Cloud-based software and data storage are growing in popularity as access to high-speed Internet connections increase but I am not sure how many people would have expected this. Researchers in China, as reported in the International Journal of Cloud Computing have developed TransOS; a cloud-based operating system.
There is a very good chance that you take advantage of some cloud-based application, from data storage to document and image editing. These applications benefit from the capability of the servers they run on, which could be much more powerful than your own local machine, or offer more storage that is available you can get an Internet connection. TransOS looks to take advantage of the former by having as little OS code as possible loaded into the terminal's memory. This allows the performance of the OS to be independent of the components of the terminal.
While the idea of a cloud-based OS may not appeal to many of us with our overclocked, gaming computers, there are still many possible uses for such technology. For example, a very simple computer could be installed into different household appliances so they can run TransOS and its software. Factory equipment could also be connected to a server this way, to minimize the needed components in the device itself.