Jolicloud 1.0 "the (free) iPhonesque OS for netbooks" goes live

Next Story

If HP Really Wants To Be Apple, Here's Their Shot. What About Rubinstein?

It’s been roughly a year since Jolicloud‘s alpha release and the company founded by Netvibes founder, Tariq Krim, has just launched Jolicloud 1.0 to the public.

The iPhonesque open source OS oriented towards netbooks has more than just an incredibly sexy interface, with an App Store-like selection of over 700 apps (going on 1,000 before the end of the year) – giving users access to everything from Spotify to DropBox in a simple click. Jolicloud has also blended in a bit of social, allowing users a practical way to discover the best applications out there according to what their friends download and rate. Does that mean that the days of the unused Windows desktop icons are over ? Even better, users with the “Anywhere OS” installed on multiple computers automatically have access to all their applications and from whatever machine they’re on – definitely practical for when you are also transfering all your data entirely from one computer to another. Gotta love the cloud.

The Paris-based company is definitely aiming to make waves in cloud computing with its futuristic approach to operating systems, building its vision on the idea that tomorrow’s desktop computer market will be a combination of high-end Macs or netbooks – with not much in between. For anyone without the dough for a Mac, well, they’re probably going to shell-out no more than a few hundred bucks for a netbook. Thus, Krim could ultimately be banking on anyone without a Mac. Oh, but Jolicloud actually runs on a Mac as well.

Plus, that doesn’t mean Jolicloud is necessarily aiming to wipe out Windows either. Users can actually install the OS alongside Windows and use Wine for Windows-only products on the virtual desktop.

The start-up took $4.2 million from London-based Atomico Ventures and Mangrove Capital Partners last summer and should be introducing their Freemium business model sometime soon. For now, everything is entirely free and given that the number of users supposedly increased by 50% within the first day of version 1.0’s release, I figure I’ll finish with one last thought (which also happens to be the company’s tag-line): you don’t need a better computer, you need a better operating system.

  • Adnan

    I like this post title! I like the word “iPhonesque”…sounds cool?

  • adam

    i will admit, they have changed their style a bit to look more like the iPhone interface.

  • Teri-Ann

    I like how Mac was mentioned more than Linux in this post. (Not complaining, just something I noticed.)

    I tried Jolicloud in it’s earlier days and I found it to be much more than I needed and the interface to be more closer to Ubuntu Netbook Remix. I’m glad they’re finally offering a stable release, though, so there’s no more need to wait for invites.

  • Bryan

    Innovative and exciting new OSes are always great to see. Against such an entrenched monolith like Windows, though, it would be simply astounding to see this become any more than another niche player with 0.1% WW market share.

    People use Windows at work, they know and understand it, even if it frustrates them. For the majority of folks out there, that seems to be good enough. I understand that there are “better” solutions out there to be had, but those “better” solutions take time and energy to learn which is something a lot of tech-simple people just don’t care to do.

    I seriously applaud the effort though, it looks pretty slick and it looks like it’s come a long way

    • Zak Kaufman

      Well the basic idea behind the simple GUI is that you don’t really need to learn how to use it. It’s pretty straight forward, even for users coming from Windows that have never used Linux before.

  • Ajax Jones

    Been using this for a few months now, got to get used to the new style, but its more about how nicely it works. Although I’d like to see some more hardware specific patches built in, my netbook wont gracefully hibernate when the lid is closed. So its a non-starter for the non-technical. Hard for them I guess when they are more software front-end orientated, but hard then to get into the marketplace for non linux fans.

    • Zak Kaufman

      Actually, this will be fixed in the near future, Ajax.

  • DivingDancer

    I’ve been a Jolicloud user since its very early days, when I was running it on the original EeePC 701SD. I’ve stuck with it through most of its evolution. But I have to say that the new UI is truly awful. I never would have believed it, but earlier this week I removed it from my two netbooks, and have moved to a different slimmed down Ubuntu distribution (EasyPeasy, which I also used for a brief time before moving to JoliCloud).

