Web based operating systems?
27 February 2007 in General | Comments enabled
Recently with all the Web 2.0 hub-bub that’s been going on there is increasing talk about how rich we can make applications in the browser. This has drawn some to start saying that perhaps maybe, just maybe, soon all you’ll need is your web browser and that will be your operating system.
I can only assume people who make these sort of statements are misguided in their understanding of what an operating system actually does. An operating system is NOT the applications you’re working with, it’s what actually governs how the machine and the software interact. No matter how elite a person considers them-self at manipulating the DOM with AJAX I somewhat doubt they’re capable of marshaling interrupts and altering the state of special registers on the chip. A web browser has to run on an operating system.
Applications will always sit on top of an operating system. The richer the applications become in the browser the less likely you are to directly interact with the applications that ship with the operating system however these applications are simply value add and not the actual operating system.
Why am I posting this? It’s been a personal annoyance of mine lately at how much people are buying into the Web 2.0 so heavily that they draw irrational conclusions. Sure there are great opportunities but I wouldn’t disregard rich smart client applications that are simply consumers of core services (composite applications). I’m sure most of you already know all of this but I just wanted to vent some frustration at the whole topic of web based operating systems