With Google ChromeOS nearing it's release date (via the Chromebook on 15th June) it looks like Microsoft has been working on something similar too. ChromeOS basically puts all user data in the cloud and aims to synchronize all that data using Google Accounts so that whenever users log in to their computers from different locations, they still get the same experience, everywhere! Read more about how Google unveiled Chrome OS.
Microsoft has been trying to achieve a similar effect with Windows 8 - first, making it available for various kinds of devices such as desktops, mobile phones, laptops, tablets, etc. and second, by making available a number of features on Windows Phone Mango which are already available in Windows 8. Now, it looks like Microsoft has even started working on the initial features for a web based operating system called the ServiceOS.
Microsoft describes ServiceOS as an advanced web browser that can work as a replacement for a regular operating system, possessing capabilities for managing various system resources such as CPU, Storage, Memory and Network. It can also manage peripheral devices such as mics, cameras or built-in GPS modules.
Although not much information is available yet about the ServiceOS project as it still happens to be a Microsoft Research Project but we were able to gather some information from a paper which talks about the ServiceOS to a good extent. The main aim behind the ServiceOS project is to collaborate and synchronize all user data between Windows Phone, Windows 8, browser and the MS Office platforms.
Here are some features of the ServiceOS:
- Ability of users to share their own data throughout all their devices via a new sharing abstraction called the User Data Channel.
- ServiceOS can run applications such as Microsoft Word and also let users embed content such as Youtube videos into the documents.
You can find more details about the ServiceOS here and here. It will be interesting to see is when Microsoft comes out with the ServiceOS (if in the future), how will users manage syncronisation of their data as they would have already used Google's ChromeOS to achieve the "Sync".