Netbooks running new 'Cloud OS' rumored for CES

At CES next month, future netbooks are likely to be on hand running Cloud OS, newly introduced software from Good OS that lets users access lightweight applications like Google Apps in a browser.

Good OS, which makes the gOS used on the sub-$200 desktop PCs sold at Wal-Mart, this week announced new software known as Cloud OS that could further improve the prospects of both Linux and Windows XP as operating systems for portable PCs while dampening Vista's chances.

Cloud brings together a compressed edition of Linux with a browser built by Good for use in the netbook environment. From the browser, users can access lightweight Web applications such as Google Apps or Yahoo Mail. Cloud supports Internet media formats such as Flash for video sites like YouTube and MP3 for music downloads.


Yet Cloud OS also offers the ability to load into either Linux or Windows XP without the need for manual reboot. Users can switch from the browser environment to either Linux or XP -- or just power off -- with a single click.

The most recent version of a Good-enabled desktop PC, Evermax's Everex PC2512 gPC, is bundled with the Linux-based productivity suite,
the Skype voice over IP (VoIP) application, the RhythmBox music management app, the Xing audio player, and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program).
The PC also provides direct links to Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Product Search, Blogger, YouTube, and Google Maps.

For under $200, the Linux-based desktop machine provides a 1.5 GHz Via C7-D processor, an 80 GB hard drive, 512 MB RAM, a DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, and stereo speakers. The memory is upgradeable to 2 GB. No monitor is included, however.

Good now plans to work with OEM partners to provide customized versions of its new Cloud OS for netbooks, according to information posted on the company's Web site. PC makers will be able to pre-load Cloud into the PC hard drive, solid state drive, or on-board flash storage, or on CD for end users to install. Multiple recovery methods using either CD or hidden partitions will also be possible.

Cloud will also be customizable to boot into a specific application, such as Skype, instead of to a Web page.

Although Good OS spokespersons were unavailable for comment at press time, netbooks featuring the new Cloud OS are rumored to be in the offing for CES next month.

As previously reported in BetaNews, research released by IDC earlier this week indicates that low-cost mini-notebooks, or netbooks, will help to buttress overall PC sales volume over the next few years.

[ME's CORRECTION: In editing, we attributed Good OS to Good Technology Group, a division of Motorola; they're actually separate companies. We regret the error.]

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