Cloud computing has been in use by large companies such as email hosts like Yahoo and Gmail for quite a while and is therefore nothing new. What’s new however, is the adaptation of these services for personal use in the form of an online PC (or virtual computer). When the late Steve Jobs (then apple CEO) officially launched the icloud back in October there was a lot of excitement in the air about a service that would let users access all their files across all their devices seamlessly. The excitement was justified considering the implications. Not having to carry all your apple devices with you and yet still being able to access all your files without regard for whether you were using your imac, ipad, iphone or ipod was a brilliant thing. It was then that most of the general public really began to pay attention to personal cloud computing which had previously mainly been used by companies for corporate applications. But upon actually using the service, many were disappointed. It was nowhere near as futuristic as pictured.
On the other hand, I came across ionacloud and I remember thinking to myself ‘That’s more like it! (read the article ‘ionacloud –the PC of the future’). As one of ionacloud’s beta-testers I have compared the two services below in terms of the three fundamental areas I feel iCloud looses to ionacloud:
The biggest problem with iCloud was that if you used any other company’s devices then you would have to wait for the company to create their own cloud service to enjoy the benefits, not to mention the complications for users who wanted to share the cloud experience while on different cloud services. The cloud had been modified for personal use but the ability was only being limited to the company’s customers making it just another corporate use. This created the need for a cloud service available to all internet users irrespective of whatever company’s devices they were using. That is what led to the universal cloud service called ionacloud. At exactly 11:11:11 p.m. (E.A.T) on 11.11.11 the website went live for the first time. They started running tests and a few days later they posted a countdown clock on the website counting down to the 12th of December which is the official launch date of the service on ionacloud.com.
The company announced that they will be giving away only 1 million of these new-generation virtual PCs worldwide on the 12th after which no new users will be accepted until they decide to expand the service.
“To everyone out there who wants to get one of these PCs, I would like to clarify that the Cloud PCs along with all services are absolutely free and always will be. They will be online from the 12th of December 2011 when the timer on ionacloud.com finally counts down to zero and the service is officially launched. From that point onwards everyone who signs up will receive a free new-generation Cloud PC until the number of taken PCs hits the 1 million mark. At this point the service will be closed off from new users until a point at which ionacloud decides to expand. Of course it goes without saying that the earlier you sign up the better because I’m sure the first million users will get all the best usernames. These usernames are the unique identifiers that will be used to automatically generate their Cloud PC’s new email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as cloud identification in tandem with other advanced services that will be introduced later on.”
ionacloud Founder & CEO, Kageni Wilson
Given all the functionality promised by this new system, interested internet users will be scrambling to open accounts before all the units are taken. A million units may sound like a lot but given there are 2.1 Billion internet users worldwide half of whom would be interested in a product like this, then it seems likely that these cloud PCs will be scooped up fast. If you want one then you have to be online and ready to open an account when the clock runs down to zero on the 12th of December 2011.
Now any internet user on any web-enabled device (doesn’t matter whether it is an apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung e.t.c device) running any operating system (could be iOS, Windows, Android, Symbian e.t.c.) can access the ionacloud service via the website ionacloud.com. It takes the tech companies supplying your devices out of the equation and creates a standardized cloud service available to all. ionacloud comes with a fully customizable virtual computer complete with functionality and applications which allow users to move beyond simple file storage to actual LIVE USE of the files (for creating/opening/editing documents, watching media files and playing music e.t.c.) as well as providing a networking structure easing the instant sharing of all these files between users.
Now that the principle steps of induction have been accomplished, what is left is the spread of the service to other areas of our lives and given what the service is already accomplishing, the future -for the moment at least- seems promising.