posted by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Sat 13th Jun 2009 21:12 UTC
IconWith the growing "mobile, mobile, mobile!" craze, many groups have been working strenuously to develop slimmer, easier to use mobile operating systems and applications. At the forefront of these innovating developments are various Linux branches, Android quite possibly one of the most popular and most hoped to come preinstalled on netbooks. In the humble shadows, however, a new mobile OS is emerging and just may have the viability to cover some hefty ground in the market. Meet "Xenon," the new mobile OS.

The project is still in the early alpha stages, but the developers and other supporters certainly have high hopes about its outcome. They have a vision of seeing Xenon come preinstalled on a wide selection of "future hardware," which I interpret to mean netbooks (of course), MIDs, PDAs, and perhaps even some phones if it comes to that.

The way Xenon is built is that the base system, a slimmed version of Linux, boots into a browser that loads a local website serving as the operating system. A simple but well-designed graphical menu displays links to submenus containing varied applications from office apps to games. Currently three pre-alpha menus are available to see online, though their only functions are navigation through the menus as none of the applications are yet functional in these previews of the system.

The system is being designed for "casual users," and will initially have all of the features common to netbook-oriented systems already. It will later implement features honed towards graphic designers and gamers while still maintaining the ease of use for casual and non-adept users.

The hardware requirements haven't been released as of yet, but a browser-based system has got to run on strikingly low-profiled hardware. As it is, the developers say that the current build is designed perfectly for ARM-based hardware and current netbook models.

There's plenty of talk, but still no downloadable images or CDs for order and only the three pre-alpha menus to go on, so it very well could all fall through. Despite the natural feeling I have to be skeptical about the project, the outlook of the developers and other supporters along with my gut instinct tell me otherwise. I foresee Xenon to evolve into a viable and much desired mobile operating system, and I look forward to what it can bring to the computer and Internet industry as a whole.

As impatient as I am to fiddle with this and other projects in the works, I'm no programmer (unless you count HyperCard-- good days with Hypercard), and therefore I can't help it any. The project is looking for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL programmers to contribute, so if you're experienced in one or more of those areas and would like to help the work along, you ought to email the project leader.

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