Is This the Cloud OS You Wanted?

Google Chrome

ReadwriteWeb has a article which pretty much sums up where we are with cloud computing on the consumer side. One of the conclusions is simple, Internet is not everywhere yet. Everyone knows the frustration of being on a train and trying to get anything more that a GPRS connection only to be disconnected by a series of tunnels. Or going to another country to find your mobile operator at home rubbing there hands with glee because of the huge premiums there throwing on top of the usual data charge. My Data bill for being in Berlin one week was a extra 40 pounds and I wasn't using it beyond the usual plaxo mobile sync and twitters. Even if there is ubiquitous data, the apps are not made for interuption. Readwriteweb point at Google gears problem with going offline.

Google delivered Google Gears, a simple yet somewhat clunky implementation that takes web apps offline. Why clunky? Gears doesn't automatically detect a lost connection, you see. (Switch off your Wi-Fi and see what Google Reader does. Oops, an error occurred, it will say.) Instead, using Gears means you must first click the provided button or link which saves the data to your computer for offline viewing. If it wasn't for the syncing it offered, this wouldn't be much more of an improvement over the good ol' “make this web page available offline” trick.

I also found some other apps including Adobe AIR apps will freeze-up when the connection drops for a short time. It might just be the way there written because for example snackr which is a Adobe Air app keeps running without a connection, so sometimes I'm not sure if I'm online or off. My Data portability senses also screwy when thinking about the cloud OS, I think this isn't the cloud OS I wanted. I'm actually leaning towards some lower level syncing mechanism like Livemesh now.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and