- What if you could have a free edition of "Windows7 Lite" running in the cloud?
- All you would need is a browser to connect to your online Windows 7 desktop?
- What if this Web OS would have 25GB of free storage?
- What if part of that 25GB of storage could securely be shared with anyone in the world?
- What if it would include slightly lite version of Microsoft Word2010, Excel2010?
- What if it included Powerpoint2010, and Onenote2010 too?
- What if it would include a verison of Outlook lite and an email account service?
- Wouldn't smartphone integation with push email capability be cool?
- What if it would include a Instant Messenger client with presence?
- How about the ability to save your personal Calendars and be able to share with freinds to boot?
NOTE: I don't work for Microsoft. ;-)
NOTE: The below article was written by me in response to a freind asking if a Web Operating System really is the future. It's a little off my normal Windows phone stuff, but thought a wider audience might be interested in it. Also it was triggered by functionality of the soon coming WindowPhone7! So here goes...
I have to agree the the possibilty of the "web OS" is VERY real. I might add that the "web os"'s primary method of displaying information may not be inside a browser but applications that consume web services. There was actually a rash articles by thotful IT individuals asking the question "Is The Web Browser Dead?" In one article on networkworld it was noted that in 2010 only 23% of web traffic is view via a browser. And that number is shrinking.
I know for myself I use email client on my mobile device to read email, I use a twitter application to view posts, a RSS feed apps...etc etc. On my desktop I find myself using LiveMessenger client for more and more social networking access.
It could be argued that Microsoft's Live.com is already a kind of "web o/s": It can store documents, pictures, it has applications like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, it can do email, calendars and calendars sharepoint and in many traditional ways it does what an OS does only on the web. Amazingly it does entirely what many pc lite users want to do!
One of the amazing things about Office 2010 is its ability to connect to docs in your live account just like a folder on your pc. For my personal documents I find myself using the Office client apps to access the docs on Live because the experience is still a little better there. When I'm at an pc that isn't mine I use the web UI. It's soo seemless.
To answer the problem of offline files--which is hugely valid. Live.com (/skydrive.com) coupled with OneNote2010 has a very elegant solution. You can open a OneNote file on your Live.com account using your pc OneNote2010 application. A copy will be synced to your pc for working offline. When You get back online it sync's up again. Perfectly seemless and I use it nearly everyday and have had no problems with it. If this offline functionality is added to the PC versions of Word/Excel/Powerpoint microsoft will have almost the "perfect storm" "web o/s" in my mind.
Another problem that a "web os" coupled with a "client side app" is solving is the issue of needing to spend a day configuring a new PC or smartphone. (or reinstalled one) The new WindowsPhone 7 will allow you to type in your Live.com credentials and have all your existing photos, officedocs, email accounts, calendars, social websites automatically flow to your phone! I expect this functionality is not far behind for the PC. This is a total game changer in my opinoin and one of the (many) reasons I plan to get a WinPhone7 when they arrive.
A couple of the very smart minds at Landis Computer and myself (not nessesarily included in the "smart minds") spent a long lunchtime discussing how to solve the biggest single problem with the personal desktop computer--getting your settings from one to the next computer. What we came up with the idea that there should be a web service that saves your settings/docs/etc so you could just walk to another computer, type in your login and be running again. When I saw Live.com's capaibilty in WP7--THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING. I expect it won't go long till we see thing on the desktop. (And for that matter the Windows Server--actually i already know a next version of SBS WILL be web enabled--just what is question)
Get your free "web os" account right now at http://www.skydrive.com/. Join the Windows Web OS revolution. ;-)
PS-Please note that currently http://www.skydrive.com/ does NOT have a desktop feature like the screenshot above. But all the other features are there--less a Windows7 desktop. When will that come?