New OS Reaches for the Clouds

Good OS has introduced a new operating system for the Internet era called "Cloud," which is the successor to company's Linux-based gOS that Wal-Mart introduced in a line of Everex desktops last fall. The Everex computers were pulled from the shelves only months later after Wal-Mart cited a "tepid customer response."

Unlike gOS, Cloud does not open up onto a desktop. Instead, it boots into a web browser; after booting up, you are greeted with a Chrome-styled browser page and a dock containing shortcuts to applications like Google Docs and Calendar as well as Blogger and YouTube.

Cloud is the latest Web-happy software product to follow Google's Chrome--a web browser designed to integrate more easily with web-based applications than other browsers do. Unlike Chrome, Cloud is its own operating system that runs independently of Windows and other platforms--although it cannot replace the main operating system.

Good OS claims that Cloud gives users full control of their computer and it can access web apps like Skype, play MP3s, boot up Media Player and run flash-based animation. However, for more powerful applications--and by this I assume they mean things like Microsoft Office--you need to use a heftier OS like Windows or Linux. Good also says that Cloud is compatible with any operating system so presumably Mac users will not be left out in the cold.

The current wisdom in tech circles says that a cloud-based operating system will be the next frontier in computing. So much so that even Microsoft is reaching for the sky with a new system code-named Azure.

Good OS says they will provide more information about Cloud at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early next year. Until then, we'll wait and wonder if Cloud is a glimpse into the future or simply another tech flop.

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