What the heck is a virtual computer

Thomas Wollburg
Sep 25, 2018 · 3 min read

Here at Friend Software Labs we are creating the internet operating system and talk about virtual cloud computers. What is that? A virtual computer? Can I actually use it? How does it differ from the computer I have now? Why would I want/need/use that?

This article is the first of two in a series of two explaining why virtual computers rock.

What is a virtual computer

A virtual computer is a collection of software that resemble the functionality a user expects from his computer.

So while it is not a physical device with keyboard and mouse it is a device that lets you interact with it using your keyboard and mouse.

Can I actually use it? How does it differ from the computer I have now?

As the virtual computer lets you use keyboard and mouse just as on your computer, of course you can use it. The computer you use today is running an operating system that is installed onto the computer. That usually is Windows or OSX or Linux. Where the Friend computer differs from yours is that is never installed onto your device. While it provides all the functionality you need, it does not depend on your hardware to work.

That has both advantages and disadvantages. We think the advantages in today’s connected world by far outweigh the disadvantages. We also have plans to make Friend work in offline scenarios.

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Friend Workspace with the Photopea image editor and our collaboration app FriendChat

Why would I want / need / use a virtual computer?

Why would you want one? To not depend on the device you use right now. As Werner Vogels (and probably others) once said “everything breaks all the time”. Drowning your computer in water, tea or coffee usually means you are unable to work for a day or so. A virtual computer allows you to continue working on any device at hand — even a TV and a Bluetooth keyboard.

Why do you need one? If you read the last paragraph it should explain why you need one: to be able to work without depending on the hardware you use. And also to be able to have a computer that offers far more capabilities that any single device can offer. Friends architecture allows you to distribute processing across many clients and servers.

Why would you use a virtual computer? Because it is outperforms the one you have, it provides all the functionality you need and does not force you to always have you maybe heavy, clunky workstation with you in order to be able to be productive or creative.

Wow — I want this? How do I get it

While Friend has been released in version 1.2(rc1) we are still working with our first users and customers and are putting a lot of effort into getting applications available that will provide everything you want and need.

Free demo account

You can have a read-only test run at . There, you can also sign up for a more functional demo account on our demo server.

Anything more?

This article is the first of two in a series of two explaining why virtual computers rock.


Friend is the first open source virtual cloud computer that…

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