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Your Computer. Leave Home Without It - ajaxWindows



In the mid-90s Microsoft was threatened by the emergence of Netscape. The Netscape Navigator browser garnered a place on 70% of PCs nearly overnight. In response Microsoft went for the jugular by giving away their browser free of cost. This effectively "cut off Netscape's air supply", while simultaneously strong arming PC manufacturers to stop preloading the Netscape product. Microsoft denied this but Bill Gates admitted that Navigator could have turned Microsoft Windows into mere "plumbing". Microsoft was later found guilty of anti-trust violationsin their battle with Netscape and settled the dispute for $750 million. I think Microsoft's concerns about developers building browser applications instead of desktop applications was valid, but a decade too early. Only now are browsers getting sophisticated enough that truly web-based programs can compete from a usability standpoint with their desktop competitors. One of the key advances to make this possible is the inclusion of AJAX technology in all major web browsers.

Today I'm launching ajaxWindows - a complete virtual PC you can experience using only a browser from any web connected computer. If you would like to see it in action, check out the online demo or the video. Remember that everything you see is happening within a web browser. The web browser functions as both the operating system and engine for all of the ajaxWindows applications.



Back up your documents even if you're not interested in a virtual computer!
When you set up an ajaxWindows computer you'll have the ability to sync essential data from your existing computer to create your virtual PC in itís likeness. Core information like documents, bookmarks, contacts, wallpaper, and even your music can be copied to your ajaxWindow's computer. This is a handy way to backup your files even if you're not interested in a virtual computer.

You will also be able to completely customize ajaxWindows. For instance you can select the default search engine, homepage, and webmail you prefer. My goal is to have a desktop experience that lets you combine the best of all net resources into one seamless experience.

To that end, ajaxWindows uses popular online services to store certain files. For example music files are stored in your MP3tunes Locker, while documents and other file types are stored in your Gmail account. (ajaxWindows automatically creates an MP3tunes account and guides you through the Gmail set up if you donít have an account already.)

Documents and other file types are stored using Gmail
Once your ajaxWindows computer is setup you can access it from any Macintosh, Microsoft or Linux computer. It runs best with Firefox, but can also run on Internet Explorer with the addition of an ActiveX plugin. You will experience a full functioning desktop operating system with the ability to drag icons around, navigate through folders, customize your menus, and of course launch applications.

Included in the default ajaxWindows desktop is a rich library of free applications. There are office type applications that Ajax13 has authored to open, edit and save Microsoft Office formatted documents. These include ajaxWrite for Microsoft Word documents and ajaxPresents for Powerpoint files. There is also a wide range of best-of-the-web applications preloaded.

The real advancement here is reshaping the concept of a desktop operating system and software simultaneously. For some this will be a bit scary, but this type of web-based, service-oriented model is the way of the future. We may wake the giant, but weíre ready.


-- MR

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