Friday, July 3, 2009

Windows4all, a virtual online operating system

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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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