Friday, July 3, 2009

Windows4all, a virtual online operating system

The idea of transporting an entire operating system together with the usual desktop applications online didn’t take off as developers and web entrepreneurs would have wanted. It did enjoy a brief period of popularity when a number of such Web OSs cropped up, most of them didn’t even make it through the first year. eyeOS and Glide are among the very few surviving ones. Now a new virtual web operating system has been spotted.

windows4all-1

Windows4all is based on Microsoft Silverlight and looks exactly like Windows Vista minus transparencies. It simulates the Windows operating system inside a web browser - users can launch applications, play WMV media files, create new text documents and even save it (temporarily) right inside the browser.

Besides a desktop, taskbar, start menu and sidebar, currently it includes these applications:

File Explorer – browse files on a virtual hard drive
Internet Explorer – browse websites with a simple, minimalist browser
Video Player – play WMV video files on your local drive
Rich text editor
Notepad
Paint
Calculator
Games like Chess, Solitaire, Spider, Tic-tac-toe

It even has an option to “install” new applications which are XAP files, a type of file for Silverlight applications.

This is Windows4all’s first and alpha release.

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