October 09, 2012
Researchers at Tsinghua University in China have developed an innovative cloud computing platform that has the potential to lead to a significant shift in computing models. The solution's advanced functionality, however, runs entirely as a background function, enabling users to deploy the system as if it were a traditional operating system, TG Daily reported. All this is made possible through an advanced graphical user interface design that turns a complex underlying system into a user-friendly control platform.
Researchers introduce new way to use the cloud
The new cloud system, dubbed TransOS, is designed so that the source code that makes the solution work is hosted on a cloud server. This enables the technology to be accessed through a completely bare terminal. Yaoxue Zhang and Yuezhi Zhou, engineers who worked on the project, told the news source that the bare terminal that runs the operating system is equipped with just enough code to enable the system to start up, while everything else is handled in the cloud.
This kind of innovation is extremely difficult to enable because it represents a major shift for end users, at least in theory. However, TransOS overcomes this through a unique GUI design that allows the system to function, from a user perspective, as if it were a regular computer, Zhang and Zhou told the news source.
"TransOS then downloads specific pieces of code that offer the user options as if they were running a conventional operating system via a graphical user interface," Zhang and Zhou told TG Daily. "Applications are then run, calling on the TransOS code only as needed so that memory is not hogged by inactive operating system code as it is by a conventional desktop computer operating system."
GUIs as innovation enabler
With computing models shifting away from desktop PCs and into the cloud, smartphones and tablets, it is increasingly important that developers focus on finding ways to present their solutions to users in the most effective ways possible. This technological revolution is pushing many developers and businesses to stretch the boundaries of what is possible in the contemporary computing climate. As this process continues, it is increasingly vital to develop GUI systems that allow new and disruptive solutions to feel familiar and accessible to users.