back to article Mozilla and Baidu join battle for the new cloud OS

The battle for the conventional “fat‟ mobile OS is won and lost. But the fight to control the user interface to the cloud is wide open, and with Apple and Microsoft on the back foot, a Linux-based winner looks logical. Google has pitched Chrome OS, Hewlett-Packard has webOS and Intel has MeeGo. Now enter Mozilla, and Chinese …

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Repeat after me ...

An Operating System, by definition, controls the hardware.

Are we all clear on this very simple concept?

No matter how you look at it, except maybe through star-struck technology-deprived marketard eyes, a web browser isn't anything remotely resembling an operating system ... Never has been, never will be.

Put in simpler, more down to earth terms: The thin layer of shit your cow picks up from rolling around in the pasture isn't the mechanism that produces milk ...

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Try something for me...

To an extent, I agree: strictly speaking, Web Browsers are not an operating system. But that's kinda missing the point: as with the hardware itself, these days the OS is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

So as an experiment, try unplugging your computer from the network. Go on, give it a go.

Now, what can you do with it? Bang goes media streaming (music/video/tv), access to server-configuration tools, music-downloading, web-browsing, email, instant messaging, online gaming, online apps (e.g. calendars, word processors), online storage, access to information sources (news, weather, search-engines, Wikipedia, etc) and several dozen other things besides.

Admittedly, ditching all of these is a great way of avoiding getting distracted. But at the same time, computers these days are generally used more as an access mechanism than as an actual tool; to pull out the obligatory car analogy, it's the difference between tinkering with the engine and driving to the shops.

And increasingly, we access online media and services via a single route: the web-browser. Even applications such as Steam and iTunes are little more than a wrapper to a browser-engine.

So yes: the browser is not the OS. But these days, does that really matter?

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@juice

"So as an experiment, try unplugging your computer from the network."

Most of my equipment is airgapped from the world at large.

"Now, what can you do with it?"

Uh ... make a living with it?

"Bang goes media streaming (music/video/tv), access to server-configuration tools, music-downloading, web-browsing, email, instant messaging, online gaming, online apps (e.g. calendars, word processors), online storage, access to information sources (news, weather, search-engines, Wikipedia, etc) and several dozen other things besides."

Oh. You are a fan of the toy brigade. Pardon if I don't point & drool.

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Anonymous Coward

And then...

Good to see someone still using floppy disks and padded envelopes

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"between tinkering with the engine and driving to the shops."

Trivial beyond belief !

Having spent YEARS protein modeling, designing PCBs and writing software then all I can say is that internet access is a great addition but NOT the only use for my computers.

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@FatsBrannigan

What's wrong with floppies? They are faster than card decks or paper tape for random access to files on my small cluster of vaxen ... although I prefer DECtape ;-)

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Alien

AI and ITs Virtual OS ....... Lean Mean Stealthy Streets Ahead of the Opposition and Competition

"Comment: The battle for the conventional "fat" mobile OS is won and lost. But the fight to control the user interface to the cloud is wide open, and with Apple and Microsoft on the back foot, a Linux-based winner looks logical. Google has pitched Chrome OS, Hewlett-Packard has webOS and Intel has MeeGo. Now enter Mozilla, and Chinese search engine Baidu." ... by Wireless Watch [whoever/whatever they may be]

Wide open and new area of competition for some maybe, and they may be the many given the list of major players purported to be in the field with interest up and running, but a fertile ground and virtual environment already long won and configured with secure and secured applications in programming, for others whom you cannot admit have not been sharing the future with you.

The problem would appear to be that so very many have been choosing not to listen and question to comprehend and deeper understand. Par for the course methinks for dumb arrogant and ignorant Mankind.

