Cloud & virtual desktops: iCloud

 iCloud is another great looking virtual/cloud desktop that has a great look and feel. However, it seems to run only on IE8.It did not work on Firefox 3.5.6 for me. iCloud offers  a MSN chat client, a twitter client, a to-do list  and a built-in browser. The free version provides 3G of free space and a paid premium version provides 100GB of space.

Other features included in iCloud are a document editor, a photo manager and as with all the other virtual desktops reviewed in this blog, the ability to upload files.

In the last couple of  weeks, we have looked at several virtual/cloud desktops. All of them offer great eye candy and a useful set of tools. In my brief analysis, there is no clean winner among them. The whole concept of having a computer in the 'clouds' accessible from any computer via a browser is  indeed 'cool'.

Having said that, will they prevail in the future? The truth is that cloud computing is not new. Anyone who uses Yahoo mail or gmail uses the cloud.  Google docs offers many of the online tools provided by these so called virtual computer. These include spreadsheet and document editing software.

With Google now offering disk space, virtual computers have lost out on yet another offering.  Unfortunately, none of these cloud or virtual computers builds a strong case with a unique offering that can attract users. It remains to be seen how many of these cloud desktops will survive in the next few years. It is only a question of time before Google begins to offer online media management.

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