    The new UI may be very simple and slick for people that don’t want to do much with their computers. But I just don’t find a UI where you just slap a bunch of big icons, in a completely unorganized fashion, on a desktop to be a great way to use a computer. For a phone it may be just ok. But for a computer it is truly wretched. Add to that the fact that I now have to drill 4 levels down, in a completely different section of the UI, just to get to my locally installed “legacy” applications, and it just doesn’t work for me.

    Sorry Jolicloud. You had me right up until the end. Then it all went off the tracks.

    • Zak Kaufman

      You can actually drag and drop the apps to organize them however you want. They’re organized by default in the order that you install them in.

  • abhiroopb

    I have used Ubuntu, various other flavours of Linux, Jolicloud and am currently using Windows 7.

    Unfortunately, I removed Jolicloud from my netbook because it only made two changes to the standard OS:

    1. App synchronisation
    2. Putting app icons on the desktop

    The first I think is useless. Although a lot of people have two (or more devices) it is highly unlikely that they will install Jolicloud on more than one device. It is clearly meant for a netbook or anything with a small screen and it is unlikely someone will have two devices with small screens. I have a desktop with 24″ and 19″ monitors and a netbook with a 10.1″ screen. Jolicloud would be perfect on the small netbook but that’s about it.

    So, while the app sync is useful it’s unlikely it will be used a lot, and it’s certainly not a “killer” feature.

    The only other distinctive feature is the web-app centric approach. However, even this is only a gloss over a fairly outdated version of Ubuntu (9.04, set to expire in October 2010).

    The “web-apps” are merely links to websites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Essentially it is like placing a bookmark to a website on your desktop.

    This may be the intention of Jolicloud’s creators as a netbook has limited resources and so the OS is stripped down as much as possible.

    Problems arise the second you need to move beyond the glossy service.

    File management requires you to use Ubuntu’s default app: Nautilus. This is probably one of Ubuntu’s weak point and Jolicloud has done nothing to improve on it.

    Anyway, I appreciate that Jolicloud is putting a such a refined UI over Ubuntu, even if it is merely a gloss.

    • Zak Kaufman

      App syncing is an essential part of a cloud OS. So of course this was a necessary feature.

      • abhiroopb

        Just because it is a “cloud OS” (what does that mean anyway?) does not mean it has to have app sync.

        Like I said these aren’t even apps, they are merely bookmarks. So, Chrome’s built-in bookmark sync is just as effective (if not more so).

        And again what are you syncing with? You would need to have another netbook, and how many people have TWO netbooks?

      • Zak Kaufman

        A cloud OS is one that syncs to other devices and to the internet. So all of your data is stored elsewhere. This way, if your netbook is lost, stolen, dropped, or in any other way harmed, your data is secure and on the cloud. At least that’s the concept behind it.

      • abhiroopb

        Fair enough, but where does it say that your DATA will be backed up.

        If you mean that the data you use on Facebook, Twitter and Gmail will be backed out, well that’s not really Jolicloud’s interface.

        When I tried it there was no indication that Jolicloud would be backing up my data.

      • Zak Kaufman

        Well there’s a selection of which services to use for that. For instance Dropbox and are pretty popular. ZumoDrive integrates with Nautilus to look like an actual hard drive, so that one is pretty popular as well. And of course in future releases, integration with these cloud services will grow.

      • abhiroopb

        I tried the Dropbox link, and while I appreciate the integration it merely opens up the Dropbox website.

        So, again the integration is merely a bookmark.

        I appreciate the effort that has gone into this project, but after having used it for over a month, it is apparent that Jolicloud is targeted towards users unfamiliar with computers. This is of course a valid market, but it is more akin to a shell replacement rather than a full-blown OS.

      • Zak Kaufman

        FYI there is a local version available in the app center. But yes the integration with the launcher is minimal at this point. More work needs to be done in this area.

