There might be times when you feel the need to run a Windows OS straight from the cloud. The reason could be anything. You might have moved to Linux or Mac recently and is not yet that conversant there and wish to go back to the Windows from time to time. Else, you are using a Linux/Mac run system for some reason and want work in the comfort of the good old Windows. Whatever may be the reason if you need to run a Windows OS from anywhere, all you need is Windows4all, a Silverlight based virtual operating system.
With our life increasingly moving towards the cloud, there is a breed of professionals who are fast growing into a cult status of shorts, the ones who would steal from the cloud. Now you won’t mind when some nerds hacking into the CIA database just for the heck of it (and then proudly throwing up…), but you will surely mind when someone decides to hack away all you personalized data from, say a job site, or worse, like the recent T-Mobile data scandal when the company’s own staff didn’t mind stealing a bit of of a chunk from your personal database and selling it off (for considerable financial gains).
The cloud is vulnerable then. Agreed. What is the solution?
Beefing up the security in the cloud won’t be so easy as of now, since the cloud itself is gathering in the computing horizon. So one solution will be to refrain from putting up everything in the cloud. A mediated version will be to allow limited access to the sites through some modification with their APIs. If the websites where we store our data are granted as much access as social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook are, half the problems might be solved, as James Glick points out. Another option would be to store your data in the cloud, but have your own device to store it instead of trusting everything to the cloud. That is because hackers generally target huge databases instead of trying to crack you down individually (unless, of course, you are Tom Cruise or Paris Hilton).
With the cloud hanging over all of us, Microsoft (quite unsurprisingly), joined the bandwagon. The Microsoft Azure, expected to go full blast from February 2010, is a platform (and service) that promises to make cloud based developed a breeze for developers.