Posts Tagged ‘cloud computing’


At some point last year, FragmentSync morphed into Ekkio. Aside from a name change and a facelift (a major facelift), Ekkio introduces some new concepts and features that push it beyond the peer-to-peer sync functionality offered by, the now deprecated, FragmentSync.

ekkio logo

I was planning on doing one massive blog post, but I think it would be best to do a series of smaller posts highlighting major features, it’ll be easier to understand and easier to write. In this post, I’ll introduce the 3 core concepts surrounding Ekkio, that is, the ability to sync files, store them online, and allow for collaborate with others working on the same document or set of documents.

ekkio core concepts

Sync files

Ekkio allows you to sync files to a number of different devices and services including, of course, other computers running Ekkio; you can also sync with USB devices (really, anything that show us as a removable disk in Windows), Bluetooth devices, Amazon S3, Google Docs, and Flickr (other online services will be supported based on what users demand).

I use the term files pretty loosely because Ekkio can also sync things that can be treated like files, which is pretty much anything. Ekkio will have support for syncing contacts and calendars, initially supporting Outlook, Google Contacts, and Google Calendar.

ekkio dashboard

When syncing with other computers, Ekkio can do a peer-to-peer sync, either over the web or through a local area network connection, or sync with the Ekkio cloud service (see below), automatically choosing the best connection that will give the best performance and most up-to-date files.

Store them online

Ekkio offers of a cloud storage platform allowing you to store your files online (allowing easy access to them from any internet-connected PC) and keep them in sync with your computers running Ekkio.

ekkio cloud

Storing your files in the cloud also allows Ekkio to keep files in sync between computers that may not be online at the same time (e.g. a home PC and work PC that are used independently), and this is one of the big benefits over a pure peer-to-peer sync. As long as the most recent copy of a document is in the cloud, the Ekkio desktop app can sync and update outdated copies of it on your PCs.


One of the big benefits of syncing files comes when you need to share or work with others on documents. Those who’ve been in this position will probably know the hassle of emailing files back and forth or trying to track down who has the latest version of a file. Ekkio alleviates this problem by allowing you to sync a folder with other users. When a document is updated, the new version is automatically sent to everyone else, making the necessary updates on their PCs and/or their folders on the Ekkio cloud service. Ekkio’s feed helps on the collaboration front. It displays who updated a document and when they performed the updated. Users can also leave and reply to messages in the feed, which is invaluable when it comes to explaining what was actually done during an update.

ekkio feed

We’re always looking for users, testers, and various assortments of people. It’s easy to connect with us: follow us on twitter or our Facebook page for updates. Our official blog is also up (though lacking content, at the moment).

Windows Cloud

A few days ago I came across Microsoft’s announcement (or pre-announcement, as the launch is actually in 4 weeks) of Windows Cloud – an “operating system” for the “cloud.” (Note: there are certain things Ballmer says which seem vague or just don’t seem to make technical sense; I’m not sure what Ballmer means by .NET model or “operating system” in the given context. My overall assumption is that this is software for distributed computing of a web app)

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding cloud technologies in recent months with many looking forward to a future where most, perhaps all, of our data and software services are provided via. web servers. The hype is interesting as cloud computing already exists in many forms (facebook, internet email, Amazon S3, Amazon EC2, etc.) and it’s pretty much inevitable that we will continue to see similar technologies – so predicting we’ll see cloud technologies in the future is like predicting it’ll rain at some point in the future. As for whether this will completely supplant desktop software, I’m doubtful, there are a lot of issues that come with having your data and services on a vendor’s web server, not the least of which is that you don’t have access to them if your internet service goes down. That being said, I’m sure many companies are salivating at the thought of subscription-based SaaS applications and getting customers to pay a continual service fee to use their software. If that happens, we’re in for a pretty bleak future.

What’s interesting about Microsoft in all this is that while MS boasts a new “operating system for the cloud” and launches yet another web technology (they already have like a million “Live” services), it’s latest desktop operating system has encountered a slow and painful adoption due to issues which it seems to be totally ignored. Why is Microsoft ignoring its base and trying to jump on every new technology trend that hits the web? It doesn’t make sense, this does not seem to be how a company in Microsoft’s position should be acting. Microsoft built the bulk of its reputation through its operating system, even through all the growing pains of Windows 95 and Windows ME, why squander that now? Especially after hitting a high-note with Windows XP. With the way things are going Microsoft’s reputation will be one of a impotent juggernaut with a mediocre presence in every segment of the IT market. Microsoft seems to be a company that’s lost focus and direction. Perhaps it’s just gotten too big for its own good.

A great writeup I found after the announcement is here (I think I just stumbled upon this by googling “Windows Cloud”). I particularly like the closing paragraph,

This is not a company that knows what it’s doing. Ballmer and Gates were once masters of their universe. But nothing lasts forever. Ask Lehman Brothers.