign up for paid professional EyeOS hosting with safehosting.
You can get much more information from the home page or from the EyeOS blog.
Some applications that ship with EyeOS include:
- Office Tools (word processing, spreadsheet, presentations, calendar, etc)
- File Explorer and Archive Browser
- Note pad
- Network Tools (RSS reader, Internet Browser, Email, FTP, IM)
- Multimedia (mp3 player, video player)
- Desktop Widgets