Free Cloud Computing Environment Launches
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Sweden-based Xcerion has launched icloud, an online service that provides free storage, applications, a virtual desktop, and backup accessible from any computer connected to the Internet. The icloud service, available in multiple languages, is based on the company's Internet Operating System/3 (XIOS/3), which requires no executable or plugin to be run on the computer where the work is being done. The data centers storing user data run Ubuntu Linux.
"With icloud, we put a virtual computer together with free storage and free applications in the hands of everybody in the world," said Daniel Arthursson, founder of the company. "It's the PC for everyone without a PC. Everybody can now access and share documents, photos, music, and their complete digital life from any computer."
According to the company's Web site, when there's no Internet connection for the user when saving or performing changes to a document, icloud will store all changes in a transaction buffer that will be sent and synchronized to the data center once an Internet connection has been reestablished.
The latest version, which came out of a closed beta program, includes 3 GB of storage space and 30 applications, such as office productivity programs, mail, music, video, instant messaging, sharing, games, collaboration, and development tools. The service runs on Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers, though Firefox support is in "early alpha" as of this writing.
A premium edition, expected soon, will increase the amount of storage space to 10 GB.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.