Is eyeOS the future of desktop services?

On the 14th of September ’11 eyeOS announced its first cloud desktop Professional Edition. In times of cloud computing you actually need to call it “DaaS” Desktop-as-a-Service, right?

Well, the idea behind eyeOS is easy. You just need a webbrowser to have access to your working space like spreadsheets, word processors, e-mail etc. You connect to a website, log-in and start to work. And you can do that from wherever you are. In the office, your home office, at Starbucks. Everything you need is a stable internet connection.

Well, after a closer look at the new Professional Edition the internet connection is the biggest problem. Honestly I just have a 2 Mbits connection, but the response time after clicking on something is not as you can “feel” on your local desktop. The look and feel is copied from the Linux world. This is not surprising, eyeOS started as an open source project and is still very active.

eyeOS is an own operating systems running in your webbrowser. For example it has a taskbar where you can switch between the open applications and an user management system. By default you’ll find applications like a calculator, calendar, chat tool, notepad, contacts manager, word processor, email client and a file explorer. That’s it. I know from previous versions that you can install other applications using the admin panel, but I couldn’t find anything in the test version.

The handling of the word processor (eyeDocs) reminds me on typical word processors of yesteryears. You do not have a lot of functions but actually they are enough for typical things like writing an article. You can compare the range of functions for example with Google Docs.

I would like to write something more about eyeOS. But there is nothing more to say. The range of functions is pretty low and you can do not really amazing things. It’s just an OS in your webbrowser.

Well, Desktop-as-a-Service like eyeOS is the future of desktop services, yes. But not eyeOS itself. Especially the Professional Edition is not business ready so far. It is to slow (ok, my internet connection) and the amount of functionality and applications are not acceptable for companies. Of course you can use eyeOS writing an article and normal things like managing your contacts and the calendar. But I couldn’t find any groundbreaking functionality why using eyeOS in my company. eyeOS is innovative because it runs in the webbrowser without installing everything locally but where is the added value?

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of those kinds of DaaS, because you can work from everywhere and have all your data and applications on board. But eyeOS is not ready to replace common local desktop solutions.

By Rene Buest

Rene Buest is Gartner Analyst covering Infrastructure Services & Digital Operations. Prior to that he was Director of Technology Research at Arago, Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. Rene is considered as top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies.

Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore Rene Buest is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.

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