Google And Microsoft Face Fresh Web OS Challenge


TransMedia will launch a fresh version of its Glide operating system with a focus on desktop and Web search

TransMedia, the software maker trying to challenge Microsoft and Google in the world of Web operating systems and collaboration, will on 7 December  launch a fresh version of its Glide operating system with a focus on desktop and Web search.

Glide OS 4.0 is a Web operating system and application suite packed into a browser plug-in for Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Apple Safari Web browsers. Glide OS essentially wraps desktop functionality around Web content from any computing device powered by an Internet connection.

Glide OS 4.0 also includes productivity and collaboration applications, such as word processing, spreadsheet, photo editor and calendar apps.

With search engines and social networking services serving as the metaphor for the Web, the Glide OS 4.0 adds a search box and a bidirectionally synchronised file management system to the Web browser it is plugged into. Glide then lets users manage their personal files, search results and other online content on their computer, and any local content and files are mirrored in the cloud.

Glide OS 4.0 now lets users capture text, images, audio and video content online and transfer that Web content to their local desktop. Conversely, users can automatically publish files from their local desktop to the Web.

Users who need to find content can use the search box to search the content local to their computer, as well as Web content from Google, Microsoft Bing, Yahoo, YouTube, Twitter and other sources.

Glide OS’ multi-select feature captures several files or search results, and exports the Web content to a Microsoft Word 2007, 97, 2003, XP, PDF, RTF or Glide Write document.

Users then create a target folder right from the user interface, and Glide OS 4.0 will automatically drop that Web content to a synchronized personal or synchronised collaboration folder for offline and online access.

The effect is to let Glide OS turn the Web into a user’s personal hard drive, TransMedia CEO and Chairman Donald Leka told eWEEK in an interview.

For all of the flexibility it provides in letting users leverage a Web operating system for their desktops and laptops, Glide OS 4.0 is a breath of fresh air in a world largely controlled by Microsoft Windows, which comes installed on PCs.

“It’s really quite amazing to me that Google or Microsoft hasn’t done something like this yet, where they’ve actually wrapped the OS and productivity and collaboration applications around content itself in a very direct way,” Leka said.

However, Microsoft and Google do have their own Web operating system plans. Microsoft Windows Azure, slated to roll out to businesses on 1 January, is marrying traditional on-premises software with a Web-based service.

Google Chrome Operating System, which was released to open source last week but won’t appear on netbooks until late 2010, ignores local applications in favor of the Web.

Leka’s Glide OS is more like Windows Azure in the sense that it is marrying desktop and hosted software models, but the refreshed interface in Glide OS 4.0 recalls Google’s cloud computing approach more than anything the world has seen from Microsoft of late.

Leka said he thinks TransMedia has a shot at some strategic partnerships with Google and Microsoft, which could layer the rights-based Glide OS 4.0 over content on various computing devices.

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