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WebOS Market Review 173

Posted by Hemos
from the anything-good-out-there dept.
ReadWriteWeb writes "A number of small startups are trying their luck building a WebOS, which is a software platform that interacts with the user through a web browser and does not depend on any particular local operating system. Current WebOS contenders include XIN, YouOS, EyeOS, Orca, Goowy and Fold. There's also a bit of crossover with Ajax homepages like Netvibes, Pageflakes, Microsoft's Live.com and Google's start page. The key difference from Ajax homepages is that a WebOS is a full-on development platform. Indeed for developers, a big benefit is that a WebOS theoretically makes it easier to develop apps that work cross-platform. DHTML and Javascript are the main tools to do that, but not all developers think they are suitable."
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WebOS Market Review

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  • WHY? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This is colosally STUPID
    • Re:WHY? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Troposphere (900433) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:34AM (#15189108)
      Absolutely agree. Only people who have never used javascript and DHTML would even dream such madness. Or possibly fanatical Javascript zealots, if they exist in some cave somewhere. This is too painful to even begin thinking about. Perhaps a Web OS might have worked if the conceptual infrastructure had been put in place for it at the beginning, but instead we now have a crippled monster that has been built up by feature accretion and bastardization, all dictated by a heady mixture of spineless toady bureaucrats and greedy corporate raiders. We need a disruptive technology to fix this mess now, I'm afraid. We are not going to get there by evolution.
      • Re:WHY? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Negatyfus (602326)
        Aw, come on. You gotta admit that this UN*X-like OS in JavaScript [masswerk.at] thing is pretty cool. :)
      • Actually, at least one of the sites mentioned (goowy.com) isn't Ajax -- it's Flash.

        Which will probably make it even more evil to most Slashdot readers, I guess.

        But it's a pretty damn impressive piece of work.
      • Only people who have never used javascript and DHTML would even dream such madness. Or possibly fanatical Javascript zealots, if they exist in some cave somewhere.

        What I don't get is why people always are talking about javascript for building a Web OS to the exclusion of the platforms that could actually be used for it, like java or flash. Especially flash. You can build amazing stuff in flash, and easily too. It's orders of magnitude more easy to develop cross-platform web apps in flash than in javascript.
  • I'm staying away from this stuff until AJAX stops meaning "let their damn computers do all the work".
    • by Anonymous Coward
      What? Don't be silly! Why, in five years time, everyone will be doing it! They'll want their Office Suite hosted in Germany, their Calender in the USA, their Webmail in Australia, their CRM in South Korea and they'll store their data in China. Everybody will trust these companies and individuals to keep their data safe and secure (Who wouldn't?!) and none of these business will go bust and take all of your data with them, oh no. It's the Web 2.0, don't you know? Who wants to use a computer these days,
      • by Odiumjunkie (926074) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:52AM (#15189181) Journal
        I couldn't agree more. What's the point?

        If I wanted a customisable environment I could access anywhere, I'd make a custom install of a lightweight linux OS on a flash drive and carry it around with me. All my programs, anywhere - plus encrypted storage, plus no need for a network connection, plus no bandwidth usage, plus no latency issues, plus programs that I choose, customise, install and run myself, that I trust, that I can examine the source code of and compile myself if I choose OSS, plus no server downtime, plus less risk of my personal data being accessible by any one of thousands of users with read/write privaledges in an account on the same server that I use that happens to find an unpatched exploit.

        The move toward a WebOS is another part of the "stupid user" school of computer education. Instead of actually promoting learning how to use a box properly, you just move all the sensitive stuff server-side. "Installing programs? We'll do that for you! Configuring system files? Leave that to us! Data storage? Backups? System Patches? Anti-virus? Malware detection? It's all on us! You don't need to know a damned thing, just sit down at your thousand dollar terminal, log in, point and click. Sports Broadcasts will resume as normal."

