Kenji Obata, CEO of Spoon, stopped by to brief me on the new release of Spoon Studio and to discuss the notion that in the future, all user-facing applications are going to be virtual applications.
Obata took a few moments to talk about the new release of Spoon Studio. For those unfamiliar with Spoon Studio, it is Spoon's application virtualization product. The company promises that the product will allow developers to "Run your applications with no installs, dependencies, or conflicts. Deploy in standalone EXEs, with Spoon Server, or on Spoon.net."
What's new is that Spoon has released a no-cost version of the product, Spoon Studio Express, that has the ability to encapsulate applications so that they can be executed directly from a repository on Spoon.net.
Obata then went on to share his view that the industry is moving rapidly towards a future in which all applications are virtual. He believes that this will resolve concerns about application security and fears about data leakage. Application virtualization, he pointed out, makes it possible for individuals to access applications and data that is hosted in a cloud-based repository from just about anywhere, over nearly any network from a wide variety of end-point devices and know that any changes they make to the data will be synchronized back to the host. Furthermore, he said, this would allow collaboration between and among staff.
The grand vision that Obata presented appears compelling at first glance. If we step back a moment to look at trends towards the increasing use of Smartphones, Tablets and other mobile devices, Spoon has a long way to go to completely realize this vision.
At this point, Spoon says that it "supports application execution on both 32- and 64-bit versions of all major Windows desktop and server operating system platforms, including Microsoft Windows® 8, Windows® Server 2012, Windows® 7, Windows® 7 Server, Windows Server® 2008, Windows® Vista, Windows Server® 2003, and Windows® XP." Unfortunately, this means that users of Devices running OS X, IOS and Android will have to wait.
One could point out that cross platform execution is still somewhat of a dream even though redesigning applications to execute in HTML5 is possible now for network-connect devices today. It is also possible, of course, for organizations to develop native apps for each type of device and operating system they support.
Although what Spoon is doing appears to be a really good start on the journey to an any device, any platform, and any network environment, the dream is still only a dream for many organizations.