  • gamegiants

    I signed up for jolicloud early on via a techcrunch invite. I loved it. The ubuntu netbook based interface was great. Not too complicate for newbies, everything there for long time linux users. By the last beta they seemed to get most of the bugs worked out…… Then came the 1.0 release. In a word YUCK. The html 5 interface is weak. The only thing you can do is point and click. It even looks weak the animation and shading of icons in the ubuntu edition were far superior. The old edition also gave you acces to all need tools via the menu bar on the left and the file system on the right.

    Now access to the filesystem and menu commands are buried. You have to push the window key to get the old style start menu which does not match the new interface.

    Windows dont play nicely and are hard to move, buttons on webpages are hidden “below the fold” on 10 inch netbooks and even using the alt key to orient windows is no help. Window scaling is also broken.

    Going full screen on a video site is messed up with the original window overlaying fullscreen.

    Basically they had something good and ruined it! 1.0 is now off my netbook and replaced with Pardus.

    • gamegiants

      One more gripe about 1.0. You loose control of updates. The updates run when they want not when you want them to. No control. Kinda sucks when you are on a low bandwidth connection and want to watch video…..
      Techcrunch posters should actually use the stuff they comment on. This article reads like an Apple fanboy review.

      • gamegiants

        Wow… I just read the other comments and looks like most agree with me (a first!) and have dumped jolicloud. Looks like Roxanne either did not use the Beta or did not spend much time using 1.0.

      • DivingDancer

        Nice to see that I’m not alone. As a “Founding Member” in the Jolicloud community I saw the whole evolution. It just didn’t end well.

        As I indicated above, I’ve replaced Jolicloud on my EeePC 701SD with EasyPeasy. But on my Dell Mini 9 I moved to Windows 7 Ultimate, and have never been happier. I was as surprised as anyone when my 3 year love affair with Linux on a netbook came to a grinding halt, only to be replaced with Windows 7. But it fits the need. And even the Ultimate edition is running very nicely on a solid state disk.

      • Zak Kaufman

        Actually, updates prompt you when they are available, they don’t run automatically.

      • gamegiants

        Actually the run when you boot and can’t be started by the user. The upgrade controls in the beta accessed via the icon in the menu bar were far superior to that found in 1.0.

        Instead of trying to defend your mistake maybe you should listen to your formerly loyal users who have dumped you…..

        BTW if you think you will be able to go to a “freemium”, affiliate or ad supported model you are nuts and will lose what is left of your users. Why would anyone pay for anything found in a linux distribution based on ubuntu netbook (which is superior to your 1.0) or is already available as a service on the net?

        As the other posters mentioned the app syncing and social crap is not what they use in or what attracted them to joli. Learn who your audience is, not what you want it to be.

      • Zak Kaufman

        Updates are checked for, but not installed automatically. You need to press the ‘start’ button for the updates to be installed.

        Most users prefer 1.0 over the pre-releases, so there is no mistake made.

        As for paid services, there are no details on this yet.

        The audience is meant to be cloud OS users, as this is a cloud OS. It is not Ubuntu.

      • Etrigan

        Dude, I’ve never used your OS. But your extremely defensive and argumentative responses to customer feedback tells me you don’t have the right attitude to succeed with your product. Listen and change instead of trolling and arguing.

      • Zak Kaufman

        Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean? I’m just stating facts. I’m not attempting to defend anything.

        The fact remains that everyone has their own opinions about the OS. Some people like the interface and some don’t. Most people do.

        The old interface will not be brought back, as it is old and out dated. Even Ubuntu doesn’t use it anymore, as they’ve updated their interface starting with the Karmic release.

        Suggestions are always welcome, but just saying “I hate it” really can’t be used to improve the OS. If you have a suggestion, you can email feedback and the team can place it under consideration for future releases.

  • Kerry Mulder

    Loving the post, in particular the term “iPhonesque”.

