What is a web operating system? August 24th, 2007
We seem to be hearing more and more now about "web operating systems". For example there is the Mashable list "WEB OS RUNDOWN: 45+ Web Operating Systems". So what is a "web operating system". We all know that we must run Microsoft Windows, Linux, OS X or some other operating system. So what is a "web operating system?'
As shown in the diagram a simple way of explaining what an "operating system" does is to say that an operating system connects
So what are we talking about when we say there is such a thing as a "web operating system"? Perhaps the best way to describe a "web operating system" is to say that such a system is an online platform on which software operates. So Facebook is trying to make it possible that almost any software operates in the environment that Facebook creates.
Some of these web operating systems provide a complete desktop that runs in your web browser, which includes a file system, connection to hardware devices such as a printer, and works like a Windows operating system, or a Linux desktop. Whatever the web operating system provides, to qualify as a web operating system it must operate within a browser window and enable the use of multiple other software items to run.
It is worth experimenting with the operating systems listed in the Mashable list or 45 Web Operating Systems. You can gain a sense of where Facebook is going when you see some of its competitors. You will also see some innovative ideas of what a web desktop can give you.