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What are the benefits and possibilities with cloud computing?

What are the benefits and possibilities with cloud computing?

For example, can I use a cloud server just like my own laptop and install ordinary software on it? Then, anyone anywhere in the world can login to this cloud and use this software as if it was installed on his computer? Only limitation is that one user at a time can use the software as it's not a server version of the software.

It sounds like something between an intranet and a local computer.

I also want to install Horde Groupware Webmail Edition on this cloud server as a means of communication platform and project manager (and perhaps also ]open-project[).

Can I install both server-based software and client-based (ordinary) software on a cloud server?

Can I use cloud computing as an intranet with login areas for customers and employees to upload files, communicate, use installed software (not server-based but ordinary software), etc.?

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But what is really the difference between just a "server" and a "cloud server"?
No difference so long as the Server is in a proper datacenter and not hosted at your company, unless your company is a datacentre. Cloud is just a buzz word that people are getting excited about, it's actually been around for a while.
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Is there any difference as to which operative system I can use on a server or a cloud server?

For example, I can let someone connect remotely to my laptop and use any software on my laptop.
Can I do the same with a cloud server? Or will there always be the server OS I'll be using when connecting to a cloud server?
My initial question was about installing communication suites, Horde etc. on a cloud server but I've found better, easier solutions for that now. The only thing I want to use the cloud server for is to install desktop software on it, so anyone (with a username and password) can logon and use that software remotely from anywhere in the world. Would this be feasible?
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Yes, you could do that with a cloud server.
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