Cybercafe Regulars Can Now Manage Their Digital Lives with Jooce

Jooce, the Flash-based web desktop we covered in August with an unfortunate name (Joost, anyone?) , has opened its doors for business.

The Parisian development team behind Jooce seeks to provide the millions of people who use internet cafes everyday with a place to organize, access, and share their files online. The idea is to provide, through the browser, a desktop experience akin to that of a normal operating system, but for people who don’t possess or have access to their own computers.

Jooce not only provides cafe visitors (or anyone else, for that matter) with a place to manage their files; it serves as an area to run customized applications as well. An instant messaging program for AIM, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo comes pre-installed, but Jooce will also eventually bring in third-party widgets from Widgetbox and elsewhere through an API. The Jooce team itself is currently developing an email client to complement its instant messaging capabilities.

There’s also a place called Jooce Top where you can make files available to all other Jooce users (with privacy settings coming in later versions). Unfortunately, this sharing and “social networking” functionality is quite primitive and doesn’t yet match the functionality of Ajax-based competitor Wixi.

There’s no cost to use Jooce and storage is unlimited, but expect to see advertisements appear in novel forms such as branded themes and interactive animations. The company may also begin providing a premium version stripped of advertisements.

The company has focused their marketing efforts on getting Jooce on kiosks and internet cafes. It has signed deals with Indian telecoms and internet service providers to spread Jooce to their user bases and install it on thousands of internet kiosks. It has also inked a deal with Milk, the biggest chain of internet cafes in France.

For other WebOS competitors, see Goowy,, DesktopTwo and YouOS.