We generate and study electroosmotic shear flow in microchannels. By chemically or electrically modifying the surface potential of the channel walls a shear flow component with controllable velocity gradient can be added to the electroosmotic flow caused by double layer effects at the channel walls. Chemical modification is obtained by treating the channel wall with a cationic polymer. In case of electric modification, we used gate electrodes embedded in the channel wall. By applying a voltage to the gate electrode, the zeta potential can be varied and a controllable, uniform shear stress can be applied to the liquid in the channel. The strength of the shear stress depends on both the gate voltage and the applied field which drives the electroosmotic shear flow. Although the stress range is still limited, such a microchannel device can be used in principle as an in situ micro-rheometer for lab on a chip purposes.