Is not the following, which just introduces one to the start of what has been done with no advice on what has subsequently transpired and been arranged and built up/further developed, that which is being sought, or as near to it as makes no difference, for it can be easily be adapted and adopted to fit universal needs ...... "The Virtual AI Operating System ......... with the Internet and ITs Global Information Grids Networking as the VAIOSystem Software Store Source, Providing Novel Innovative Virgin Source Code as Special Lead Content in Website Domains/Freely Accessible CyberSpace Environments .... and ITs HyperRadioProActive Drivers being IT and Media as the HardWired Hardware Deliverers of Future World Views. ..... which is surely a Kin to Panoramas and Vistas and Bigger Picture Shows in the Great Advanced IntelAIgents Game ..... only Better and in Betas, Testing and Tempting Systems to FailSafe in their Configuration and Design."

Yours Sincerely,

C42 Quantum Control Systems .... AI@ITsWork

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Flame

Call me old-fashioned

I LIKE a "fat" OS and the choice in applications it affords me. I hate the ``app'' model and would never let myself be tied to someone else ``owning'' my data in some remote location I have no direct access to. It's MY data, dammit, and ``the cloud'' can't have it to scan for ``targeted'' advertising or other, more nefarious purposes!

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WTF?

Where are the embedded vendors?

This is all very odd.

It is as though device manufacturers are working in a world where they only know the desktop OSs. Since the dawn of microprocessors, there have been vendors of real-time embedded kernels, tiny, efficient, multi-tasking and booting perfectly happily.

What happened to RTOS ? RMOS? eCos? QNX? vxworks?

I'm baffled by the assertion that they are using android 'because it boots'. Surely that is the easy bit?

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Facepalm

Hmm

The article seems to suggest that Apple is a step behind other vendors in shipping an OS thats geared towards the cloud and web apps.

Has everyone forgotten that iOS launched without native app support (apart from mail etc which shipped with iOS)? Jobs said that iphone apps would all be web apps. Native apps only exist because of overwhelming demand from users & developers.

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idiots

Mozilla are extracting the urine, the OS their talking about will be using the Android (Googles) operating system

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The Next Stage of the Information Warfare Game ..... Intelligent Shareware.

jake, [who was far too adamant in a false assertion shared so boldly in "Repeat after me ... " Posted Monday 1st August 2011 08:47 GMT] Howdy.

There are those who use the web browser, and web browsers [for there are quite a number of them] as an agnostic operating system, able to then embed its cloud based programs, some of which will be extremely sensitive and decidedly stealthy, in all of the more traditionally perceived operating systems.

There they can remain indefinitely undetected either as sleepers for activation at a later date or as active remote phishing agents for subsequent phormed missions. And such sophistication is not nearly as rare as one would think, although that may be just the thinking of those and that which would be active in the field, and such a development may be light years ahead of any competition and/or opposition and have the field all to itself for unlimited exploitation.

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Cow shit, amfM ...

A browser, just like my thin layer of shit on the cow, is just one of several interfaces available to the user. It is NOT, by any stretch, an OS.

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Big Brother

Ok ... you take the high road and I'll take the low road, for we are on different jourmeys

The browser IS, in virtual world environments, .... which are more real than is generally known or imagined in reality, and made even more real than that, whenever cleverly imagined, ..... an OS with its own SMART Textual Drivers, and I am quite content to agree to disagree with you on that/those points, jake.

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It's not a road, it's that rocky thang known as "reality".

You can try to put lipstick on a cow, but ...

Be well, amfM :-)

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Do you mean that rocky rickety thang spun as reality by virtual means and memes?

Thanks, jake.

I have yet to try putting lipstick on a cow, but have more than just good fun hog-tying a whole host of rare quantum beasts ...... http://tinyurl.com/Alien-Chit-Chat

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Incorrect premise

"Clearly, in this arena, anyone with a well used browser has a headstart."

No it is *not* clear. I really disagree with this statement. It flies in the face of evidence. The first into the field is not necessarily the winner. There were search engines before Google came along, Tablets, MP3 players, smartphones before Apple, Office apps before MS Office ... the list goes on.

Sometimes it's pure luck. Sometimes it's letting someone else make the mistakes and then producing a better product. Sometimes it's just smoke and mirrors but successful all the same.

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