        It's just another aspect of the great computer devide that's gradually starting. On the one hand, unix geeks who run their own systems and software, spec their own hardware, believe in open source, try to make personal backups of media, won't buy DRM and want control of their own boxes. On the other, the average consumer who doesn't give a damn about anything aside from getting a system that just works with as little management and maintanence as possible. For the second group, WebOS is brilliant. All you need to remember is a URL, a login and a password. Instant system wherever you are. You've surrenedered the autonomy of your box, but in return you get an easier system to manage. It's a dream for content suppliers as well - imagine the strength of DRM if the average media player is stored on a remote server, and the user has no access to it's program files.
        • Wow, it's just like the automobile divide. On the one hand, mechanic geeks who install their own water pumps. On the other, the average consumer who just wants to be able to drive to work. Imagine that!
          • Wow, it's just like the automobile divide.

            could everyone please stop it with the car analogies? a computer is nothing like a car.

            • Gee, I don't think you understand the purpose of analogies. When I say that "engine is to car as processor is to computer," I'm not saying that "car = computer," and if you can't see the analogous relationship, you're the one with a problem. Sometimes it seems that slashdotters won't accept an analogy unless it's a 1:1 relationship, as "engine is to car as engine is to car." There's no such thing as a perfect analogy, but we mustn't let that cause us to throw out the category altogether.

              The point is that mo
              • There's a difference between vehicle maintenance and learning how to care for a vehicle. Most people realize that they have to change their oil, clean their car, check their tire pressure, listen for weird noises, and take the car to the shop when it starts pulling too much to the left (or the right in britain, it doesn't matter unless it's pulling into traffic). With computers, people can't even be bothered to learn how to drive, let alone learn the basics of computer care.
                • I don't know who these "most people" are that you are referring to, but most people I know just take their car to the mechanic every now and then, *at best.* I've never seen my mother, say, check her tire pressure. As for taking it to the shop when it starts pulling or listening for weird noises, well, that's not really maintenance, is it -- that's a response to a specific problem. Most Joe Publics will take their computer in if the screen flickers or the hard drive makes a high-pitched whine. That's not wh
              • Gee, I don't think you understand the purpose of analogies. When I say that "engine is to car as processor is to computer," I'm not saying that "car = computer," [...]

                i don't think you understand what an analogy is. while a car is a vehicle designed to take you from point A to point B, a computer is an infinitely programmable software platform. so i fail to see how the two (car/computer) are similar. now, i may be wrong, that's just how i see things.

                The point is that most folks don't want to be bothered

        • It's just another aspect of the great computer devide [sic] that's gradually starting.

          • On the one hand, unix geeks who run their own systems and software, spec their own hardware, believe in open source, try to make personal backups of media, won't buy DRM and want control of their own boxes.
          • On the other, the average consumer who doesn't give a damn about anything aside from getting a system that just works with as little management and maintanence as possible.

          It's essentially the difference bet

          • The point I was trying to make is that at the moment, there is a spectrum of computer expertise, as one would expect. Some people use custom unix-like systems, compile all their own software, patch their own systems, build all their machines, etc. Other people use Ubuntu, go to the support forums for any problems they have and use in-built update mechanisms to patch. Other people dual boot linux and windows, and dip in to linux from time to time. Some people use windows, but manage their own AV and patching
        • You're right. Why should computers help out humans in doing work. They don't exist to help us, they exist so that we can help them, right?

          Dude, you need to get out more. There's *ZERO* point in learning about computers just for the sake of learning about computers. *ZERO*. Let me restate that: ZERO. If a computer doesn't help me get my job done, then I don't want it. If I have to spend more time learning about hom computers work than they save me, then it's a net loss.
    • "WebOS" means there's a great PXE server in the sky. Until then, I simply refuse to refer to a shoddy scripted application as an "Operating System."
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:26AM (#15189072)
    Oh the humanity, a submitted link that links to a blog! This couldn't be a thinly veiled attempt to drive up page hits, could it? Lets see, a user called 'ReadWriteWeb', and its linking to a blog about 'WebOS' (stupid term, misnomer, buzzword-compliant). What's next a Roland Piquipaille story?
    • I think your mention of this just drove up the traffic considerably. People will read your comment, then click the link.
    • Actually, I was just going to submit a link to my thoughts on my birthday party a week ago [sigg3.net].
      It was kind of lame since we had tapas, and if you've been reading my blog, you know that I'm not totally into the tapas. Not totally.
      But I know it was an expression of love, and of gratitude, and for that I'm grateful. Colour me touched.
      Then I saw aliens the other day. It's not my favourite (number 3 is), but I still think it's funny. Those aliens make about the same noise the darn neighbourhood cats do when they'
  • Not Exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:27AM (#15189078) Homepage Journal
    1. WebOS is a misleading name. "Web Desktop" is a more appropriate term. I know that most users use the terms interchangably, but as techies we really shouldn't be encouraging them.

