I have written before that I believe cloud computing is the wave of the future for many applications, although not for everything. You can read my earlier articles, Why Cloud Computing Makes Sense for Genealogy and The Security of Cloud Computing - a Definitive Answer. Cloud computing is in its infancy and has been a bit difficult to set up. Now a new service promises to change all that. Best of all, the prices are low, even free.
AirSet has unveiled a personal cloud computing service that should make it easy for anyone to manage all the important groups in their life by setting up a network of servers in the cloud. Each user gets their own Personal Cloud Computer and can add Group Cloud Computers to their Cloud Network. Each cloud computer has an expandable hard disk, a suite of web applications, and acts as a web server publishing content 24/7.
The Personal Cloud Computer also serves as a data hub, automatically synchronizing information and content across an owner's devices. You can use the cloud computing service to publish your own genealogy information, your blog, or most anything else you would do with a normal server and/or web server.
An unlimited number of people can be invited to join a Group Cloud Computer to share files, coordinate schedules, collaborate on documents, participate in online discussions, and conference real-time via Skype.
The basic service is free, supported by advertising, and includes one gigabyte of storage space. For $2.95/month, members can upgrade to Personal Premium to remove ads, have added security, and expand their online storage to 5 gigabytes.
The AirSet Personal Cloud computing service includes a lot of applications, including an online calendar, contact manager, to-do list, music sharing, word processor, spreadsheet program, a message board forum, and more. All these services can be shared with others or not, as the user wishes. It is also possible to view and update calendars and contacts from your cell phone; available on smart phones and feature phones. The service also includes a Web Building Tool to create and publish websites, collaborative wikis, and more.
The description of the AirSet Personal Cloud computing service sounds similar to any normal hosted collaboration service, such as those that have been around for years. The difference here is that using cloud computing provides a lot of redundancy, hopefully guaranteeing higher uptimes and increased protection against data loss caused by malfunctions. Cloud computing services tend to be more reliable than applications hosted on a single server. Otherwise, I don't see much new in the AirSet Personal Cloud computing service. Still, all these applications for free or for $2.95 a month sounds interesting. I signed up today for the free service and will probably write about it in a few weeks, after I gain a bit of experience.
Details about the AirSet Personal Cloud computing service may be found at http://www.airset.com