Monday, September 22, 2008
TechNovus' Nova Navigator aims to bring cloud computing to the masses, with a cheap Intel Atom PC designed to run apps over the Web.
With the Asus Eee Box and Dell Studio Hybrid already whetting our appetites for cheap, mini desktops, it was only a matter of time before someone took the concept to the next level.
TechNovus Corp is touting its Nova Navigator as a “cloud computer” – there’s no hard drive inside, an Intel Atom 1.6Ghz, and a browser running on a Linux desktop.
Unlike the Eee Box or Studio Hybrid, the Nova Navigator runs just about everything bar the browser via the Web. Apps sit on a remote server – you pay a monthly subscription (around $20), which gives you 50GB of online storage and access to the Nova App Store for things like Office and Windows.
While the concept isn’t new, the demo certainly had us wondering about the possibilities – the Nova runs Windows (Server) and Suse Linux side by side fairly smoothly (though we didn't see any intensive apps running), which is no mean feat for a 1.6Gz single core CPU. And all without emulation or the other tricks needed on a faster “real” PC.
The main menu of the Navigator show a list of “core” apps, including Firefox, Skype, and a media player. Online apps delivered via the Web (such as Microsoft Office), are shown in a separate feed. We also spotted what looks suspiciously like an advertising bar on the bottom of the screen.