I find the cloud concept to be compelling in many ways. I know a few people don’t care for it because the traditional concepts of ownership don’t necessarily apply. You buy content off Amazon, Apple, Xbox Live, and a bunch of other services but when you pass or something the ownership doesn’t transfer over to anyone else. I’m not entirely against this idea, as everything I have is my preference. But that’s me personally.
I started working with a cloud setup called Jolicloud. I’ve talked about it once, but I didn’t really go into it. First thing you have to know is that Jolicloud works on two fronts. You can get an account with them easily enough, and if you have Facebook you can use that to register with them. Like pretty much everything these days at least. Once you have your account you can start adding webapps to your Jolicloud desktop. It runs best with Google Chrome as either a Chrome app or using the Jolicloud New Tab extension.
All the webapps are for the most part links to your favorite websites. There is a large collection of apps of all kinds available. This allows you to find apps to your favorite things online, which are available on your Jolicloud page. You can also activate connections to various online services, or your cloud accounts like Facebook, Google, Dropbox, and Skydrive. Doing so allows you access to your files on these services and lets you get a chance to access and edit or view them no matter where you are.
This is however not all there is to Jolicloud. On the website you can in fact download the Joli-OS, a distribution of Linux based on the Ubuntu Linux distribution. Once installed you get the same desktop as you have on Jolidrive on the web, however you now can install and use great Linux based apps such as Banshee Music Player, OpenOffice.org office suite, GIMP Image editor, and more.
This combined with the streamlined Linux OS install allows for a very fast boot up. Any device you may have that is older and might not be up to snuff with other things you might want to do with windows can be turned into fast responsive cloud devices quickly and easily. You are limited to Linux based programs, or if you are capable you can setup wine and install your programs that way. It has all the capabilities of a regular Linux system, but will work just fine out of the box with minimal work.
Several other features of the Jolicloud product allow greater access and ability to share content across your social network. You can find objects in your connected services from their interface on Jolicloud and share them on the big three social networks. This includes things such as pictures, videos, and documents.
I would give Jolicloud a favorable rating for simplicity and portability. It has a lot of good qualities, but as with all things your mileage may vary.