Glide OS – A web based free operating system

Cloud computing is the latest buzzword that seems to have taken over the Internet. Everyone seems to be talking about it, yet no one seems to have absolutely any idea what it actually means !

Cloud computing from a user’s perspective is simply the process of taking one’s computing needs online. What that means is that the web based email solutions that we use, or the calendering applications that we rely on are examples of cloud computing. And by that definition, every one from Google to Microsoft to Yahoo is in the cloud computing business.

Google recently announced that they’re working on an operating system called Chrome OS which will be based on Linux and the users using it will store all their data on Google’s servers. So, even if the actual operating system resides on the user’s machine, the data resides in the Cloud. This is Google’s vision of a Cloud OS.

While Google’s Chrome OS hasn’t yet hit the market officially, Transmedia’s Glide OS is here and it goes one up on Chrome OS by storing the complete operating system in the cloud.

Glide OS runs as a flash based application within your operating system and provides the user with applications that mimic the functionality of their desktop counterparts like Word processing, emailing and even photo editing.

Glide OS comes with 30 GB of free space for users to store their personal files. There is a premium subscription option that costs $50/year and gives you even more storage at 250GB.

The best part about Glide OS is the awesome compatibility and near ubiquitous access to your data. Glide OS works with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome and almost any mobile phone. So, it doesn’t really matter which part of the world you’re in or which operating system or web browser you’re using – You’ll always have access to your data.

Applications

Applications are what makes or breaks a platform. So, how does Glide OS stacks up on that front ?

I tried the presentation application called Present that comes with Glide OS and, in my humble opinion, it probably does 80% of the tasks that people use Microsoft Powerpoint for, and that’s saying quite a lot.

Another very useful application bundled with Glide OS is Write which is a very simple word processor with support for HTML output. Frankly speaking, compared to the presentation application, this one was a letdown. It might compete with Wordpad but doesn’t even come close to touching Microsoft Word. But, then if you really want Microsoft Word, you wouldn’t be using Glide OS and if all you want is to type up some notes and refer to them later, Write serves the purpose.

In my opinion, Glide OS is a revolutionary idea that holds a lot of promise. I absolutely can’t wait to see where they take it from here.

11 thoughts on “Glide OS – A web based free operating system

  1. sounds really cool! How is this concept work in the sense of connectivity speed?

    Also, I’ve got several [tons] of additional programs that all run on my computer, have you tested or reviewed any other programs besides the basic MS office programs?

    1. Glide OS is not windows so it won’t run programs written for Windows that you already own. If you’re looking to replace windows as your OS, I don’t think this is for you. At this point, I think Glide OS is a concept that’ll really come into it’s own once they release something like an SDK for it. Imagine the possibilities when you can have applications specifically designed for it like the iPhone.

  2. Thanks for the clarification ;)

    Yeah, I’ve got too many other programs need to run. I’ll be watching these new systems develop though, I’ve been getting more “virtual” with everything and has been easier and easier.

    Thanks again.

    1. Yes, it does look promising. Remember the time when everyone wanted their email on their own desktop and pop3/imap ruled. With gmail and the other web based email services, that is one aspect of my digital life that I was only too happy to ‘offload’ to the cloud.

  3. A web based OS like Chrome OS is great. But without internet connection, the machine seems to be useless. It might be a success in future but certainly not now. Especially in Malaysia, where not all places have internet coverage and expensive data plan is being sold.

  4. There were quite a few attempts like desktoptwo.com (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DesktopTwo) and one other that I hope to recollect later. What I prefer is for individual apps to have their own sites like office suites, multimedia players/editors, IDE’s and so on combines with a single-sign-on. Requiring flash just to have that desktop like instant responsiveness is sorta bad excuse in the day of ajax and jquery/other similar front-end frameworks.

    What do you say?

    1. Well, this is just the beginning in my opinion and developers are still experimenting with what they think the future of the desktop will look like. Right now most interfaces just mimic windows or linux and in the future they might look like what you’re saying.

  5. As far as I’ve observed, Webtops (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webtop) have been around kinda longer than when “cloud computing” became the buzzword. The other OS I was trying to recall was eyeOS (its on the wikipedia list..and without Flash). The author(s) of desktoptwo have supposedly opensourced the apps and the platform, but I’ve not found further references on where the code is published.

    Lots to happen on this front for sure :)

  6. Glide’s GDrive presents tough competition for other online data storage services. The GDrive doesn’t have the same kind of upload limits as other providers, like Google, and offers better user privacy protection… Plus it’s ad-free.

    We at the ccskguide.org take a look at the security issues surrounding cloud computing and help prepare candidates for the CCSK Cloud Security Certification. Check out our blog post on Glide OS:
    http://ccskguide.org/2011/01/glide-os/

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