I first heard about XIOS (aka iCloud) about a year ago and I've been keen to have a play every since to see if finally someone would get it right.
I've wanted a portable "play and play" OS for a long time. Things like U3 and MojoPac looked like lightweight solutions but had their flaws (MojoPac still doesn't work with Vista) and going for a full VM solution like Moka5 didn't help (Internet Cafes where you can't install a USB device or incompatible host operating systems and problems getting network access from the guest OS)
Internet OSes seemed like a great idea but I've yet to find one that works well enough to deserve a return visit once I've set them up.
Well iCloud (or XIOS - I can't seem to work out what they want to call it) is the first that does a good enough job that I've been playing for a few days as I bounce around machines. In fact, I'm posting this with iCloud running and even using their Music Player to listen to BBC1xtra from the UK and test an IE app.
But nice as it is, it's still very early days. There are typos galore but on the whole it's pretty polished. And there are some pretty cool apps - Dayplan, Money Manager, Notepad and (rather bizarrely) a Balanced Scorecard app complement a collection of widgets, a desktop messenger and an internal browser instance (tabbed, supports Silverlight, Flash and anything else the host browser supports).
But there's a way to go which the development language (for you to write your own apps as a collection of XML files) doesn't quite compensate for.
No email client, the IM client won't talk to my Messenger buddies and there's no Word or Powerpoint app or a database (although these are all promised "real soon")
The other limiting factor for many is that it relies on IE. Now 90% of my time I have that available, but I also have a Mac Mini at home at the moment and would love to be able to move from one to the other seamlessly.
That leads me on to desktop sync.
In the ideal world I'd have a portable desktop I can take anywhere I happen to be working, and have the latest documents to my fingers or up to date email. In a secure, reliable manner (to allow me to work in a connected or disconnected manner) that doesn't impose limits based on if I'm on a PC or a Mac, at home in the office or at an Internet Cafe. Sadly there's no sync yet so I have to carry files on a USB key still!
Nice as it is... iCloud isn't quite my digital dream yet... it's the closest I've seen so I'll keep hoping (and Windows and OSX don't have to worry just yet!)