IBM Aims to Be the King of Cloud Computing

Everyone wants to rule the cloud computing roost. Even Apple, which yesterday announced iCloud enhancements for pushing movies to the new Apple TV, wants in.

But IBM (NYS: IBM) is hoping it can change the game with a new device for streaming the contents of an entire PC -- software and all -- over the Web. Called the "Secure Enterprise Desktop," a USB key provides instructions for accessing an entire system from the cloud. No local software required.

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Source: IBM.

Big Blue says the idea derives from Swiss banking software called Zone Trusted Information Channel, or ZTIC. Financiers use ZTIC to secure sensitive electronic banking transactions. Here, Secure Enterprise Desktop tunnels a direct connection to a faraway server while entirely bypassing the PC or Linux computer into which it's been inserted.

The device then invokes a virtual machine known as a hypervisor to get work done. Thus, the local machine becomes a host -- like a dumb terminal accepting changes from a mainframe. Changes that look like they're occurring on the desktop are instead synchronized on the cloud.

Interestingly, Big Blue isn't the only company that sees the potential in bringing entire desktops to the cloud. A startup called Numecent has invented a process it calls "cloud paging" that cuts applications that live in the cloud into tiny, secure, digestible bits and then delivers them -- and the chip-level instructions for running them -- over the Internet. It's an astounding breakthrough if it's real. (I've yet to see it, but those who have rave about Numecent's technology.)

I've no reason to believe it's anything but coincidence that IBM and Numecent are talking up desktop-as-a-service cloud computing at the same time. Yet the timing is also too interesting to ignore. At the least, it suggests cloud computing isn't just a new paradigm; it's a permanent paradigm -- a shift best marked by accelerating revenue growth at cloud computing poster stock salesforce.com (NYS: CRM) , realized after spending years and millions convincing us that business computing could be done online.

Think I'm wrong? Go ahead and tell me so using the comments box underneath. Or if you'd rather spend more time investigating how you can profit from the cloud computing revolution, watch this new video special report from The Motley Fool: "The Two Words Bill Gates Doesn't Want You to Hear." The research is free, but only for a limited time. Watch it now!

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple, IBM, and salesforce.com at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home, portfolio holdings, and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and salesforce.com, creating a bull call spread position in Apple, and shorting salesforce.com. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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jefferson.gray

And with the new Cu-32 technology, the wait time for interfacing with the "cloud" will go down to nothing. If you're not familiar with the new highspeed (and massive memory) technology, look it up! it's on the way...

March 09 2012 at 11:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jefferson.gray

And with the new Cu-32 technology, the wait time for interfacing with the "cloud" will go down to nothing. If you're not familiar with the new highspeed (and massive memory) technology, look it up! it's on the way...

March 09 2012 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jefferson.gray

And with the new Cu-32 technology, the wait time for interfacing with the "cloud" will go down to nothing. If you're not familiar with the new highspeed (and massive memory) technology, look it up! it's on the way...

March 09 2012 at 11:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
itoericg

Down the road, we will just have a piece of glass on our desks.. BTW, the IBM SmartCloud is an awesome cloud platform that we sell here at ITO.

Eric Gray
ITO Solutions, Inc.
www.itosolutions.net

March 09 2012 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply