WebOS’s (sometimes called Webtops) are online systems designed to resemble a standard PC desktop while making it accessible from anywhere in the world. These virtual desktops look and feel like a Windows desktop (or Linux or Mac) but work through a Web browser making any Web capable computer a portal to your applications and data. None of these systems are mature enough to replace your operating system just yet but they show promise.
Big WebOS roundup - 10 online operating systems reviewed has a nice review of the 10 different WebOS’s that’s worth reading. To satisfy my own curiosity, I decided to give these services a spin for myself. While interesting, none of these systems are ready for commercial use (IMHO). To cut to the chase, the only two worth a look are Goowy and YouOS. Upate: A reader pointed out that DesktopTwo is working. The outage I experienced was temporary. It has since come back on line. After trying it I agree with the reader that it is indeed a solid product and worth consideration. I could see something like this working in a corporate environment. As for me, I’ll stick with my laptop for now.
Works, demo only. Nice feel and fast.
Update: A reader commented that he felt my assessment a bit hasty. When tried to login earlier, I got the message below. I went back and indeed, DesktopTwo is really quite good. Possibly better than the others. Thanks for the heads up!
“output=error&msg;=Could not connect to the database&” (Need I say more?)
Worth a look. Still too early for practical use.
Free registration requires an SMS capable cell phone to receive the registration code. No thank you…
Second best experience of the bunch. The best looking in my opinion. Keep an eye on this one.
IE only (no Firefox support yet). Interesting concept but could not get it to work with IE7.
Shows a lot of promise. Early stage of development. No real applications yet.
Too early to tell. Huge icons.
Not available yet. Only screen shots
Update: The author points out that there is a demo link on the blog page. Tried it. Very nice. Looks like it’s early in development which likely explains some of the slowness I experienced. Should be a contender.
Easily the best system going. I like the look of Goowy better but YouOS is further along in development. It has an editor and several Web browsers. Worth a look.