In the third quarter, a little-known Swedish software company plans to release a free operating system with the potential to radically alter the economics of software development. If successful, Xcerion could erode the power Microsoft derives from controlling the desktop, beat Google at its software-as-a-service play, and make commodity Linux boxes more viable as a platform for the masses.Small Software Developer Challenges Microsoft And Google With Free Operating System
"What Skype did for telephony, we want to do for software development," says CEO Daniel Arthursson. "We're enabling the 'long tail' for business software."
For five years, Xcerion has been working on an XML-based Internet operating system, XIOS, that runs inside a Web browser. It's an abstraction layer that sits on top of a true operating system like Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows, just like Transmedia's Flash-based Glide Next media sharing environment.
But XIOS isn't simply an interface for media sharing. Rather, it's a complete XML-based operating system and development platform that replicates the desktop computing experience from inside the browser and adds the benefits of cloud-based computing, making applications and data available over the network.
Watch it in action and you'll see the threat it poses to Windows: Double-click on XIOS and the familiar desktop interface appears inside the browser window. Expand the browser window in full-screen mode and the Windows desktop vanishes beneath it. Of course, the XIOS environment could just as easily look like the Mac OS desktop or something else entirely. This is what Microsoft feared Netscape would do--turn its main asset, the operating system, into middleware.