Spoon gives users the ability to run desktop applications, including OpenOffice.org, TweetDeck and Autodesk’s Design Review and Inventor Fusion Technology Preview from the cloud. Users need only sign-up for an account and install a browser plugin. The applications behave exactly like actual local desktop apps, except perhaps a tad slow. You can open and save files on your local hard drive as well. „Spoon allows software developers to make their existing desktop applications available in the cloud, with no installs,“ says an announcement from the company. „Spoon applications can be accessed from the Spoon.net library or embedded into any website, blog, or social media service as a ‚Spoon Feed‘ with a single line of HTML.“
Once you’re logged in and have the extension installed, you can browse Spoon’s online catalog of applications. When you find one you want to use, you just click the launch button and it opens as though it’s a native application.
Right now it looks something like a consumer version of Citrix Receiver, but as it rounds out its collection of applications it could have business use (the AutoDesk applications indicate that this is the direction the company is going). Since the plugins require an installer to run, this doesn’t look it will be a way for users to run un-authorized applications at work. However, if Spoon wants to offer business solutions it will probably need to find a way to limit users access to specific applications.
This seems like it could be a great way for users to access applications operating systems other than the one they are using. A way for Linux users to access Windows applications, for example. However, at the moment it looks like most of the available applications are cross-platform and open source anyway. Hopefully this will change in the future.