Browser-based Computing With YouOS

The ‘net is full of Web apps that can do almost anything from being a simple task list to managing projects. Having your applications and data on the Web sure is handy, especially if you work across different computers. I’m not sure we’re ready for Web-based operating systems, though, but it seems with the proliferation of cheap broadband and ubiquitous wireless networks (not to mention our obsession for free stuff that works as well as, or even better than, the paid ones), developing something that runs applications on the Web can be a worthwhile endeavor. YouOS is such an example.

YouOS and its applications run entirely within a web browser, but have the look and feel of desktop applications. An application’s code and data reside remotely but are executed and modified locally. This model allows for a great deal of freedom. You can edit a document at home in a text editor and then go to school or work and instantly access the same text editor and document.

The main difference of YouOS with other browser-based “operating systems” is that YouOS lets third party developers build applications for the system and even collaborate with other developers for this.

… we’ve made app development and management central to YouOS. It’s baked right into the system. Anyone can click on the “develop apps” button and start coding or tweaking away. Developing apps requires a knowledge of html and javascript, and that’s it. If that’s not good enough, we’re looking into making even simpler languages users can work in.

The developers say that YouOS was started primarily with the idea of collaboration in mind. That’s not exactly new, but if the developers get it right, this could be a good model for the OS of the future–since everything is likely to be run online in the future.

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