A web based operating system, also called Web OS or Webtop, consists in a desktop environment operating system installed in a server on the cloud an accessible through a web browser and Internet connection, it’s interface looks like any desktop computer only that viewed in a browser.
A webtop typically includes the same applications that you can find in your computer, a web browser, file management, office suite, media player, image editor, etc. Virtual desktops can be expanded with new software and upgraded just like you would do with any desktop computer, you can access your documents, photos, music and all other files from any computer or mobile phone, no matter where you are.
List of web based operating systems
Cloud Linux: Commercial Linux based cloud operating system derived from RedHat, targeted at business, the OS comes with support and it can limit resources for each user.
Eye OS: Open source web based desktop with its own applications, including document editor, web browser, image viewer, etc. You can install EyeOS on your own server, this cloud operating system is for individuals, small businesses and big corporations alike.
OSv.io: Free open source operating system designed for the cloud, it can be run in your own server, inside a virtual machine to protect it from malware. Amazon EC2 and Google GCE are supported. Hardware resources are very light if you decide to run this OS locally.
Silve OS: Webtop computer based in Silverlight (Microsoft technology), a familiar desktop computer interface that looks like any Windows desktop based OS, with widgets and draggable and resizeable windows.
Advantages of a cloud based OS
Mobility, it can be used anywhere in the world using any computer or mobile device
Synchronization, file changes are carried out straight away in the server
Only one server needs to be updated and secured, not a hundred computers
Disadvantages of a cloud operating system
Speed, it is slower to use a desktop OS in the cloud than it would be locally
Privacy, unless you run your own server, you don’t know how private your data is
Flexibility, an application you want to use might not be available for install in a Web OS