So what does Internet2 mean for the world of Web 2.0? What awaits us around the bend once data transfer rates skyrocket to gigabits per second instead of kilobits? Will sites like Youtube and Myspace be regarded with the same sneer that we now give 1.0 sites adorned with animated gifs and tiled backgrounds?
With sites such as dropbox and GoogleDocs increasing in popularity, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to go for broke and host everything online. That's what a web operating system, or Web OS is - a computer only in a metaphorical sense. Everything is online. For the most popular of Web OSes this includes everything from an office suite, image editors, chat programs, and web browsers. Plus, most Web OSes have the ability to save settings and preferences, which makes it an even more comfortable user experience.
Basically a Web OS is nothing more than a really, really big flash file, and it operates about how you may expect it - really, really slowly. There is a definite lag when opening applications, and file upload can take forever. It's kind of like sucking a Twinkie through a straw - it's possible, but not worth the effort. But imagine this once the Internet gets supersized. There will be no need to lug around a laptop or panic about losing that flash drive loaded with valuable files. Any computer with an Internet connection becomes your computer.
My favorite Web OSes are StartForce and Ghost, but there's plenty out there to try. Here's a list of the most popular.
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