Google’s Operating System Arrives – But Not From Google

By Josh Catone
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Google has long been rumored to be working on an operating system to compete with Microsoft’s Windows. When they launched their browser product, Chrome, in September, we noted that it essentially was Google’s operating system — a UI for the OS that the web is becoming. “If the web is the operating system of the future, as many contend, a browser designed specifically with running web applications in mind will be hugely important and potentially have an advantage over other players,” we wrote.

Now, tiny Emeryville, California-based Good OS, has taken the browser-as-OS idea a bit further with the announcement of their latest operating system, dubbed “Cloud.” Good OS is most famous for the gOS, a Linux distribution that debuted last year on the Everex gPC, a $199 computer sold at Wal-Mart. gOS is a slimmed down version of Linux that is made to specifically play nice with web applications and web-centric apps like Google Calendar, Docs, Gmail, Skype, YouTube, and Firefox.

The new Cloud OS product, which was announced today at the Netbook World Summit in Paris, France, is specifically designed for netbooks and nettop computers. Cloud boots “in seconds” into a browser that is specifically designed to make access to cloud based applications, like Google’s suite of web apps, quick and easy via a built-in Mac OS X-like dock that has been added to the browser. Notice that the browser looks a lot like Google Chrome, which is open source. That seems unlikely to be a coincidence.

Because Cloud integrates a browser with a compressed Linux kernel, users can also load other applications, such as Skype. The OS can be installed alongside Windows or another Linux distribution, and users can switch between them. Cloud’s footprint is a tiny 35MB and can boot from a thumb drive or CD. According to the web site it “does not require additional hardware and is compatible with any operating system.”

Good OS founder and CEO David Liu said Cloud was his “favorite gOS product yet.”

It will find its way onto GIGABYTE Touch-Screen Netbooks early next year, along with Windows XP. Those machines are expected to debut at CES in January.

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  • Will this boot off a CD or thumbdrive? Or is there not a LiveCD option yet?

  • Same question here. Will individuals be able to get this without buying a new netbook? I’m currently using gOS on my older laptop, but this would be ideal for it. I’d be willing to pay for it!

  • Same question here. The thumb drive option would rock.

  • According to the Cloud OS page it can be:

    * Preloaded in HDD/SSD of PC
    * Preloaded in on board flash storage of MB
    * Preloaded in CD as Windows Installer

    Not too much info, though, so we’ll likely have to wait until CES for more.

  • roosevelt

    hehe, awesome :). It’s time Microsoft fix its OS.

  • Anonymous

    ?? Fix its OS? Windows XP is stable for me with nary a hiccup. What’s this preoccupation with bashing Redmond? It just works. Or were you referring to Moja… er… Vista?

  • what is the official web site for this operating system to get more info about it?

  • @ashadweb: The web site is linked in the post above and is here:

  • Thank you!

  • Awesome, Google will compete MS on OS? Interesting!

  • I really want to give it a shot. Anyone know anything about driver support for wireless devices? This is the reason I haven’t completely switched over to Linux… I’m sure the drivers are available “somewhere” but I sure don’t feel like hunting them down. What about support for Adobe products, or other apps I run as part of my business? I guess I could switch back and forth between the two OS’s, but that’s pretty inefficient.

    Anyone using this yet? Like it? Hate it?

  • randywehrs

    Now all they have to do to leave Microsoft in the dust is to find a way to support .exe programs like games and other more homemade, typically more PC-oriented apps. After that, there won’t be much of a need for Windows at all…

  • ruffy

    debut at CES;

    Pardon me, but what does CES stand for?
    Ruffian.Gerald at gmail – thanks

  • xryz

    if you go to the website it is a web based os. no native languages. just web applications. to speed up the performance b/c most of the uses of computers these days is internet based. this is what i got from watching the little presentation that looks like a youtube video. i think this is a good os even though i havent used it; cant wait though.