But by night, I'm... Conan the Cybarian!

YouOS - is it the future yet?

Date/Time Permalink: 07/10/06 05:13:48 am
Category: General

So I was playing in my YouOS system when it occurred to me, after living darn near 24 hours in YouOS, that it was time again to blog. And I swear I almost opened another tab in Firefox before remembering that I could just use the bitty browser to log in directly from here. Silly me!

YouOS: the mixed reviews continue to pour in. As I haunt the chatroom like the Ghost of Penguins Past, I'm in a good position to informally poll users for opinions. As they scroll by in the window where I can keep one eye on them as I nod off in the wee hours, I see opinions of "Wow! Cool!", "This kinda sucks!" and everything in between. But mostly people express admiration for it. The cools are getting it by a 3-1 ratio. The main breeze seems to be: "Cool idea and concept, lossy execution. And what's it *good* for?"

What makes me think YouOS is going to stick around is that people really rack their brains to come up with useful applications for it. That's a sign that technology is a win: when people like it so much, that they really want to find a reason to keep it around. Speaking as a web developer and blogger who's always on the go, I know I'll get some mileage out of it. I can remember when iPods came out, people were saying "We've been recording songs on cassette tapes and listening to them on Walkmans for years; what's the difference?" The difference is that iPods were sexy technology that people really liked. A few years later, we have Podcasting.

Maybe I'll be wrong. Maybe it will be another AskJeeves, another Go.com. After all, web-based mini-Operating Systems have been around for ages. Many of the Web-1.0-Bubble companies were shooting for something like this. But this is the first time I've seen it done with real style. This is the first one I've seen where it's actually *fun* to hang out in the chat! (Normally I hate chats; I haven't been seen in one in years.) This is the first one I've seen where Bulgarian and Chinese characters scroll by in that chat, as conversations all over the world strike up on a YouOS desktop.

It feels the way an Emacs or a Firefox feels when it's alpha. It feels like somebody has had a right idea that could go new places.

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