A project I’ve had my eyes on for quite some time — eyeOS — released in Version 1.0 ‘Dahlia’ over the weekend. eyeOS is like one collection of tools and utilities put together to create the feeling of an actual virtual OS — including a file structure and windows/dialogues. What’s better, it’s open source. You can try out the demo here.
Written in PHP and (presumably) a lot of AJAX, eyeOS features a GUI that runs straight out of your web browser. When you login, you can notice a Mac/Linux-inspired feel to it all with fade transitions and a system clock. Essentially, eyeOS ‘ships’ with six types of applications: Office, Network, Accessories, Games, System, and Places. Each features a set of applications — for example, it comes with eyeChess within Games, and things like eyeCalendar and eyeDocs within Office. While this isn’t too many to work with for frequent use, I presume a lot more things are going to come, especially it being open source. I can also see where this could be used as a sort of widget platform — like Pageflakes and Netvibes — but with an OS feel.
Also, what I like is it’s available to download straight out-of-the-box– all you need is a web server with PHP and Apache to install it. When I was trying it out, installation took seconds and I had everything set pretty fast (as opposed to the hours with the traditional OS installations).
eyeOS is a really decent attempt for version 1.0 and it just shows you how much ‘web-based’ we can go these days. And if this is where we are now, I am pretty sure we’ll have people running these for everyday use in five or so years — it’s just one of the things that is bound to happen as broadband speed increases and more technologies and APIs are made available to build upon. It’s a wholly different to think of things in the backend with its own advantages, and I’d give eyeOS a big thumbs-up for taking the first step.