    2. Most of these "WebOSes" are a mess. EyeOS just IFrames everything, Orca doesn't seem to work (at least not for me), YouOS is about at the XEdit and XTerm level, Fold is a fancy Portal environment, and XIN isn't available yet. These are nice starts to desktops, but they're a long way from fully featured desktop replacements. Right now, they're just fancy portals.

    3. Google is not building a WebOS. Or at least, that's my opinion. There's no inherent advantage to building a windowing system in a browser other than the possibility of Web integration. Unfortunately, if the desktop isn't actually a real desktop (i.e. the only interface you see), then it isn't in any better position to provide Web integration than the web brower itself. Desktop development APIs are best saved for regular AJAX work until an actual need for a desktop arises.
    • Personally, all the web services basically form an OS. Gmail, meebo, Google Calendar, and Writely allow me to plop down at any stupid Internet terminal and get some work done. I don't need a spreadsheet, or anything. I guess all the web windowing clients actually miss the point. I guess it would be sweet to abstract the AJAX into neat web APIs but there's already so much functionality using independent libraries that there would be very little value to be added through the standardization of the base librar
      • Until web services work with each other, adhering to an underpinning even stronger than JavaScript and IE/Firefox's support of JavaScript, there is no "OS." There's a humongous difference between running a cool bunch of web applications and running an operating system.
        • I think that's a very good point. Disconnected web applications are dragging us back to the days of applications that all ran in the same OS but were completely isolated from one-another. Without inter-application communication, your're just leaving your data in isolated colonies around the web or having to crudely copy and past your data.
      • The advantage I would see to integration would simply be efficiency. If I have a document on Gmail, I would have to download the attachment, open it in the word processor (Writely or whatever) for editing, save to disk, and then attach it in a new email. Obviously this is not terribly complicated, but having an online file system with applications that can be used to work with those files would be pretty nice.

        NB i haven't used Writely, so I don't know what its feature set includes. Still waiting to hear whe
    • WebOS is a misleading name. "Web Desktop" is a more appropriate term. I know that most users use the terms interchangably, but as techies we really shouldn't be encouraging them.

      I know, I'm sure the kernel developers out there grimace ever time they hear the term WebOS. All your doing is replacing the top layer that displays the application. The stuff that an OS does is several orders of magnitude more complex than a web rendering engine. When you and on top of that the fact that it's a stupid idea to be
    • In Spanish, it pronounces as "uebos" which is too close to "huevos" (in fact 100% the same in most regions).

      Means "eggs" or slang alternative to "testicles" similar to "cojones" or English "balls"

      No me toqueis los Webos.
    • Okay so I have an idea of an OS that is based of an extremely permissioned web-server (think Apache) and all the applications on it would be standard AJAX, PHP, Perl, etc. All the user/software information could be stored in xml locally. The users desktop would be a customized Firefox browser (basically in Kiosk mode so no tool bars) with the login option that tells the apache server what level access to allow this user. From there the user has a "homepage" tha lists the systemwide menus and applications
      • Okay so I have an idea of an OS that is based of an extremely permissioned web-server

        First and foremost, that is not an OS. You're talking about a type of graphical shell that uses RPC for communications. (Like most modern environments do.) If you're looking for a term for it, use "Web Desktop".

