Desktop on Demand, a remote desktop service launched by Security Firm De Futuro, aims at providing IT and document management teams with a full office suite, enhanced privacy and file sharing functionality.
The additional privacy inherent in the product is the result of a remotely hosted Web browser, which eliminates the possibility of the user's usage habits being tracked by the ISP.
"Our users surf from behind the curtain of our domain," explained Paresh Morjaria, managing director of De Futuro. "As a result, web browsing is once more anonymous. This is a huge benefit for users concerned about Big Brother peeping into their Web usage records. From here information can be derived that could negatively impact on their employment opportunities, insurance prospects or relationship with current employers.
Indeed, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, has recently raised the insurance issue with regard to the launch of Phorm, a tool used to target advertising based on Web surfing data. Sir Berners-Lee highlighting such issues demonstrates that many individuals and businesses don't want their activity to influence the content, or increase the frequency, of the adverts they are exposed to. They see this as a breach of their privacy."
The key difference between Desktop on Demand and most 'remote desktop' software is that, rather than allowing the user to access the files and software stored on his or her own PC, Desktop on Demand provides an online work space where data can be securely and safely stored and the complimentary software provided can be used. As a result, the desktop can be reached at any time from anywhere - there is no need to leave a PC running and connected to the Web at home or in the office to be accessed.
The product features a built in download manager, which allows the user to download additional software or files to their Desktop on Demand workspace. This reduces the need to actually place data on the PC the user is working on. As a result, the security risk posed by viruses and malware is reduced.
Desktop on Demand provides storage space that can be scaled to suit the user's needs and used to securely host and share files, privately or publicly. As a result, the product provides both a sophisticated online project area and a simple, but cost effective, online storage solution. Files can be transferred from a PC to the Desktop on Demand workspace using simple drag and drop technology. Security is provided by one click file and folder encryption to 256 bit AES standard.
Also included is an e-mail client with address book, calendar and groupware functions. As a result, it can service both consumers hoping to save money on expensive office software and businesses looking to take advantage of the product's meeting and planning functions.
There is also a fully equipped office suite, providing word processing and spreadsheets that are Microsoft Office compatible. An instant messaging system helps users stay in touch and a photo viewing and previewing tool, complimented by powerful graphics and photo editing software, manages imagery. The remote desktop can be localised in languages running the alphabet from Arabic to Vietnamese.
Desktop on Demand can be trialled for free by visiting www.desktopondemand.com. The download takes just a few minutes and there is no install needed, so it can even be carried on a USB stick or flash drive.