Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Cloud on the Air

Cloud computing is on everyone's lips nowadays. New web sites are started daily which try to replace your local installed applications, e.g.:

Office - Google Docs, Zoho Office
PIM - Webmail, Google Calendar
Imaging - Photoshop Express, Picnic
Dashboard Widgets - Widgetop

You can even have your whole desktop in your browser but that seems a little bit to much for me.

So what's the advantage of cloud computing? Obviously you only need a web browser and that's it. All your documents are stored on the internet and you can access them from everywhere. There is no need to install applications locally and keep them up to date.

But there is a second advantage. Having your apps and docs in your browser means you don't need a big computer anymore. But what will be the perfect machine for the Cloud? It doesn't need a big hard drive, an optical drive and a very fast CPU but it still should have decent screen and keyboard otherwise working will be a pain (which disqualifies ultra small laptops like the EeePC).

For me it looks like as Apples quite new MacBook Air is the perfect choice. It doesn't compromise on display and keyboard but otherwise it's as thin and light as possible which makes it easy to carry it with you and work from where ever you want. Not to mention the quite long battery life. The only feature missing seems to be a built in LAN connection (although you can buy a USB ethernet adapter). Of course the MacBook Air can connect via WLAN but a wired network is usually faster and much more reliable.

Finally there is the visionary name of it! Did Apple have to the Cloud in mind when they named it MacBook Air? I doubt it.

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