While Linux remains popular among enthusiasts, its adoption among casual PC users lacks the power to really threaten Microsoft Windows. However a small handful of groups still create operating systems designed to make the transition over to Linux a little bit easier and less intimidating.
To that end, the makers of the Good OS distribution are unveiling a Linux version with a hopefully appealing metaphor.
At a special press event this afternoon, the makers of the Good OS unveiled the gOS Rocket. The operating system is built off a Linux core and is has a specialized focus on cloud computing.
Cloud computing is a growing phenomenon in which data is stored using Internet-based applications on the Internet rather than on the PC, making data storage omnipresent and accessible anywhere regardless of where a user goes. The technology is becoming especially effective for users who travel and use different computer terminals on a regular basis.
Most notably, the Rocket comes bundled with gBooth, which are custom applications designed to be highly efficient on the gOS. gBooth is a browser-based webcam suite whose aim is to make it easier for users to manipulate photos and share them with others through services like Facebook.
"gOS Rocket is different from Windows or Mac because of its Linux base and specialized focus on cloud computing," said gOS CEO David Liu in a statement this afternoon. "This difference is significant because it potentially creates a third choice for consumers who only know of Windows or Mac. gOS can bring a third, differentiated choice to fit modern computing -- Linux to advocate open source, Web apps to advocate personal use of the cloud."
Another feature of Rocket is Google Gears, a service for offline use of programs and web applications. Even though the service is still extremely rough around the edges, gOS "expects more Google and other Web apps to work with Gears" this year.
"It’s a noble effort to try and make Linux more mainstream," said one CES attendee who works at a small IT firm looking to make the switch to free and open source software. "But since it doesn’t have the mainstream visibility that companies are looking for, I don’t expect us to change to it any time soon."
Several retailers now have working relationships with gOS, including a low-end budget entry $199 PC sold at Wal-Mart last November.
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