In this age of Cloud Computing there is a massive amount of personal data being harvested and managed by Cloud vendors which have a nasty habit of compromising privacy and features for commercial interests.
That’s why I’m quite excited about the prospect of OwnCloud, an open source project designed to give people many of the Cloud services they require in one package.
Like open source blogging software before it, OwnCloud allows people to manage their data on a host of their choice – either a public or private service.
What started as a KDE side project (although there are no dependencies on KDE itself, it’s developed in PHP) has snowballed into an active community and there is even a commercial company, OwnCloud.com, dedicated to services around the software.
It would be great to see Linux-based clients integrate OwnCloud so people can just point to a server and sync their data. Some distros like Ubuntu have their own integrated Cloud services, but that doesn’t mean they can’t offer OwnCloud as well. And it doesn’t have to be Linux as Windows and Mac OS X are target clients too.
Quite a few people have been asking for an open source alternative to DropBox and OwnCloud offers this, in addition to many other applications. I for one am waiting for the RSS reader to arrive as I’m yet to be sucked into Google Reader.