        The users desktop would be a customized Firefox browser (basically in Kiosk mode so no tool bars) with the login option that tells the apache server what level access to allow this user.

        Just so you're aware, this is
  • Cross Platform? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KermodeBear (738243) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:28AM (#15189079) Homepage
    Indeed for developers, a big benefit is that a WebOS theoretically makes it easier to develop apps that work cross-platform.

    Isn't that what Java was supposed to do? All this "Web 2.0" stuff is getting out of hand; It's trying to duplicate a technology that already exists with inferior tools. I would rather have all the effort go into improving something that already exists.
    • Re:Cross Platform? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hey! (33014)
      Speaking of java...

      Once you've shoehorned everything need into a web application development framework (or bolted together everything you need from several frameworks), you practically have an operating system's worth of functionality and complexity.

      The difference is that you can't develop on it directly. Most web applications, if they were desktop applications would be dead simple. But it's not simple to do even a merely decent simple web application, for a couple of reasons. First is that you have to d
    • if we dont keep re-inventing the wheel, ( regardless if the original wheel was good or bad - wont get into that debate here about java ) then the market slumps.. They have to keep pushing out the 'latest and greatest' re-hash every so often to sell product.

      Its sort of like the corner resturant selling leftovers and calling it something new, so people come back in to eat.

    • Well, the people working on Web 2.0 are likely fully aware of Java's existence, so the fact that they aren't using it tells you that Java must fall short somewhere.

      Reasons we aren't using Java much anymore include lack of an ANSI/ISO standard, Sun's JCP process, technical limitations, bad technical decisions in versions 1.4 and 1.5, and lack of good open source implementations. I don't even think that Java lives up to its hype as a good cross-platform tool. I suspect other organizations have similar reason
  • by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:28AM (#15189081)
    If people wanted to use an X terminal they'd buy X terminals. People don't buy $500-$2000 computers just to handicap themselves by running some web-based operating system and using their computer as a dumb terminal. We went through similar hype years ago with the whole network computing idea of using a dumbed-down network appliance box and accessing software from an online application provider. That fell flat on its face as well. How many times do these people have to keep trying to reinvent the same concept over and over before they realize that people LIKE having a fat client on their desktop so they don't have to be connected 24/7 to a network?
    • People dont care what lies under that cool app as long as it works and makes things easier and better. Most people would love to just use their computer and stop being their own sysadmin.

      The only thing that has held network applications back is bandwidth and price. Now thats not a problem anymore.
      • The only thing that has held network applications back is bandwidth and price. Now thats not a problem anymore.

        And the fact that (in this case) Javascript/DHTML/HTTP is almost completely unsuited for the task. I say "almost" because apparently some people have managed to cobble something together. At least Terminal Server/Citrix performs well. At least Sun's thin clients could actually act like they had a full local OS. People DO care what is under the hood if it performs like a tar covered pig in a room f
        • My experience with AJAX has been that it performs much better and faster than dotnet/JAVA-VM/Mono.

          About user experience nothing stops anyone from making a good nice UI, its not like JAVA/dotnet where the looks are pretty much cast in stone.
        • I agree that these Web Desktops that are trying to emulate the features and functionality of a local Operating System are ultimately pointless. I mean, why would anyone want to use a primitive, clumsy Javascript/DHTML desktop isntead of the one that's already built into their operating system.

          However, AJAX applications which simply emulate the feel of a desktop environment to provide useful web services are a step in the right direction, IMHO. Web applications have slowly evolved better and more advanced U

    • This isn't even a dumb terminal, though. Most code still runs on the client, it's just a different language to write it in. If anything, the processor requirements of running every process in an interpreted language mean it actually takes more processor power.
      All this allows you to get rid of is the storage requirement, although you will still need a local cache if you want to carry on working away from a net connection.
    • To be fair to previous thin client ideas, they weren't trying to sell to home users. They were trying to sell to businesses and schools. Businesses want a lot more control over desktops and thin clients are a good way to go about it. Sure, they mostly failed, but not necessarily because thin clients are a bad idea. I think eventually (tho not soon) admins will just get sick and tired of tryign to manage fat clients and make a push back to thin clients. Most corporate users are connected to the network 24/7
  • Don't Get It. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WebHostingGuy (825421) * on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:28AM (#15189082) Homepage Journal
    I don't get it. It seems the article points several times to this:

    "applications will be written for the WebOS and won't be specific to Windows, OS X, or Linux."

