Having too many programs installed in your computer can certainly slow it down. You may already know that applications, and their associated services running in the background, consume precious system memory that can affect your PC’s overall performance. For the same reason, some PC-care applications notify you if an installed tool hasn’t been used for a long time and suggest either suspending it (if it’s running in the background) or uninstalling it from the system. One of the reasons most power users rely on application virtualization software is that they provide an easy way to run the application in an isolated environment. Not only does it reduce the chances of data theft and like threats, it also helps your system easily balance the resources shared by active applications. Spoon is a freshly-baked web application that implements this very concept using your web browser. It runs the applications in a sandbox-like workspace, enabling users to launch programs in a virtualized environment without actually installing them on their computers. Spoon includes different types of applications, each one with multiple versions to choose from, including Browsers, Games, Media Apps, Productivity Apps, Social Apps and Tools.
Instead of downloading and installing the apps, it allows you to stream them from the web and run as if they are installed locally. Since it restricts the apps to run only in its own sandboxed environment, you don’t have to deal with different installation-related errors. Moreover, you can run Java and .NET based tools without first installing the pre-requisites. It even lets you bypass any limitation imposed by the system, including the administrative restrictions, compatibility errors and UAC notifications. You can also run the apps directly on secondary computers by just copying them on an external hard disk or USB drive.
In order to use the web app, you need to create an account. Enter your name, email address and password to sign up for the service.
Once you have created the account, a plugin will be downloaded to your computer. Install the plugin to start using the service. Log in to the web app to access hundreds of available apps. The apps are divided into different categories and the main page lists the top apps of each category.
Select the application you wish to run in a virtualized workspace. It will show you the app description, available versions and related applications. Clicking the RUN button will start the buffering process. Once done, it will automatically launch the selected application.
When you try to access an app through the program for the first time, the Windows Security Alert will pop up asking permissions for the program to use the network. Click Allow Access to continue.
The plugin runs in the system tray and clicking its icon allows you to search within the database of available apps. You can even check the available versions of the applications by selecting them. For instane, if you search Firefox, it will list down all the available versions, letting you run the required version of the application.
The web app worked flawlessly during our testing. The time it takes to buffer an app depends upon its size and internet speed. As of this writing, Spoon works on only Windows. Support for OS platforms is in works.