The aim is to define an run-time environment, security model, and associated APIs for building Web applications that integrate with a host operating system. While this run-time will have substantial overlap with the traditional browser-based run-time environment, it will have some important differences, being focused on Web applications that integrate more strongly with the host platform rather than traditional hosted web sites.
As an example, consider an API to enable access to information in your address book, whether this is stored on your device or in the cloud. For a regular web site, the API should give users explicit control over which information is made available to the web site, rather than giving it free access to everything. A system application API by contrast could be used to create and manage your address book. This requires a higher level of trust in the application code since the API would need to provide free access without the user prompts as required to preserve privacy in the weaker API.
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