    Someone enlighten me because I thought that is what all the languages used on the web do right now. PHP, Perl, Javascript, etc. It doesn't seem to me that a WebOS will provide any greater benefit that coding in Perl (or pick one). They are completely platform independant.

    The article then quotes a couple users who says that Java and DHTML + Javascript is a mess. Well, yeah, but what language isn't? All programming languages have problems that why there are so many of them. What am I missing?

  • Antivirus? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dybdahl (80720) <info@dy[ ]hl.dk ['bda' in gap]> on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:29AM (#15189083) Homepage Journal
    How do I install antivirus on this OS?
  • Links (Score:5, Informative)

    by babbling (952366) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:31AM (#15189095)
    Links to the various sites mentioned:
    Xin [naltabyte.se]
    YouOS [youos.com]
    eyeOS [eyeos.org]
    goowy [goowy.com]
    Fold [fold.com]
    Orca [orcaa.com]
  • by the_humeister (922869) on Monday April 24, 2006 @08:33AM (#15189102)
    ...but I can't find the story. Anyway, I like JS/UIX [masswerk.at]. Wish I could be talented enough to do that.
  • I think that mixing the concept of a Web based desktop and a programable PIM could be the right thing, where programable PIM means that you could program yourself custom node types that appear on the web Desktop as icons and windows, and of course, share them
    • I think that mixing the concept of a Web based desktop and a programable PIM could be the right thing, where programable PIM means that you could program yourself custom node types that appear on the web Desktop as icons and windows, and of course, share them

      Hmmm... I, on the other hand, think that a web browser should be used for, oh, I don't know, browsing HTML documents off HTTP servers. And JavaScript should be used on that web browser for calculations that are A) simple enough to be done easily on t

  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BenjyD (316700) on Monday April 24, 2006 @09:05AM (#15189228)
    OK, I'm extremely sceptical about this ever taking off because:

    - It relies on an internet connection
    - It actually increases the processing requirements of the client
    - it sticks another huge layer of abstraction and source of incompatibility between my apps and the system
    - It doesn't solve a user problem.

    Can anyone give me an argument for why anyone would use this instead of a USB thumbdrive, or a laptop, which are pretty cheap these days?
  • Because we can (Score:5, Insightful)

    by barryfandango (627554) on Monday April 24, 2006 @09:07AM (#15189237)

    A few years ago JavaScript was considered a toy language. Now that it's been "discovered" the pendulum has swung the other way, and people seem to think that JavaScript plus a browser is a suitable platform for writing a windowing system.

    We've been able to do a remote terminal like this for years, using more appropriate network protocols and faster execution environments. If we rebuild it on a completely absurd applpication stack:

    • Actual OS (hardware interface level)
    • Fast, mature windowing system
    • Web Browser w/JavaScript
    • Slow, buggy Windowing System inside Web Browser

    How does this bring any more value to the concept? The ability to hit the "Back" button and lose my entire session? Having two taskbars at the bottom of my screen?

    It seems like this is an idea being pursued just becasue we can; because we're excited about JavaScript and the Web 2.0 hype machine is working overtime.

    • Pushing new client code w/o actually pushing anything to the client is always nice. Knowing the majority of the computers out there meet the requirements for your software is also very nice. Cross-platform support is, most likely, easier than a traditional C++/.NET/Java client.

      It's not for every application, but there are a lot of reasons to do it.
  • by WombatControl (74685) on Monday April 24, 2006 @09:09AM (#15189244)

    All of these projects don't understand the medium. The web is not a desktop. The web doesn't work like a desktop, and attempts to translate the desktop metaphor to the web almost all suck hard. The web doesn't have milisecond response rates -- even with AJAX. You don't have a consistant set of APIs across browsers like you do on the desktop. You can't assume everyone has JavaScript, images, or styles on, and a smart developer will try to make sure that their users get a site that degrades gracefully through any of those cases.

