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Desktop Virtualization: WebOS anyone?

Just got this email from the ORCA team, I must have applied and tested this stuff sometime back, anyways, here we go. If anyone asks me what the future of desktops is, I'd say it is webOS. This is the best form of desktop virtualization solution that is there on this planet as of today, IMHO.

The email:

We are happy to announce, that throughout the last six month, key members of ORCA have been working closely with StartForce - a US based WebOS with the intention to bring ORCA’s ideas, vision and user interface into StartForce, and the result is nothing less than WOW.

So what will happen now? We have moved all of ORCA’s beta accounts to StartForce, so go ahead and enjoy your new Web Desktop at www.startforce.com – and as some may notice, ORCA lives on as a theme in the StartForce desktop.

OrcZilla will work under a new name SFBC - StartForce Boot Client, and will still allow you to boot your computer without an OS, directly from a CD/USB or flash memory device.


Look at the Plus side:

  • Freedom from base OS (Who cares if its going to be Windows, Linux or Unix), we don't care what OS, all we need is service!
  • No interdependence of hardware and OS, all we need is a browser, so think of the cost savings there!
  • System crashes, all data is secure*
  • Save huge amounts of money by: not spending on system recoveries; data backups; security hassles; all kinds of stuff
  • Corporate customers will never have to worry about data losses; breaches; presence of employees in workplaces (real or virtual), employees hate the idea of being present, trust me I am involved in a project with SharePoint and live communication server, and all people want is to know if they can still *appear* logged out while still being logged in. Bottom line is that you have to force people to expose their huge quota of allocatable resources, something which they vehemently deny to give away. PCs have given us all an excuse to hide away from real work and responsibilities!
  • Again in the corporate world, keep all the woes of the desktop provisioning, upgrades, projects minimum and localized to the server environment. A great way to say goodbye to the ever-increasing herd of the aging "Project Managers"!
Down-side:
  • Home users need to make sure that their privacy is not being challenged, corporate employers (I didn't say employee!) would be very happy, there is nothing private you ought to be doing at work.
  • *Security: Vendor may have access to my passwords; documents; private data (keep your Pr0n collection on the external drive, just kidding ;)). As I logged in to the StartForce my Google Personal Homepage immediately took over my browser's credentials (I was also logged in the iGoogle when I start the StartForce BTW).
  • Mindset: I know that the new users, younger ones are very "I don't give a darn what you see or know about me" type and probably wouldn't care if their credentials are all kept on the other side of the world but the *conventional ones" will have problems. Michael Robertson, our Linspire guy, spoke at large about how we cringe at the thought of keep our important stuff away from our arm's reach, but ask yourself honestly, today you are giving everything away; you pictures; your presentations; our videos; practically everything, right? Anyways since his talk about the AjaxOS , we haven't heard much from him, there is, however, this page so you can look at the stuff these guys have developed.
  • Browser crashes, everything goes away!
  • Bandwidth: We all know how bad our routers can be sometimes, when they start throttling the bandwidth themselves, in fact I had this with StartForce as well. Anyways on a corporate network this won't pose a problem, home users may experience it.
Bottom line remains that the world is moving towards consolidation and collaboration. Call it CnC, if you will. We are back to the ages of mainframes and thin desktops, only this time we are engaging the users in it. User generated content is king today! Organizations and even nations who will fail to adopt and adapt to this change, your employees and citizens are ready for the change by the way, will be left out.

Today the market is full , in fact overloaded, with all kinds of solutions to deal with the desktop computing, but the real answer lies in trying to find a mix-n-match between several solutions, and in some cases even outrightly choosing against obvious choices to go with the ones that may be the norm tomorrow. Anyways I don't want this to become a long lecture, just take a look at this print screen and log into one of those webOS offerings (see Wikipedia for the explanation and list of providers) and see for yourself.


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