Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Web Browser, Web-OS and the Era of Clouds

The discussion about a “Web-OS” is alive and kicking. Some folks might call it Cloud Computing or Cloud*.*. However, new browser products and offline-gadget-frameworks are leading in this direction, and some blogs do emphasize this implicitly. Well, I don’t wanna spoil the party. Don’t get me wrong; I do not question the ideas of delivering software as a service or similar ideas. But my concerns about the underlying technologies like HTTP, HTML, JavaScript, AJAX and others still exist. Even simple applications (in comparison with a Web-OS) in the Web 2.0 environment are prone to security flaws. New threats pop up on a daily basis. Many web applications (> 90 percent) are vulnerable according to serious studies. Mail programs, automatic update services, browser plug-ins, communication services, all this stuff is affected. The Black-Hat 2008 sessions provide a decent overview on what is going wrong. Is this the right foundation to build a “Web-OS” based on? Not sure. In addition a “Web-OS” would increase our dependencies on the availability of the Internet; beside VOIP, television, mainstream Internet-Services and all the other stuff running over IP-Networks. On the other hand, today’s mainstream operating systems are making progress in terms of security, which is good news. Talking about client computing, I remember the times when a company came up with sleek, thin terminals (in blue color), and announced the end of the personal computer. Nothing really happened. Big fat machines (from different vendors running different big fat operating systems) still exist. And this is okay with me (as long as the multi-core issues will be solved). I do prefer a perfect symbiotic solution comprising a powerful and efficient machine and a fast web access with a lot of cool apps running in the clouds. And, I want to process my texts, spreadsheets and other documents locally. All of this should be working in a secure manner. And at the end of the day (when security concerns and paranoia prevail ;-)), I want to unplug the network cable without loosing the capability to work and to access my documents.

No comments: