Besides integrating seamlessly into your Jaunty desktop, Ubuntu One also has a web interface. Note the applet on the top panel.
Cloud computing is a trendy concept right now. And why not? The amount of bandwidth we have these days means you can squeeze a lot of computer power through an internet connection.
Ubuntu has just unleashed their new cloud-based Ubuntu One service into public beta. The service is similar to Dropbox, and is free for the basic version.
In a nutshell you get 2GB of storage, which you can access through some nicely seamless integration with Nautilus, so the data you put there can be used by any of your apps. When you’re away from an Ubuntu One-equipped desktop there’s a web interface. I’ve found it really handy for documents I want to access from my Windows machines at work, as it saves the hassle of converting everything into Google Docs.
You can pay for more storage at US$10/month, but at the moment this only gets you 10GB, which ain’t a lot.
Overall, it’s an interesting development from a few angles:
- This is only the beta. How far will Ubuntu integrate this into the desktop? Will we see mail and or calendars linked up to this? Browser bookmarks? Gconf?
- Canonical (the cash behind Ubuntu) are clearly looking at cloud services as a way to monetise their freebie desktop OS. That doesn’t bother me at all, but i’d imagine some open source freetards will be unhappy.
- The Ubuntu One client (though not the backend) is open source and all pythony, so there’s not a lot stopping people from plugging their Debian or Fedora/Redhat desktop into this service. Or their Mac or Windows one, for that matter.
Overall, it’s an interesting service. It’ll have to add features to compete with Dropbox, which currently gives you more storage for the same price. Watch this space though.