Who needs a computer?

Until users gain total confidence in using cloud computing services, webtops might become just another catch phrase.

  • E-Mail
Who needs a computer?
More pics ›
By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  January 5, 2009

Phrases such as ‘financial crisis’, ‘global meltdown’, ‘recession’, and (drum roll please) ‘cloud computing’ have become clichés in today’s world. The term cloud computing, however, has also spawned yet another catch phrase – ‘webtops’.

As it stands, cloud computing refers to users accessing services such as Google Docs (an online word processor and spreadsheet program) on the Internet via their desktop computers, laptops, notebooks, netbooks, entertainment centres, handhelds and so on.

Those of us who have accessed the cloud have most probably done so via our own laptops, notebooks or netbooks. But would you feel comfortable accessing your computer facilities and personal information (which would normally be stored on your personal computer) from an internet café?

The creators of Jooce.com have a view that if internet cafés are the only means by which many have access to a computer, then wherever you go, you should be able to access your personal computer data. This is where the catch phrase ‘web desktops’ or webtops comes in.

A web desktop is a desktop environment embedded in a web browser or similar client application. Web desktops provide an environment similar to that of Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems such as Ubuntu.

So, with Jooce.com, you can share files (with a drag and drop like feature), organise your files and contacts, watch videos, view your photos, listen to your music, play games, send email, chat and social network from anywhere in the world, for free.

But there are a number of other webtops emerging. iCloud.com has similar features to that of Jooce, except iCloud has applications such as an office suite, secure back-up file storage, sharing and collaboration in real-time, and XML development tools.

It’s all very useful, but is it safe? Many cloud computing services claim to have security measures and backups in place, but there’s always that risk that unauthorised users could access your private data, the server holding your data could go down, your information could magically disappear and then there’s the thought of comprising your data while accessing it in a public area such as an internet café.

Until users gain total confidence in using cloud computing services, Internet Cafés will continue to be a place for those who just want to surf the web and maybe print something; and webtops might become just another catch phrase.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code