Streaming software from the cloud to low-powered ultra-portable computers is something that’ many companies have attempted to do but few have perfected. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) are taking another shot at this with what the two companies call “Project Photoshop Streaming.”
Project Photoshop Streaming runs a copy of Adobe Photoshop in the Chrome browser giving users effectively the full Photoshop experience regardless of hardware. The only exceptions to this, according to Adobe, are that the browser-based version of Photoshop cannot run any GPU-accelerated functions that are in the latest version of Photoshop CS4.
“This streaming version of Photoshop is designed to run straight from the cloud to your Chromebook,” Google’s Steven Konig wrote in a blog post. “It’s always up-to-date and fully integrated with Google Drive, so there’s no need to download and re-upload files – just save your art directly from Photoshop to the cloud.”
In order to use this streaming version of Photoshop, users do not require a Chromebook — Adobe and Google say it will work on new versions of the Chrome browser on Windows 7 and 8 — but do require a subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Of course, users will require a stable connection with low-latency for this hardware agnostic version of Photoshop to work correctly.
For Google this is largely a test of whether virtualizing software on a server and streaming it to low-power computing devices will work well over large scale implementations. Should this project be a success, no doubt Google will try it again with other hardware-demanding applications in the future.