Are we seeing the beginning of the end of Microsoft days, finally? It may be too soon to say but YouOS looks pretty functional to me. “YouOS strives to bring the web and traditional operating systems together to form a shared virtual computer.” It is a wonderful concept. There are gotchas today, not to mention crumbling under digg/slash effect, but first, what in the hell is YouOS?
YouOS is a web operating system that lets you run diverse applications within a web browser. Small applications like sticky notes or clocks. Large applications like word processing, mp3 players, and instant messaging. Even better, it’s very easy to tweak an existing application or write your own.
The idea is very captivating. Imagine a giant computer which everyone across the internet can share and work on. You can share your desktop, work equally well from any computer. “Your desktop, applications, and data travel with you from cafe to cafe, session to session. And tedious things like data backups and archiving? We’ll take care of them for you.” And yet you control your data.
Rapid application development and management is central to YouOS. You can also clone an existing application to start yours. Here is a subset of the sample apps developed by the YouOS team:
* RichTextWarrior - a rich text editor.
* FlickRSS - want to have new pictures every time you log on? Use this.
* Mersenne Prime Search - help search for special prime numbers.
* goohoo - a not-so elegant way to search yahoo and google at the same time.
* Penguin - an animated gif for your desktop
* ChatWarrior - a chat room application
YouOS exposes its functionality through open RESTful server APIs. That means you can easily write applications which consumes them or builds upon them. You can easily provide a customized version of YouOS for mobile for example or a desktop client which uses YouOS API’s to provide services.
In short - wonderful concept and nice implementation (in Python). I wish this project success. It is very likely that it will soon be gobbled by the likes or Microsoft, Yahoo or Google.