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liquid computing

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Liquid computing is the capacity for data and applications to remain consistent and current across multiple devices so that the user could, for example, stop working on a document on a desktop before leaving the office and start from the same point on a tablet from another location.

In a liquid computing scenario, data and workflow follow users from device to device and connections remain fluid. That ability is helpful in the current enterprise BYOD (bring your own device) environment, in which workers increasingly connect on multiple devices and from multiple locations.

One of the main obstacles to liquid computing is the closed systems of most vendors. Currently, some applications and settings can follow a user across some vendors devices. Apple's Handoff feature, for example, allows a user to move seamlessly from an iMac to a MacBook to an iPad. Google makes similar functionality possible across Chrome and Android-based systems as does Microsoft across Windows 10 systems. That capacity is enabled through sets of APIs used in software development. Sharing APIs with competitors could, at least theoretically, enable liquid computing across the platforms of multiple vendors.

This was last updated in October 2015

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