StartForce is one of the many web desktop applications available on the internet. These are virtual computers that can be accessed through your web browser. The idea is fantastic, you would be able to view your familiar desktop and get access to all of your files whether you are at home, work, the library or even the other side of the world. StartForce claims to be the fastest web desktop application currently available, and it does seem to be quite quick. As standard 1GB of storage space is included which should be more than enough for most people. It also includes a wide range of applications such as an instant messaging client so that you can stay in touch with people that you know. It is also designed with file sharing in mind and should make sharing files with other people as easy as possible.Show more screenshots »
These web desktops or webtops are very popular at the moment; there are quite a few available now. Although they are very clever the use of them is still fairly limited until internet speeds get much faster. API’s are available for StartForce which does mean developers are free to bring their existing applications into the system.
There are many of these web desktops that are all pretty much the same, this one claims to be slightly faster, although whether it is or not remains open for debate. It is also surprisingly sparse of applications; there are only basic text editors and an image editing program which are of any real interest. There is also a web browser, but quite why you would want to surf the web inside a computer that’s already inside a browser is unknown. This would be a slower way to surf the internet, although it may offer a certain degree of protection, perhaps.
Compared to other web desktop applications StartForce is quite snappy, however compared to your desktop computer it’s really slow. Clicking on something means that you will have to wait a couple of seconds for something to pop up. It’s not a bad delay, under a second but if you’re used to using a conventional computer you will find the wait very frustrating. There also aren’t really that many features, and the only real advantage is being able to take your files with you everywhere you go easily. The problem however is that you would have to use it all the time, or remember to upload your files before you go anywhere. This is much more complicated than bunging them on a USB drive and putting it in your pocket!
To register for StartForce you simply need to fill out the basic form complete with the annoying captcha image. You will then need to fill in some additional information, including your address and name. There is also a license agreement that you have to read, or at least accept! Before you can use your account you have to confirm your email address by clicking a link in the email you are sent.
StartForce is a free web application and there are no obvious adverts supporting the software. These sites are normally created to show of the talents of an application designer.
StartForce is great if you want to show off and impress your friends; however that’s really where its usefulness ends. These webtops look amazing and they are fantastic, but why? If you want to take files with you then you would put them on a USB drive. StartForce is not really suitable for the masses at the moment, it’s only suitable for the early adopters, the people that have to have a computer that they can access from anywhere in the world.