Is it time for workers to end their love affair with the desktop? Huddle hopes so

Is it time for workers to end their love affair with the desktop? Huddle hopes so

Summary: Content management company Huddle aims to persuade businesses to embrace the cloud with its desktop suite.


Enterprise collaboration company Huddle has unveiled a suite of cloud services which it hopes will persuade workers to give up on saving files to the desktop.

Its Connected Desktop, launched on Thursday, includes a number of elements aimed at moving business data off desktops and out of email and into Huddle's cloud service.

For example, Huddle for Windows and Huddle for Mac automatically stores all content from desktop applications into Huddle's cloud. If connectivity is lost while files are being edited via desktop applications, the latest file version is uploaded into Huddle as soon as connectivity is restored.

Huddle for Outlook aggregates email discussions to make information and files easier to find, the Huddle Viewer allows images and videos to previewed and streamed from the cloud, while its Huddle Dashboard shows users their business activity stream and all the people they are working with in one central place.

Huddle CEO Alastair Mitchell said businesses are lagging behind consumers when it comes to adoption of cloud services: "Back in the 1990s the network was the computer, whereas now it's the cloud that is the computer. It is where all the storage is done, all the work is done but that still hasn't happened in the enterprise, when you go into the world of work you go into the office it's still very old school... you store stuff on big clunky laptops. It's a very different experience and it's obvious how this is going to go: as the cloud becomes pervasive it will be the place where all this work is done."

Huddle is one of a number of companies trying to combine content management, cloud services with a social media element to make workers more efficient and make company data easier to find and use. Other examples are Yammer (now part of Microsoft) or's Chatter tool.

"There is going to be a small number of players and they are going to have to play nicely with each other but they're not really competing they all believe the same thing they're just providing a slightly different view on slightly different activity; one is a social view and one is a content. If an enterprise has rolled out Tibbr they're going to want to see Huddle as part of that. Equally if they're rolling out Huddle they're going to want to see a social feed in there," Mitchell added.

Further reading

Topics: Cloud, Enterprise Software

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  • Cloud Computing

    Huddle's approach is better than some cloud vendors, but these companies really have to provide a superior to desktop experience. Otherwise they are just pushing customers into the cloud because that is where their profit model is. We aren't in love with our desktops. They allow to do our jobs, and we customize them to bring added value. Most cloud services can't offer the same rich experience yet. But they can offer an annoying, expensive subscription model.
    • Cloud Computing

      I may be an antique, but cloud computing strikes me as a way of paying others for the service you get from an in-house server. With a Unix server access can be accurately controlled so that staff can only access the data they need. In house you only have to worry about the security of your own staff. With no external connection the data cannot be intercepted and does not depend on the internet availability.
      • call me old school also

        My concerns with cloud storage include the ones you identified plus the slow transfer rates involved with uploading and downloading data. The best speed I can get locally is about .36 up and 5 down. At those speeds storing any of the 100 gig an images I am work on is out of the question. Currently my systems average 24-64 gig or ram so shuffling things on and off the HD are a must during creation and editing without even considering combining multiple images. The cloud may work for people who use computers for appliances like the finger poke and slide tablet, "I can't live without my social network" crowd but for serious computer use there is going to have to be a huge increase in bandwidth availability before the cloud is really functional.

        According to at&t and GTE we are going to have to increase the total bandwidth available in the US by 15 times over the next two years just to keep things flowing at the current rate because of increased usage from smart phones, tablets and internet TV so I don't think access speeds are going to improve for a while. The US currently ranks 25th in the world for bandwidth speeds a rating that will most likely get worse not better in the near future.
    • well yeah

      That and the fact that canceling a subscription means you might have paid for years and have nothing to show for it! Like Photoshop for instance, paying for the Creative Cloud instead of buying the locally installed version means you completely lose the product when you stop paying their protection money and it opens the product up to ever increasing price hikes.

      If the PC world continues its move in this direction, I see a whole lot of open source software catching on.
      • It's the same with...

