If you’ve got a netbook, you might want to take a look at Jolicloud. The free Linux-based operating system tries to combine the best of cloud and local computing, and next week version 1.0 will roll out to longtime users.
I’ve been keeping an eye on Jolicloud for about a year now, but never tried it, and wondered what would become of it after Google previewed Chrome OS. Both operating systems are driven primarily by web apps, with an emphasis on storing things online and syncing to the cloud so it doesn’t really matter what computer you’re on. Judging from a company blog post on the latest version and video preview by Netbook News, Jolicloud has not given up the fight.
The key difference from Chrome OS — aside from the fact that Chrome OS hasn’t launched yet — is Jolicloud’s all-encompassing approach to both downloadable and web-based apps. While the OS makes use of web apps like Facebook and YouTube, it also allows for installed software such as Skype and Boxee, all through a storefront that right now has more than 700 free apps.
There are some other neat features as well, like an HTML5 launcher that you can manage through a web browser on any PC, and a social stream that lets you geek out with fellow Jolicloud users. Users who dual-boot with Windows can even access the Windows file system.
If you don’t have a netbook, just take Jolicloud to be another sign of PC appification (the fact that I didn’t coin that term is yet another sign). Jolicloud is among the first to make the PC look more like a smartphone, and with Android netbooks surfacing periodically and Microsoft possibly considering an app store for Windows 8, it certainly won’t be the last.