I recently received an email from Spoon asking if I had any objections to them putting NASA World Wind on their site, they are teaming up with SourceForge to convert the best Windows apps on their service.
Spoon is a site which takes Windows programs and apps and uses a special app virtualization technique to allow people to run them directly from the web. You need to sign up to use the apps but this is free, then a small (3.8MB) Plug-in is downloaded, after that click on the app and your program is buffered then run, some apps run directly from the cloud, others download an exe. They also allow you to add apps to your account so whatever computer you are on you can easily access your programs.
I tested out their World Wind virtualization and its pretty cool, it takes a while to run so be patient, it has to buffer about 200MB, once it has started up it looks and feels exactly the same as if you installed World Wind normally, it seems to save cached tiles locally but I guess caching on their server would be a bit expensive.
I tested Spoon World Wind on three computers, one notebook and two PC’s, and it ran fine on all of them, it also seems to have defeated Vista and Windows 7’s UAC problems, and I didn’t need to install Managed DirectX.
There are lots of other useful apps on Spoon including Celestia and Stellarium, my favourites though are the web browsers, it has several versions of Chrome, IE, Opera and Safari, no installation needed to test or use them.
All in all Spoon is pretty darn cool, I’d like to see more apps converted to pure cloud versions, especially World Wind, and support for other operating systems would be a big plus, hopefully we will see these in the future.
Click here to try NASA World Wind on Spoon.