    You can't just shoehorn a "desktop" style experience into a system that isn't at all designed for it. The web is a unique medium from the desktop. It demands a totally different metaphor than desktop applications.

    A desktop metaphor adds a lot of unnecessary cruft to the web -- trying to use drop-down menus, popup windows, crappy DHTML "controls" and the like degrade user experiences and make sites slow, frustrating, and buggy. Applications like GMail and Yahoo! Mail try to use the technologies in appropriate ways - they have some elements of desktop applications, but they're not trying to mimic a desktop application.

    We have a great, if maturing, set of tools in XHTML, CSS, and the JavaScript DOM. You can do amazing things with those tools provided you understand what their limitations and appropriate uses are. Trying to use those tools to emulate the usability problems of a whole different medium is misusing and misunderstanding the technology. A smart developer looks towards what works for the web rather than trying to force the medium to match an experience that it just can't do.

    • I'm somewhat sympathetic to the notion that this is a bit overboard, but at the same time, in 1992 it could have been argued that the Internet was not a graphical system. And yet, there were people trying to "shoehorn" a graphical interface onto a system not designed for it. And if that weren't enough, it wasn't long before people started shoehorning complex design techniques into web pages, to the dismay of those who thought tables were for tabular data. Really, if everyone took your idea of appropriate us
  • WebOS is a trademark, and a product, and it has been for QUITE some time.

    IThey were around some 6 years or more ago and had a very nice product, albeit a little sluggish, it was some sort of Java/Ajax enabled Office suite

    It looks like they got bough out by Hyperoffice, or changed their name, but WebOS is still a registered Trademak, I wouldnt be making it generic like kleenex just yet.
  • ...can you run Windows apps on it?
    • Funny, but it's actually a fair question.

      With the move towards virtualization, etc -- would it really be so insane to consider in-browser virtualization code that lets you run code natively built for other another os? It's no longer really just a "browser" anyway.

      And for all those in the "WebOS is teh suck" crowd, consider how much user-level work is done on the web vs on the local system (think "average user"). The web *is* the computer (or, its probably at 80%+ now). The things it can't do: games, word pr
      • With the move towards virtualization, etc -- would it really be so insane to consider in-browser virtualization code that lets you run code natively built for other another os? It's no longer really just a "browser" anyway.

        Virtualization involves installing a whole OS, not just emulating a particular API. And yeah, it would be pretty insane (and pointless).

        -matthew
  • ...is in a corporate environment.

    I mean think about it, you have a ton of desktops that must be kept up to date, must keep running for someone to be productive, and shouldn't really be used for personal purposes. Boot them all off of bootable CD's (or maybe even RW's so boot CD's can be cycled and some money saved when doing 'updates'), have them login to a central thin-client 'server'. This has several benefits:
    1) Users are 'sandboxed'.
    2) Easily control what someone can and cannot do.
    3) Only 1 central
    • Why not use a dedicated remote protocol like X or RDP that allow you to run a fully fledged desktop and all the applications you're used to? You can boot an RDP-enabled Linux system from a CD or PXE and access a Windows desktop if you like.
    • Yeah, its called Microsoft Terminal Services (or Citrix if you need more features). Sun also tried pusing thin desktops years ago. Or you can try http://ltsp.org/ [ltsp.org] if you are into Linux. Heck, even just setting up roaming desktops and storing all user home directories (and documents) on the server should solve most of the thick client management headaches.

      There are any number of better ways to do this than using a web browser.

      -matthew
  • Since all the comments are negative I thought I'd add some non-negative comments.

    No they aren't OSes but they are environments / platforms.

    The requirement for internet access isn't such a big deal.
    Bascially I find any computer nearly useless if it doesn't have internet access these days. Try programming without doing some Google lookups for reference or
    mail!

