Jolicloud is an operating system based on Linux that is designed to run on netbooks, but while most operating systems are fairly generic, Jolicloud immediately stands out from the rest. It is a unique, efficient, and fun operating system that everyone with a netbook should experience.
The idea for Jolicloud came from former Netvibes CEO and founder Tariq Krim. Leaving his web portal creation behind, Mr. Krim had the dream to create an operating system that worked better than current alternatives for people who work on the Web. After plenty of time and resources were invested, Jolicloud is what went from dream to reality.
The first thing you notice after installing Jolicloud is the boot-up time: it is very fast. Soon after, you are presented with the login screen, and then, after logging in, you are presented with an interface that allows you to launch applications and manage your operating system. It is simple, and surely a kid could figure it out. Before soon, however, you are asked to sign up for or sign into My Jolicloud.
With My Jolicloud, you are able to easily install new and manage existing applications for your computer. After being installed, these applications show up in the main interface, and this allows easy access for launching the application — think of it as the Apple AppStore, except this is specifically designed for the Jolicloud OS. This means there is no more having to install applications from source or awkward package management systems, which is common in Linux distributions; it is contained within a single store.
It is also worth mentioning that many of the applications available are site-specific browsers (i.e. Web pages that act as their own dedicated application). However, there are a few traditional applications included, like VLC, so it is not all entirely Web-based software with Jolicloud. If you want to watch a 720p (or even 1080p) video on Jolicloud, it can be done.
All in all, the interface is very nicely done. It is simple but efficient, and while it won't impress most Mac OS X or Windows 7 users, it looks pretty good to me.
The functionality is excellent as well. This is a very well-rounded operating system for something that isn't even technically in beta. It was very reliable for me, and if I would be willing to use it on any netbook out there today.
As far as availability goes, Jolicloud works with a myriad of netbook devices, and the entire list of compatible hardware can be viewed on their Web site. However — in theory — you should be able to install Jolicloud to any computer with a downloadable ISO image, or you can install it along side with a Windows XP or Windows 7 system.
Give Jolicloud it a whirl (it's free!), and see what you think about this impressive cloud-focused operating system.