Pau García-Milá
2011, Spain
Virtual Desktop in the Cloud
Computer Science

Virtual desktop without the Cloud.

“I am not a futurist; I simply turn my ideas into reality”. Pau Garcia-Milà, is 24 years old only but has already 5 years at the helm of his start-up company, that has not ceased to grow since its creation in 2009. Being an innovator is a hard existence, especially because “people call you a visionary, or will tell you thousands, millions of times that you are crazy, that it will not work. But you will learn how to ignore them” remember Garcia-Milà in his native Barcelona where he set up the headquarters of EyeOS, now a reference in Virtual Desktop management. Without any higher education in the field, many would have called him a visionary. But they were wrong.

What EyeOS proposes is now on everyone's lips: using the Cloud and web-based applications to run and manage our data, our systems, our applications is becoming the standard practice to reduce expensive server costs and distributed teams across nations. Or simply, for the individual user, the best way to avoid losing his precious photos from his latest holidays. Nevertheless, when Garcia-Milà and his fellow EyeOS venture partner, Marc Cercos, had the idea of using a web browser to store, share and modify files this was still science fiction. “We thought about this because we lived far from one another, and we were afraid of forgetting files at each other's home and having to walk back to retrieve them”. It was useful to them, so little by little they thought about developing it into a product. Strictly open-source, of course, for users to modify as they wish.

They also have a professional service aimed at companies wishing to create a “private Cloud” to be accessible from their own employees but also external collaborators or clients. This is key difference between EyeOS and other cloud services available from a variety of bigger and smaller providers: with EyeOS, files are still stored in a private space, for instance the company's servers, which has a clear advantage in terms of control, privacy and security. Rather than having access to one's files, EyeOS solves the key problem: files and archives, as well as any applications run within a company's domain, are accessible through a web browser and can be modified, individually or in groups, shared and manipulated through virtual applications from any other computer connected to the internet. Back-up and file updating is performed automatically and seamlessly for the user, according to credentials and authorisation levels managed by an administrator.

“Technology evolves so quickly that we cannot really imagine what it will be like in 10 years' time. Perhaps, Virtual desktop will take the form of a box that each of us will keep next to his TV, where data will be accessible from anywhere and any device”. Accessible, but still private. Does this ring a bell?.