I’ve been opining for a while now that web-based applications and services are going to become more and more a part of our everyday computing experience. You can create documents, chat, even play Quake all from the comfort of your web browser. There’s a growing segment of web based operating systems, too, which strive to give you a consistent experience regardless of the underlying system you use to connect to it. Glide OS, one such web-based operating system, has just released the 3.0 version of their product with some nifty features.
Our goal is to provide you with a place to design your life, where you can share unlimited media and information with unprecedented compatibility, flexibility and peace of mind. This is Glide. This is your playground, your learning laboratory, your work scene, your social milieu – your place to mix and merge media, transcend boundaries and continually invent your life.
One of the most compelling features of Glide OS is that it works on just about every device ever made: Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Palm, Symbian, and Windows Mobile. I’m honestly surprised that BeOS and Plan9 aren’t included in that list! So regardless of what assortment of platforms you use in your daily life, you can connect to Glide and enjoy a consistent user experience.
A Glide desktop application is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris. The desktop application provides enhanced functionality and features, but is by no means required.
Glide “One” will automatically sync files you create and edit online in Glide and on your local desktops, keeping all of your files in sync all of the time.
Glide “One” makes it possible to access all of your files from your mobile device. You can even create and edit files in Glide on your mobile device, and automatically sync them to your local computer desktop(s).
Glide also offers some interesting access controls designed for parents who want to shield their kids from the terrors of life online. Parents can create email accounts for their kids such that all incoming messages are set to a “pending” state. These pending messages are not displayed to the kids, but stored in a moderation queue for the parents to review. Only after a message has been specifically approved by a parent will it be made available to the kid to read.
Another web-based operating system, cleverly named WebOS (not Palm’s webOS), is available from Stoneware, Inc. I saw a demo of this solution last year, and was really intrigued. The ability to restrict access to applications based on where the user is connecting from is a pretty interesting feature, and sure to appeal to corporate IT overlords everywhere.
Is this the end of the desktop? Not quite; but it does continue to prove that the specific desktop you use is becoming less and less relevant. Who cares if you’re a Mac or a PC when we’re all using the same world wide web?