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Rethinking the Web OS from a User’s Point of View

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When Tim O’Reilly and others began using the term “Web OS” (or sometimes Internet Operating System) to talk about the evolving landscape of companies and web services, I was skeptical.

I’ve been skeptical for a long time and convinced that it’s not going to happen on anywhere near the time scale that many people seem to think it will.

But I recently came across something that completely changed the way I think about the idea of a Web OS. Over on the Flickr Ideas forum, I came across a posting titled Flickr is NOT MySpace compatible… please make a javascript free “Badge”.

Take a minute and think about the language that Daniel used there. It the exact same sort of complaint you might have heard 5 or 10 years ago about a desktop application. “Is CoolNewGame compatible with my Mac?”

That’s what opened my eyes. I had always been thinking about a Web OS from the point of view of a software developer–someone who sees many of the problems inherent in making Tim’s vision into reality. And that’s even before trying to get users to understand what it means.

In fact, I never stopped to think about how, if, or when “normal” users might start to think about web sites (or services) in the same terms. I just assumed that would need to happen “later.”

Apparently that has already begun to happen.

Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.

Visit Jeremy’s blog: Jeremy Zawodny’s blog.

Rethinking the Web OS from a User’s Point of View
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