        ...Microsoft's Office 365. I still have Office 2007 installed on a couple of my personal laptops, and with regular upgrades (SP3), it works just fine. Why should I pay an annuity every year for the same functionality, and risk exposing myself to data loss/theft, poor performance (due to slow connections), and increasing prices?

        No good reason yet, as far as I can tell... not even if my files are just a few MB each. It's far more cost effective and productive to have multiple backups locally, and use a free service like SkyDrive just for critial files.
  • Clod computing?

    Would you let your neighbour look after your personal accounts?
  • Cloud

    I just don't like the idea of my stuff being out there available only over the internet, what if the ISP goes down or your connection to the ISP or something like that, you cannot do anything, maybe as a backup, but not direct working files, it can't be as good as having the files available right in front of you. What if someone is "sniffing" your transmission, gets all of your passwords, etc. I know my internet based email such as hotmail or AT&T via Yahoo is Internet based and stored, but generally that stuff is not that important, compared to work files where your company could be compromised. I do backup my files to a network drive, but that still is local and only dependent on network uptime, not internet uptime. At home I use an external drive for backup. Even though your corporate datacenter maybe consolidated off site it is still your company's datacenter, not Amazon's, Huddle's or some other off the wall company. "Here let me be your cloud provider" says some hacker crook and all your data is in the wrong hands. For instance, I have never heard of Huddle before this article, why would I trust them with all my stuff?
    • Backups

      I have over 800 GB of photos and videos and back them up on Carbonite but also use THREE external hard drives; I keep one at work and one in each of my cars.

      A drive sitting by your computer is useless if your house burns which is why I keep the offsite.

      EVERYTHING that is new goes on a thumb drive that is in my pocket all the time.
  • No thanks

    I just had my IT department order me a tower workstation because my very nice laptop was not cutting it. And I do not save any of my companies docs / data offsite in some other companies servers... I am not going to be the guy that caused some major breach for my company.
  • For businesses, cloud computing is a liability

    It's not that businesses are "lagging behind" home users, that's ludicrous!

    For home users, if you lose your internet connectivity and can't access your G-Drive or Spotify for the day - minor inconvenience. Who cares?

    For a business, if you lose your internet connectivity and can't access your entire application and/or documents that are required to meet a legal filing deadline and/or customer information and/or orders and order information and/or etc...

    ...that's critical. That's a big deal. That's "out of business" until connectivity restored (and/or until third-party hosting vendor restores service) - and hopefully you'll find yourself still IN business after services are fully restored!
    Companies - by policy - don't host mission-critical systems on third party vendor applications. You don't make your business dependent on someone else's business.
    • You don't make your business dependent on someone else's business.

      Try looking at the lean manufacturing mantra. JIT ( just in time 0 ordering for materials.
      • Lean manufacturing is not a good analogy...

        ...because (a) it came into being after over 200 years of existence of the manufacturing industry, i.e., into a highly mature industry, and (b) there are well known cases of failure of the JIT model, for example, a couple of years ago, Toyota had to idle its Yokohama plant when shipping from soouth east Asian parts suppliers was affected (for some reason that I can't recollect right now).
  • sounds like more foolish desktop is dead rhetoric

    Lost credibility at

    "you store stuff on big clunky laptops"
    • Touchscreens

      Touchscreens will NEVER replace a good keyboard when you are doing real work!
      • Touchscreens

        And the "Mass Produced" Throw away keyboards are not as good keyboards of old. IMHO
  • Storage in the cloud

    All NSA-approved, I presume.
  • there are so many cloud providers already

    Why do more keep popping up? Honestly.... Most people dont need or want this..
  • NAS

    I don't see any reason why a local shared drive box is not superior to this idea.
    • Local Server

      Local servers are better and can be accessed via internet if needed.
  • ZDNet Headline: "Microsoft Outlook, SkyDrive outages hit users worldwide"

    yep I'm going to trust all my stuff to the "cloud". The rule of Three still needs to apply especially is someone like Microsoft can't keep this from happening. Yeah, and now tell me how secure it is too...............