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Mainframe2 envisions a future where you can use computationally demanding applications right in your web browser.

That future is closer than you might think — in fact, it’s seconds away from happening.

We told you all about Mainframe 2 when it emerged from stealth mode last month, and then yesterday we reported that the cloud computing startup will support Amazon Web Services, broadening its data center footprint. Today we have something even more exciting to share with you: a live Photoshop demo, running on Amazon’s EC2 U.S. West servers, embedded right here on VentureBeat.

Just click the Photoshop embed below to try it out — and when you finish, be sure to share your experience in the comments section.


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You can’t bring in your own files in this demo, but Mainframe2 will soon roll out support for Dropbox, Box, and “all other major cloud storages,” according to the company’s CEO Nikola Bozinovic. And while Mainframe2 is only live on Amazon’s U.S. West servers now, it should come to Amazon EC2 U.S. East shortly. For now, though, you might experience some latency if you’re far away from the West Coast. (The Mainframe2 demo will actually estimate your distance from the servers when you click on it, as you may have already discovered.)

Behind the scenes, Mainframe2 runs the application in a remote data center and then converts each frame to H.264 video, which it pipes over to your Internet-connected device. It should work for any HTML5-capable web browser without the need for plugins like Java or Flash. Mainframe2 can theoretically run any Windows application, according to Bozinovic, though the company intends to focus on science and engineering applications. For more background, check out our earlier report.

So, what are your impressions of the demo?

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