October 25, 2013
How Software Will Make Computer Shopping Obsolete : Soon, you'll wirelessly pack your new system onto your old one. (Corinne Iozzio, 10.24.2013, Popular Science)
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 25, 2013 6:22 PMConnectivity is now just as important as hardware, which gives users ready access to software and backup services over the Internet. There's Gaikai for videogames, Amazon Instant Video for movies and TV, and Spotify for music--just to name a few. And in 2011, Google introduced Chromebooks, the first laptops that rely almost entirely on the cloud to deliver software to users. As a result, the machines need only a bit of memory and a low-power processor.Software improvements can push the Chromebook idea a step further by transforming the cloud into a portable personal mainframe. Neverware, a New York start-up, has developed software that can deliver complete instances of Windows to up to 100 computers over Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The system even works on machines with as little as 128 MB of RAM and 500mHz processors. More than 30 public schools have installed the central server, dubbed the Juicebox 100. And as broadband access improves, Neverware hopes to deliver the entire service through the cloud.The mainframe model could expand beyond PCs. Intel Labs's Clone Cloud project, for example, could do for old smartphones what Neverware does for old computers. When a phone's performance starts to lag, users would load a clone of their system to Intel's server and assign it tasks that the processor can no longer handle (say, graphics rendering). The service would deliver data over a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. And it won't stop there; wherever there's a screen--be it a tablet or television--and Internet access, there could also be a functioning computer. Every videogame, every website, every piece of software will work everywhere. And hardware will never be out-of-date again.
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