Friday, February 17, 2006

Top 40 Web Operating Systems

Facebook wants to be the operating system for the web, it says, and this week’s changes to its email system are a tiny part of that puzzle. But there are many more web operating systems hoping to bring all your usual desktop applications online in one place. Some replicate the entire desktop, while others are startpages with info from around the web – here are more than 45 of our favorites.

Remotely Hosted WebOS

  • AstraNOS – Picture Windows 98. Then picture an OS X dock. Then picture a night sky. Then throw them all together. You now have a pretty good picture of AstraNOS.
  • BeDesk – Basic wrapper for other online tools.
  • cmyOS – Free hosted webtop powered by eyeOS.
  • Desktoptwo – Not only do you get 1GB of space, you get a fully-featured suite. No, not a basic online editor that has simple formatting options. The full 2.0 suite from Sun, converted into a Java applet.
  • DoxBoard – Slick WebOS with some basic features.
  • GCOE X – Nice WebOS with a powerful terminal and support for the iPhone.
  • eyeOS – Beautiful webtop powered by the eyeOS software.
  • Glide – Online operating system with support for BlackBerry, Palm, Windows Mobile, Symbian and iPhone users.
  • – With 3GB of space, FTP access, and Zoho Office support, what’s not to like?
  • goowy – Great webtop with your own email account (, IM, 1GB of space (via, and much more.
  • jooce – Slick invite-only online OS.
  • mybooo – Invite-only webtop with a ton of features.
  • myGoya – Nice WebOS with PIM features, a media player, and much more.
  • OOS – Basic online operating system that offers a personal webpage.
  • Parakey – Not much is known about Blake Ross’s newest invention, but we do know that Facebook liked it enough to purchase it for an undisclosed sum.
  • Psych Desktop – GPLed webtop with a powerful UNIX-like console.
  • Purefect Desktop – Web desktop with a powerful IDE.
  • SSOE – Flash-based webtop a lot of features.
  • StartForce – Powerful WebOS with tons of apps and features makes the descendant of Orca Desktop a hit.
  • Xindesk – File sync, a powerful API, and much more are included in this great WebOS.
  • Webdesk – This Indian webtop includes 1GB of space, POP3 client, PIM, and a nice modules API.
  • Webdows – We don’t know how long it will take Microsoft to sue these guys, but it’s a real enjoyment in the meantime. It has XP and Vista styles (including a few Vista effects), FTP, file sharing, IM, and much more.
  • Widgets Gadgets – AJAX desktop with tons of apps and a working API.
  • YouOS – File sharing, powerful shell, and 700+ applications are all available with this wildly popular operating system.
  • ZimDesk – Slick WebOS with tons of apps.

Self-Hosted WebOS

  • eyeOS – One of the most popular webtops on the planet, eyeOS boasts tons of apps, a booming community, and a lot more features.
  • Fenestela – There’s still quite a few bugs to be ironed out in this French WebOS, but you get a cool XP interface and basic PHP apps.
  • Psych Desktop – GPLed desktop with a powerful UNIX-like console.
  • Purefect Desktop – Web desktop with a powerful IDE.
  • Virtual-OS – Includes powerful API, web server sync, forum integration, and offline AJAX support.
  • ZKDesktop – Powerful open source Java-based WebOS.

Remote Desktops

  • DesktopOnDemand – A fully featured Linux-based desktop with Gnome, Gaim, AbiWord, Evolution, GIMP, WebDAV, VNC, web login, and much more.
  • Free Live OS Zoo – Java applet
  • Nivio – Subscription-based ($12.99/month) service that offers Windows XP, Adobe Reader, iTunes, Google Talk/aMSN/Windows Live Messenger,, Thunderbird, Nvu, and much more. All through a Java-based web interface.


See also: 14 Personalized Homepages Compared, Feature by Feature

  • Favoor – Basic startpage with a nice folder option.
  • iGoogle (formerly Google IG) – Great startpage with the most amount of apps I’ve seen for a portal.
  • iStyled – Simple startpage with basic customization.
  • – Customizable page with basic features.
  • (formerly – Basic news page backed by Microsoft.
  • My Yahoo! – Yahoo!’s entry into the startpage market isn’t bad: it offers news, Yahoo! Mail notification, podcasts, videos, and photo galleries to your startpage.
  • Netvibes – There’s a reason everyone uses Netvibes. It has tons of apps, tabs, skins, and a great interface.
  • Pageflakes – Popular, easy-to-use page with a simple interface.
  • Schmedley – Powerful startpage with tons of features.
  • Webwag – The main appeal here isn’t the widget on demand feature (a quick way to build a widget for the site of your choice), the toolbar, the apps, or the content directory. It’s the External widget feature, which allows you to convert and add Netvibes and iGoogle widgets to your Webwag page.
  • Widgetop – Nice looking AJAX start page.
  • yourminis – Great start page with tons of apps and a bunch of skins by the creator of goowy. (via)