youOS, a web operating system. The ultimate AJAX application

I can't remember how I stumbled across YouOS, but I must say I'm impressed. YouOS is a web operating system running in your browser. It provides a shared virtual server where multiple people can run their applications and interact with eachother. It is a platform to build and host applications that are written in Javascript. The application delivery mechanisms alows you to publish your application to other users running youOS. For storage purposes youOS uses the Amazon S3 storage system. It is still an Alpha release, but it looks very promising.

The main window of youOS.

YouOS contains already an extensive application catalog where you can sele4ct the application you would like to run:

The application catalog.


Although it is possible to run a demo session, you should absolutely create a login account because then you can see some more of the power of youOS. It contains a complete development IDE hosted in your browser.

You can create our own applications within the youOS Developer Portal.

Create a new application for youOS. 

Applications can be authored in the Javascript language in the youOS development IDE which supports versioned code editing. From the ide you can publish your application to the application catalog when you are finished, so all people using youOS can use it.


The application development IDE. Click to enlarge. 

The IDE provides a high level abstraction layer to author your code. The different hooks where code or information can be added is presentened at the left side of the screen. The actual code that will run in the youOS environment is created after "compilation":

Actual code generated after compilation.

As you can see in the code Dojo, an impressive open source javascript toolkit, is used extensively within youOS. YouOS provides a rich API for all kind of functionality. See the online documentation for more information.

The actual usage of the applications within youOS can be seen on the Developer Scoreboard:

The developer score card

The Developer Scorecard.

It is possible to clone or extend any of the available applications, so the source of all applications is open to everyone. This provides you with real good insight into how to build even complex applications like an editor for youOS.

If you create a shortcut on your desktop with: "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE" -k you will get an experience that matches a full screen OS (from the youOS blog). Use ALT-F4 to kill the explorer in kiosk mode.

The weblog of youOS seems a bit dead right now, the last post was of oktober 16 2006.

Check it out and get inspired!


  • You might also like to know about

  • @John: lookes like the same concept, but maybe a few years too early...

    @Chad: Bindows is more like a rich AJAX platform, while youOS is really a complete OS. I like a lot of the OS concepts underlying youOS.

    But still... if it is a way of working that is good enough for real life... time will learn.

  • Maybe this is "cool", but I really do hate the idea of emulating a desktop inside a browser window.

    That is totally unintuitive and adds levels of complexity.

  • Nice.... Wonder whos going to be first to buy it?... cmon Ms, you can do it :P

  • Sitecore, a CMS, does have a similar client, with the ability to add application written in XAML(WPF). That makes them the firt ones to compile XAML to HTML, as Microsoft hasn't done it.
    The funny thing is that such an environment has lots of opportunities, but also lots of disadvantages. End users for example have lots of problems to get familiar with the OS-like interface.
    But the technology is really cool!

  • Soongy Web Operating System started his work. With very simple interface and new ideas that were not included in other WebOS - es Soongy system has change to survive. Site is .

Comments have been disabled for this content.