    It subvert the big bad MSFT - so that's good.

    Users will like it. No need to have a computer - just a virtual one.
    Did people cry when answering machine
    • But voicemail replaced the need for tape based machines: what does a WebOS replace?

      You still need a fairly powerful computer, you still need an normal OS to load the web browser, you still need some local storage unless you want to be completely stuck if your internet connection dies or someone slashdots the server, or to avoid having to download your OS every morning. So what components can you remove?
      • Why do you need a "normal" OS? I would imagine that some sort of embedded web browser could be engineered. Also, define "normal" in terms of an operating system.
  • Isn't it funny how quickly times change the perception people have towards things.

    In 1996, I was experimenting with JavaScript, creating moving, resizable windows with live applications in them like a calculator, notepad and a place where you put bookmarks.

    I was a kid, I didn't know anything, but what I knew is I was just playing around and learning. If I took myself seriously and came up with those things in 1997, I'd be quickly dismissed for being noobish and abusing web technology, right there with peopl
  • First, the concept is pretty cool. I'd imagine pretty good usage within LAN environment with dedicated web server(s) and managed environment. Since the road block is still the netaccess with RPC or XML feed on every write, this would make offline usage more painful and hassle with trouble prone. Centralized application in replacement over terminal application would make this favorable in my opinion.

    Second, desktop realestate. It's just not there. Too cluttered to be used in any useful fashion due to wi
  • But I will again.

    The reason why Windows Vista is a complete let-down is because all the clever stuff's being saved for Windows Live. MS see this WebOS caper as the way forward, and the main job of desktop Windows from now on will be to provide a platform to access the services they'll be offering via this medium (and, of course, to lock everybody down via DRM etc.) They've concentrated on the security and the DRM, rather than on the functionality, because those are the things that will really matter for w
  • Wrong Problem (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CmdrGravy (645153) on Monday April 24, 2006 @10:24AM (#15189667) Homepage
    I don't think we need a new OS or a new Desktop, what we really need is for existing applications to be able share each others data effectively be it locally on someones home machine or from sources elsewhere and across different application groups regardless of who has developed it. Right now sharing calendar information from my website and integrating ti into my business calendars and having it available on my phone should be possible but for one reason or another isn't.
  • when this "WebOS" has drivers for my sound, video and crypto cards.
  • As observed already, "WebOS" is a complete misnomer. Last time I checked, I was not able to boot my computer with a blank hard drive using a "WebOS." An operating system allows your computer to boot and run commands, regardless of whether it's connected to a network or not.

    What would be super-cool is an BIOS-embedded OS that booted from the NIC from a server available over the internet. But what these "WebOS" people are actually providing is a "WebOffice" suite. Still a useful commodity, but not an oper
    • As observed already, "WebOS" is a complete misnomer. Last time I checked, I was not able to boot my computer with a blank hard drive using a "WebOS." An operating system allows your computer to boot and run commands, regardless of whether it's connected to a network or not.

      What would be super-cool is an BIOS-embedded OS that booted from the NIC from a server available over the internet. But what these "WebOS" people are actually providing is a "WebOffice" suite. Still a useful commodity, but not an opera

      • Well, for the former[boots computer and runs commands], there's always Knoppix.

        Yes yes, I am wholly aware of live CDs, and they're also pretty great. And yet, they are also not "WebOS," being that they're local media - just like a BIOS chip or a floppy or a USB key or a hard drive or whatever.

        On the second part, that's exactly what I was thinking. PXE boot to a local hardware device (like a SOHO router that almost everyone with broadband has). The SOHO router would keep a boot image file which would allo
  • At best they are shells, and I hardly see the point.
    What problem are they addressing in a unique/better fasion? Simply using a browser engine as your desktop does not make it a unique solution, it makes it a unique approach (which it isnt ).
    I would rather see a novel metaphor to replace the icon/rectangle-is-document thing we currently have. But then again, what can you expect from Home Taught Master Linquists?

    But I dont want to be totally negative about this so um:
    Good work guys.

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