Have you seen a G.ho.st? No, not the backup/restore software. This is a service from Ghost Inc that provides a web operating system to you from a web browser. The category of service/software is called WebOS. The idea is that you can access your virtual desktop from anywhere that can run a web browser.
Inside this environment you can run similar things to what you would find in Windows. You can work with media like music, video, and office documents. It looks very similar to the standard Windows layout but uses web software instead. It is mostly based on Open Source modules.
G.ho.st should be seen as a disruptive technology since it has the potential to upset the traditional Windows desktop model. It allows the desktop to be highly portable and based on a service which is constantly backed up and maintained. It also is using Amazon storage which is incredibly cheap. They currently advertise that the service costs nothing to use. You get a total of 5GB data and 3GB mail.
I tried it out a few months ago and was impressed with what it could do. It was more responsive than expected, even coming from Australia. It still has a ways to go before it will fully compete with Windows but this is the nature of disruptive technologies.
Wikipedia has an article about G.ho.st and one of the surprising aspects is that Ghost Inc is actually a joint Israeli/Palestinian venture.
I’ll leave you with a clip from the G.ho.st web site that explains the purpose of G.ho.st on the Internet:
Windows, MAC and UNIX are all successors to operating systems that were designed in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, long before the Internet was even dreamed of. For three decades, it was taken for granted that an operating system runs on one PC and each user’s data and apps are walled in by that one physical PC. Each of us had to worry about administering our PC – backup, anti-virus and software upgrades. When we got a new hard disk or PC or a new version of Windows we each had to spend hours migrating our apps, data and settings.
Recently with the advent of the Internet and broadband connections, people have started to move some data and apps onto the Web cloud – Web mail, Web photo albums and more recently Web documents and spreadsheets. Now the data and apps which are on the Web are available from everywhere, but new problems arise. The Web applications lack an operating system and are consequently inconvenient to use – each application has its own URL, its own username & password, its own file system and folders and its own look-and-feel.
G.ho.st was founded in 2006 and launched in 2007 to address this need by providing a hosted web-based operating system that works with third-party web-based software. In many ways G.ho.st is the first true revolution in operating systems since the introduction of graphical user interfaces in the 80’s .