The mobility of workers is not something new. Workers have always moved and worked out of the office. What is now becoming mobile are their desktops.

The computer, the place where our desktop is housed, was until recently a static element, linked to the workplace. This meant that our desktop was attached to the office. The mobile workers, in this context, needed a physical support (paper) to work during their daily movements and, once at the office, they digitized the information to transfer it to the desktop.

Subsequently, the computer became portable. Its size was reduced and there appeared light devices, like tablets or even the phone, which could be transported by workers. However, the desktop continued to be linked to the device. This resulted in two types of strategies that, in general, are still in force:

1. The worker moves with a mobile device, bringing the desktop everywhere. The problem is that to work in the office or at home, the worker prefers large and powerful devices, while lighter devices are best for travel.

2. The worker splits the desk. Each device has its own desktop, so that the worker has to move information from one device to another in order to have access to it wherever they are.

To overcome the drawbacks of these two strategies, some solutions emerged, such as the virtual private network (VPN), which allows us to establish a remote connection between computers over the Internet. However, the quality and speed of these connections are deficient.

We are currently in a transition stage, that of the desktop virtualization. It is in this way that Google created Google Docs (now Google Drive). Google Drive is a free service that allows us to host files in the cloud. These files can be external, that is created in our computer, or they can be created in the virtual desktop. Over time, Google Drive has improved and expanded its offer, so that we can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations…

The big problem of Google Drive is that their documents are too simple. Compared with the potential of Word, Excel or PowerPoint, working with a document of Google Drive is a setback. As hard as Google tries to improve its offer, I do not think they will succeed where even OpenOffice has failed: to offer a free alternative to Microsoft Office.

Seeing this, Microsoft created Office 365, a virtual desktop where we can work with all the documents from the Office family. However, the Office 365 desktop is much less agile, intuitive and simple than Drive and, obviously, it is not free.

We are now at a point, then, that the virtual desktops created to date, as Google Drive or Office 365, do not replace the real desktops of our computers, but they had joined them, increasing the fragmentation.

The real desktop virtualization will not come until we only need a single desktop, hosted in the cloud, where we can work with not only the same documents that are currently on our computers, but also with the same programs and applications. The future of the computer is thus stop being our desktop to become a window to the cloud.