There’s a lot of buzz about what will become of traditional operating systems with the flood of new browser-based Operating System initiatives. ChomeOS is probably the most well known, but it is just one of the many such projects putting the web at the heart of the computing experience and suggesting the the use of web apps for everything we do.
Who knows if the browser-as-OS paradigm will stick, but at the very least it opens up different ways of thinking. What new kinds of interfaces, applications, and content can be purely web-based?
One of our first experiments was to build a mock-up of a simple window manager within the browser. The idea is a bit old-hat, but we wanted to get a feel for the desktop-as-webpage firsthand and the complexity of implementation. We were pleasantly surprised at how simple it was to create.
It’s a bit jarring to see normally isolated web apps moving around like application windows, falling somewhere between an interesting idea and a dystopic vision of the future. Try it out if you’re curious; all of the code is open for you to play with (just view the page’s source).