Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Free Cloud Computing Applications

The Cloud Computing buzz is growing every day with growing number of business & government establishments opting for the cloud computing based services. On 14 December 2009, the City of Los Angeles (United States) switched to cloud computing. It equips 34,000 city employees with Google Apps for eMail and collaboration in the cloud. The other cities already on Google Apps cloud are Washington D.C. and Orlando.

There’s no dearth of Cloud Computing based services if you are ready to pay. But we all love free stuff on the Internet. Even the best Internet innovation is absolutely free, yes, you guessed it right; Google search! I stumbled upon a few excellent free software & services, though you can always debate on how come they are cloud based. Cloud Computing is still fuzzy and everyone has her/his own definition.

Free *Cloud based Desktop

*Optional Info: Experts opinion differ as what explicitly is a Cloud Desktop / VirtualOS / WebTop / Remote Desktop / Online Desktop / WEB-OS / OOS (Online Operating System) / Virtual Desktop / DDE (Distributed Desktop Environment). I think for the sake of simplicity, all these jargons can be treated as representing almost the same thing, though with a subtle difference.

iCloud: This application has slick design. It’s punch line: Your friends, files & digital life on any computer, truly represents what it does. Online storage, Photos, Music, Movies, Application development, Calendar, Mail, Media Player, Word Processors etc. It has both free & premium signup. It also offers a platform for web developers (Platform as a service, PaaS). Free account provides 3GB of iCloud Drive storage. Check the following screen shot. Here you can view the wallpaper, desktop icons, Programs (like All Programs of any Windows OS), the user name (& his photograph), Start Menu, Taskbar etc.

Cloudo: It’s a free computer that lives on the Internet, right in your web browser. This means that you can access your documents, photos, music, movies and all other files no matter where you are, from any computer or mobile phone. Cloudo is a hosted service, there is no hardware or software to setup and maintain, and the DDE is fully accessible from any internet connected device. Other advantages of utilizing hosted software include centralizing data backup, updates, and security at the data center as well as benefits of lower cost which can be associated with the administration of a single global instance of software versus many local instances.Here, I have created the following screen shot after opening Word program. You can also see the attractive media player(Right hand bottom), Desktop icons, wallpaper etc.

eyeOS: It describes itself as the Open Source Cloud’s Web Desktop. I found it is similar to the iCloud & Cloudo described above. It has a very attractive design. It’s just an introduction, So I am not providing any distinct comparison between these services. You can go & explore: Create an Account at eyeOS to get started with this free Cloud Desktop.

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