Thursday, August 13, 2009

The OS browser OS

The below is probably of limited interest to people who spend less than 8 hours a day in front of a computer.

When I read in the summary that this IEEE article (here) discussed "The projects—ServiceOS and the Gazelle Web browser—make the browser act more like an operating system." My first thought was "This article is likely going to make Jason's head asplode." However it didn't end up being all that inflammatory or terribly interesting, even for people who really believe that the current trend of using the web browser for everything is rather misguided. The upshot is that Microsoft has a project going that has end goals similar to the Chrome OS from Google.


  1. I think my head aspolded anyway.

    I realize that the article isn't geared for a technical audience. As such, a certain amount of imprecision and hand waving doesn't cause too much grief. However, after reading the article a couple of times, it's still not really clear what they're doing except that it'll be better than Google Chrome.

    "Instead of protecting people the operating system should protect applications from one another." Umm, don't they already? Applications run in isolated memory spaces on modern desktop OSes. Unless it's web applications that's being talked about, in which case it isn't any fault of the OS that the browser has been built as one huge application.

    Also, doesn't Chrome run each tab ("web application") as it's own process to make use of the underlying inter-process protections? The article seems to misrepresent Chrome a bit.

    As least it didn't get me all riled up with some vision of everything running as a web application in a browser. :)

  2. It's IEEE not popular mechanics - they should at least be clear about the point they're try to make. Even they aren't writing for software engineers.

    Perhaps I was reading in to it more than it was there but I figured that the underlying motivation for re-vamping the browser design was so it could more effectively be used for EVERYTHING.

  3. Yeah, no doubt. But they didn't get around to flaunting it. :)