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Software Development and Desktop Apps hosted on the Cloud

Boy, it’s sure been a long time since I wrote something about the Cloud right ? Five days to be more exact. Well, irony aside, when I heard about what Mozilla and the graphic-rendering vendor Otoy came up with, I just couldn’t contain myself and I had to share the information with all of you.

First they introduced a codec that allows video streaming in HTML 5 pages without the need of a plug-in. This alone is pretty cool but like Ronco Popeil used to say “Wait, there’s more!”. They have also introduced a new codec called “ORBX.js” that could change software development and the way we interact with desktop applications forever.

The Cloud – The Platform

The Cloud is already a key player in software development and within the IT industry in general but if my guesses are right, it’s about to get even bigger and it will all be thanks to this new ORBX.js codec.

It its makers got it right, this new contraption will not only allow video streaming but will also make streaming of desktop applications possible. Some of you may be amazed by this, some of you may be like “Meh…” but take a moment to think about this and realize the true potential of this technology.

First of all, this is not just some kind of remote desktop tech clone nor is it a new Javascript-based X11. It is actual application streaming and its implications are far and wide, especially considering the sheer computing power of the cloud and the kind of immense landscape it offers. Now let’s put things in perspective and see what we’re dealing with here.

The power of Example

The best way to understand the true potential of this technology is by putting it in context and analyzing a practical situation. Let’s take everyone’s favorite photo editing tool as an example, namely Photoshop.

If you have ever installed it on your machine then you probably remember what kind of memory hog Photoshop is. It’s a truly demanding application that’s slow to start-up and difficult to work with if you’ve got a low-end machine. Enter ORBX.js.

Since the makers of the codec claim that only your browser will matter and that all computing will happen in the Cloud, you will be able to use your low-end machine to interface with the app and leave the rest to those clusters of servers working for you in a large warehouse somewhere thousands of miles away. If this gets implemented “desktop application development” will change forever. Also, large companies will have their clients working on computers, tablets and even smartphones directly in their browser while having access to all the computing power and memory needed for difficult jobs.

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