What can you do when Linux isn’t geeky enough for you anymore? Why write your own operating system, of course! An engineer from Austria (along with a small team) is developing SkyOS, a very slick looking OS that includes a lot of advanced features.
SkyOS is a free operating system written from scratch for x86 PC’s. As required for a modern operating system it supports features like multiprocessor support (SMP), virtual memory, memory protection, multitasking and threading etc. Additionally SkyOS has a built-in GUI system named SkyGI.
The entire SkyOS GUI and core system supports UTF8. From the time you press a key on the keyboard (UTF8) to the latest step (rendering UNICODE TrueType characters) all text and characters are handled in UTF8. Because of this you can type and view text in any language like english, german or even chinese.
A builtin translation system makes it possible to translate applications very easily to other languages. Language switching works on the fly. This means, right after you changed the language settings, all applications are switched to this language.
One of the most important goals for SkyOS is to be user friendly. This means a consistent GUI for all applications as well as an easy to use and navigate desktop. For example, all system settings an user can modify are accessibly through one application, the system manager. Everything you can configure or tweak, is done with it.
Also, SkyOS comes with a nice and easy to use installer for installing SkyOS the first time.
While it’s not open source, it is free. They’re gearing up for a 5.0 release that will include a liveCD and the ability to use 3D acceleration on the desktop, which is currently the way things work on OSX, starting development on Linux, and still several years away on Windows. Pretty impressive for what’s basically a one-man show.