Dell recently made the news due to its plans of going private, but it’s been awhile since Dell was mentioned because they were doing something that we could be excited about. Looks like that’s changing now with reports of a Project Ophelia going around. But what is Ophelia and why should you even be excited about it? According to Christopher Mims of Quartz, it’s a PC that will give you access to every major OS including Windows, Mac OS X, Google’s Chrome OS, and Dell’s custom cloud solutions — oh, and it’s the size of a USB stick.
The reason all this is possible in such a small size is because Ophelia wouldn’t be a PC in the traditional sense. While it would allow you to access all those operating systems, it would do so through virtual instances running in the cloud. It means all you’d need is a screen and an internet connection. Pull out Ophelia from your shirt pocket, plug it into your screen and voila, a fully featured computer with the OS of your choice. As always, price is always a concern. But for this bold new direction, Dell wants to make it really accessible. Like, $50 kind of accessible. If they hit that price while providing all the functionality talked about, this could be a game-changer.
There are still a lot of questions you could ask about Ophelia. Would Microsoft, Apple, or Google allow their operating systems to even be part of it? I don’t think Microsoft or Google would have much of an issue but I could see Apple shooting down the idea of OS X on something that isn’t a Mac. Would running your entire operating system from the cloud result in a good user experience? It all depends on the technology we have available. And the further into the future we go, Dell’s reinvention — and Project Ophelia — come closer to becoming reality.