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Startforce - A web based OS

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Startforce is a web based operating system. I wanted to give it a try. Once I went to startforce website, I was presented with a login screen as shown below.

I clicked on the new user and entered the username and password. Once I entered those information and clicked on the New User button again (in the registration screen), the New User and Cancel buttons disappeared, but nothing happened. I then refreshed the site and tried to login with the username and password that I entered before. It then asked me to enter my name, zip, email etc for registration and sent a confirmation link to the email address I entered. Once I confirmed the registration, I could log in and was greeted with a desktop similar to Windows XP or one of the Linux OS in look (screenshot below).

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Why The Online Desktop Won’t Succeed, and Why it Will

Over the past several weeks, particularly at OSCON, I’ve spent a fair amount of time canvassing a variety of people - both in technology and not - concerning the concept of an Online Desktop. Though visions of what that, specifically, might look like vary, the basic concept is simple: a tighter alignment of the desktop experience with the online applications that define the computing experience for many of us.

I had the pleasure of speaking with OpenedHand’s Matthew Allum on Tuesday, as an example, and we got to debating some of the pros and cons of the online desktop approach. While he was certainly open minded on the subject, he raised some interesting obstacles that I hadn’t heard before, which I’ve lumped in with the more common objections. So while making no attempt to be comprehensive, then, a brief look at some of the most common problems that Matthew and many others see on the road ahead for the online desktop.

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