Thursday, December 8, 2011

If there remains lingering doubt that =everything= will move to the cloud...

In spite of terminal service applications such as Citrix, I have heard the argument that high-end applications such as Photoshop and AutoCAD won't work in the cloud, necessitating workstation-class PCs, at least for some people, essentially forever.

This site is early proof that that idea may not be accurate. It allows you to stream relatively recent games to your PC, Mac, TV or iPad (with iPhone support coming soon), fullscreen, with pretty good detail and frame rates. I downloaded the free client and experimented some and I have to say it works much better than I had expected. You get pretty high resolution streaming gaming content, which reacts to your input without much lag. It's not quite the experience that a high-power computer delivers, but given a fast internet connection, it's dangerously close. If you're a gamer, it's worth checking out. $10 / month for access to a growing list of games (currently at over 100) isn't a bad deal.

I'm talking about the Spotification of games! As a concept, I think it's pretty cool.

Of course, this doesn't address the problem of international laws and cross-boarder data transfers, but the "performance" argument seems to be breaking down.

In the future, as more and more high-performance applications move to the cloud I can imagine the concept of Chrome Books catching on more dramatically, even as home PCs. Alternately, the holy grail idea of having the same desktop experience on any computer worldwide could actually be realized (here's hoping).


  1. It's an interesting concept, "everything" moving to the cloud. Looking back 5 years ago, only the most hard-core techies would have made that declaration, and nobody would have really believed it. I think it comes down to what I call the "rent v. buy" mentality. I thought of this in terms of digital media and entertainment as well, in terms of DVDs versus streaming, but what I think it comes down to is more of a generational thing. Older generations are more accustomed to "owning" something, so whether its a DVD, video game, magazine, etc., owning meant you could consume the product whenever you wanted. Then our generation, and younger, sort of broke that mold, by realizing "hey, we don't necessarily have to own everything, why can't I just subscribe to it?" Netflix is the easy example, this OnLive service is another. But think about Zipcar. Or Hubway. Our generation is continuously looking for ways where ownership isn't really necessary. Digital content easily fits the bill, because why buy when you can stream, and of course with the cloud we could end up "renting" hard drive space as well as processing power. But it's interesting to think of other life necessities as well.

    Thanks for sharing Tchad!

  2. Another concept of virtualization has been the terminal servers concept. I would believe terminal servers running full fledged operating systems like the Windows terminal server could be an intermediate solution to run heavy weight applications like photoshop. Though I have come across this kind of terminal servers only in an enterprise setting, I guess we might see this kind of a model for software delivery using cloud someday. Maybe something like pay-per-session model would drive things. You could have multiple levels of access with premium accounts having more complex softwares. Though this is a possibility, bandwidth availability could be an issue in terms of data exchange rate as you have mentioned.

    Definitely an interesting discussion going forward.

    Thanks Tchad !