WWDC: Chrome shows us Apple's cloudy Mac future

"The times they are a changing, and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is," said Apple CEO, Steve Jobs.

He's right, of course. Apple's iOS 4 is part of the evolution of the new age.

In future, applications along with the majority of your computing experience will be hosted in the cloud and available to you across a plethora of devices.

This isn't new. Futurologists have predicted this for years. What's changed is that the future is already here.

This isn't just my notion. Look to the response to a recent Pew Research Center survey across 900 industry experts, 71 per cent of whom agreed with the following statement:

"By 2020, most people won't do their work with software running on a general-purpose PC. Instead, they will work in Internet-based applications such as Google Docs, and in applications run from smartphones. Aspiring application developers will develop for smartphone vendors and companies that provide Internet-based applications, because most innovative work will be done in that domain, instead of designing applications that run on a PC operating system."

Beyond the Mac, you'll be accessing this cloud from your iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro or iPod touch. Meanwhile the processing power of those devices you carry with you will continue to improve.

Join the dots

This is part of what is driving Apple's adventures in the mobile space. And while we don't believe Adobe will really come along for the ride, despite its over-optimistic claims for Flash, Cupertino is already in position to book component supplies equivalent to 9 million iPhone 4 sales each quarter.

That's according to Digitimes which reports Asia Optical's chairman Robert Lai's claim his company is supplying c.3 million of the new iPhone's front-facing VGA cameras every month.

Asia Optical has been supplying these quantities since manufacturing began in May, the report states.

That means Apple's in position to ship 9 million iPhones in its first quarter of sale, and is ramping-up toward the manufacturing scale it needs in order to push out 24 million iPhone 4's before the end of the year.

Make no mistake, this is a big deal. Apple already has 100 million iOS-powered devices out there and wants to double that population just as fast as it can.

Why?

Because the company is preparing for the next big move in computing, a move we can speculate upon most easily by looking at the latest rumor to emerge...from Google.

What's Google up to?

First, I'd like to remind you of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's recent statements in which he included OS emulation company, VMWare among his list of main competitors for the first time.

On the move to the cloud, he said, "It's a transition and as such it's a period of tumult. So we need to be smarter and more vigilant. But not because we're moving from a world that's fundamentally good for us to a world that's not. We're moving [from] a world that's good for us to a world that's potentially even more good for us."

I'd like to introduce you to Chromoting.

Chromoting is a rumor. Chromoting is a tiny fragment of what may not yet be fact which has slipped out from inside the Googleplex via a third-party site, and promises some exciting stuff for your future Chrome-powered netbook.

I think it is one of the bigger hints of just Apple's is going, as it seeks to converge its Mac empire with its mobile one. Mobile device will inevitably match the power and versatility of the computers which spawned them.

What is Chromoting. Nothing new in many ways -- like LogMeIn or Remote Desktop Solution, it lets Chrome OS users access your applications from within the browser.

Now, we already know Chrome OS IS a browser with applications accessed using that browser.

'Legacy PC applications'

In a posting on a third party Chrome OS-dedicated mailing list Google software engineer, Gary Kacmarcík, revealed:

"Chrome OS will not only be [a] great platform for running modern web apps, but will also enable you to access legacy PC applications right within the browser."

As I see it, this feature will operate in a similar way to the remote access solutions already available for Mac and PC.

You will likely suffer a performance hit, but you'll be able to dial into the power of applications hosted on your home-based Mac or PC using Chrome.

With a leading position in mobile and its very own mobile operating system that is already tried and tested and available to the market, how will Apple respond?

I anticipate the company may adopt a similar approach to. I think that huge North Carolina data center represents an investment toward that future.

We're heading into the cloud.

The winner will be the company(s) which delivers the most secure, stable and reliable solutions.

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