Best Web-based operating systems…

Posted: April 11, 2010 in All Categories, Apps, Software
Tags: , ,

Want to see what lies ahead in the world of operating systems? Head to the Web, Yeah !! 😉 . Bet me that’s where you’ll find some workable examples of operating systems that move everything — applications, files, and communications — from the confines of your desktop to the more widely accessible Internet. And mind you, Web-based operating systems are more than just a collection of applications that run within a browser. They’re self-contained environments in which you can create and store documents, copy files from one folder or drive to another, and conduct communications.

In short, almost everything you can do from Windows or the Mac OS should be able to be accomplished within a Web OS. All you need is a Web browser to get there. Before looking into some options, if you want to ask the question: Why Web-based OS ? read on..

Web Based O.S / Online O.S

Web Based O.S / Online O.S

One could argue that a Web-based operating system is redundant, since one needs a computer, operating system, and Web browser to access an online operating system. While that’s true, the point of an online operating system is complete environment portability. That means being able to log on to any computer that has an Internet connection and, in the time it takes to launch your Web OS, having all of your applications and documents ready for you to resume work. Although you could cobble together many of the elements of a Web OS by using, say, Google Docs, Yahoo Mail, and other online applications, doing so would require you to make several stops around the Internet.

There’s no doubt that today’s Web-based operating systems are far from feature-laden, and they probably will not tempt many to abandon their current routine that combines desktop and Web-based software.
But given the push that the major players in the industry are making toward a completely Web-based future, there’s also little doubt that Web-based operating systems, or some form thereof, are in our collective future. Now here is the list…

Google Chrome

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While the major players in the software industry are not yet among those with Web-based operating system (OS) prototypes, it’s clear that the big names are paying attention – and making plans. Google’s Chrome, with its Spartan interface — largely devoid of visible menus, button bars, and status panels, easily reminds one of the basis of an operating system when it’s expanded to full screen. And Microsoft, although deriving a large portion of its revenue from the lucrative desktop applications business, has just announced that it will create Web-based versions of its Microsoft Office applications – and make them available for free.

eyeOS

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A good place to start in your discovery of Web-based operating systems is eyeOS (http://eyeos.org), which is free, open source, and very easy to sign up for. There’s no need to install anything to use eyeOS. Simply sign up with a user name and password to create an account, and from that point forward, you have an operating system on the Web, accessible from any browser. eyeOS creates space on its servers to store your operating system settings and any files you create. eyeOS resembles contemporary desktop-bound operating systems. There’s a workspace area — or desktop — along with icons on the left that represent shortcuts to applications, including a word processor, calendar, contact manager, RSS feed, and a trash bin. Fire up the eyeOS word processor and you’ll find yourself in a serviceable document creation tool, replete with toolbar buttons for most of the formatting tasks that users require today.

G.ho.st

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G.ho.st (http://g.ho.st/) is in some ways even more full-featured and certainly more colourful – than eyeOS. After you sign up, for free, G.ho.st carves out an impressive 5 gigabytes of file storage on its servers for you, and it creates your very own G.ho.st Mail e-mail account, with 3 gigabytes of storage. Like eyeOS, there’s nothing to install. Once you sign up, you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail message. Click the activation link inside, and you’re ready to go. The first time you launch G.ho.st, your browser will switch to full-screen mode so that you can see all there is that G.ho.st has to offer. There’s a full-featured word processor, spreadsheet, e-mail, your personal G.ho.st drive for file storage, instant messaging, and even a few games. There’s also plenty of hand-holding in G.ho.st, as well, with icons that offer to take you on a tour of G.ho.st, help you set up your e-mail, create and edit documents, and upload files from your desktop computer to your G.ho.st environment.

Desktop Two

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Desktop Two (http://desktoptwo.com) is a java-based Web operating system that’s the quickest of all to set up and get going. After a brief sign-up routine, the desktop loads, and you’re ready to start exploring. Desktop Two offers more applications that allow users to create their own presence on the Web than the other major Web operating systems. Along with a word processor and e-mail program, Desktop Two provides a Web site editor and a blogging pro-gramme. The blogging application, in particular, is impressive, providing a two-click entry into the world of setting up and maintaining your own blog. Once you create your first blog entry, the programme provides you with the Web address that you can distribute to the world so that others can visit your blog on the Internet. Desktop Two’s conventional applications are less impressive, however, in part because the operating system was not always able to save documents to Desktop Two’s online storage system.

Cloudo

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Formerly known as Xindesk, Cloudo is an open internet-based operating system that is written in PHP and runs the LAMP software bundle. It makes full use of the area of the browser and seamlessly integrates with the iPhone’s mobile browser. Written using open technologies, this browser based OS is high on features and usability. Currently in Public Beta, it opens to consumers very shortly this year.

Online OS

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A welcome departure from the masses, Online OS is written in Javascript and uses AJAX for its fast and user-friendly work. The demo desktop looks like the Windows XP desktop (the registered version can be made to look like KDE or Mac OSX) and loads very fast (although there are a few glitches here and there when components fail to load quickly). It has file-management and other abilities, but most of its applications are not part of the OS itself – rather, they launch outside of it, making Online OS a sort of a portal to these apps.

Glide OS

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TransMedia’s Glide OS is yet another entrant into the competitive world of cloud computing. However, with Intel’s plans of putting Glide into their ultra-mobile PCs, this is one online OS that is not to be trifled with. Packing a host of applications in its basic version, Glide does an admirable job of providing easy cloud computing for its users on both the PC and mobile platforms.

qWikiOffice

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This is one of those few online operating systems that make use of the EXT-JS library for its functioning. Coupled with cutting-edge GUI, qWikiOffice is indistinguishable from an ordinary OS when it works. However, it is still under development and there are no releases as yet, but should be on shortly.

SilveOS

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SilveOS.com is a Silverlight operating system (called a Web OS or a Webtop or a cloud computer). It brings the convenience and comfort you know from classical desktop applications into your browser. SilveOS.com gives you a familiar work interface that looks the same whether you’re working at your home computer, or remotely from a borrowed or public computer. System hosts all of your data and applications on the web so that they are accessible from Internet browser and not tied down locally to any one. You can launch applications right away without installation and it will be executed in draggable and resizable windows. SilveOS.com is web-based and requires Silverlight 3 to operate. Application runs in Silverlight’s security sandbox. By default code is restricted from accessing your file system or doing anything that could hurt your machine. Besides desktop, taskbar, start menu and sidebar, currently it includes wide of variety of applications, including File Explorer, Internet Explorer, Video Player, Rich test editor, RSS reader, Notepad, Paint, Twitter client, Flickr viewer, Youtube viewer, Virtual Earth, Chat, Calculator, Games like Chess, Solitaire, Spider etc…

Stay tuned for a complete review of the new iPhone OS 4.0, next week, still then, enjoy your week….

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Comments
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  6. Ben 10 Online Games says:

    Very good post. Keep it up buddy.

  7. ben says:

    do any of these have a mobile version besides glide?

  8. Ravi says:

    Hi Ben,

    Check out the Glide O.S 4.0 which u can access from virtually any mobile phone at glidemobile.com

    and not sure of others here which are in very early stage but soon or later will have this feature, also heard of Palm webOS mobile operating system running on the Linux kernel..

    Hope that helps…

    Ravi

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