  • gamegiants

    “But your extremely defensive and argumentative responses to customer feedback tells me you don’t have the right attitude to succeed with your product. Listen and change instead of trolling and arguing.”


  • gamegiants

    “Suggestions are always welcome, but just saying “I hate it” really can’t be used to improve the OS. If you have a suggestion, you can email feedback and the team can place it under consideration for future releases.”

    I gave you about eight paragraphs. That is eight paragraphs more than most users who will just dump joli 1.0 off their hard drives and put on another Linux install like I did or put on Windows 7. No one is going to waste the time “emailing the team” in this day and age.

    • Zak Kaufman

      Sorry, but as I said, the old interface will not be brought back, as it is deprecated.

      However, the team is currently making several tweaks to the UI to make things even easier. And of course the launcher will continually improve, as this is only version 1.0.

      • finebanana

        Can u bring back the desktop-mode? it’s very useful, so please do not deprecate it.

  • guy

    there’s something i’m missing here, what exactly makes an application? it’s a website. same goes for others. and how does one run desktop applications such as vlc player or google chrome from the cloud?

    • Zak Kaufman

      It’s a web app. A web app is something that can function either as a website or a local application depending on how you look at it. It’s more to blur the line between web and local applications. Something like Pixlr can be thought of as a local app, when really it’s a website.

      VLC and Google Chrome are installed natively, but of course are synced to your account. So if you install Jolicloud on another machine, or simply reinstall on the same one, the apps are synced to your machine without you having to install them yourself. Until you remove them, of course.

      • Jens Ljungkvist

        @Zak Kaufman

        No. It’s not a webapp if you merely add a link to the normal website on your desktop.

        It’s a webbapp if the link takes you to a specially designed interface for your device.

        Just look at the Facebook and Twitter “apps”.

        It’s a good start but I expect it to be prettier and more iphone-like in the user experience. With a better GUI within apps than the normal website and an integration into JoliCloud that meakes the experience seamless.

  • | iBlogAuto

    […] Source […]

  • single malt

    grandma don’t waste her time on computers

  • Jagan Challa

    Jollicloud is no better than Ubuntu netbook remix. It’s actually ubuntu netbook remix painted black and integrated cloud attached to it.

  • Jolicloud 1.0 “the (free) iPhonesque OS for netbooks” goes live |

    […] on This entry was posted in English, Technology and tagged access, Computer, desktop, desktop […]

  • Jamie

    Jolicloud 1.0…

    1. Give me access to the terminal so I can install other software not in your app store. e.g. Chrome Dev.

    2. When windows are maximised the window controls to close/minimise/maxmise go off screen forcing me to use the task bar to kill the app.

    3. Linux and paid just don’t go together. Added to that is the fact your rival OS, Chrome OS will be completely free. Tread carefully with a paid version..

    With the right marketing I can see it being a hit with those looking to try an alternative to Windows. Just ensure you listen to the people who use the OS rather than dictate its path.

  • Miguel

    Can I install the OS on a Powerbook G4? I didn´t see that listed on the supported computers on Jolicloud´s site.

  • Digital Imagination

    wow…nice thing….

    looks like a complete social networking package….

  • Mamen

    I like Spotify.

  • Yngve

    Wow, amazing amount of stupid feedback on the form “I hate it” and the likes.

    You know what, something being different and perhaps not being compelling to users familiar with Linux or perhaps even users familiar with technology could be a good thing. From what I see here without having tried it myself, they are creating a system which is perhaps most compelling to non-techies who want to consume content. For these consumers, having a dead simple UI which is probably extremely inefficient for a more advanced users can quickly be a very good thing. Big icons on the desktop saying “Music player” “Facebook” and the likes. I’m quite sure they couldn’t care less if this “Facebook program” is actually a bookmark to the web browser or a local application.

    Stop giving non-constructive criticism is what I am asking for, it helps no one. By being significantly different from other user interfaces, they will provide the linux community with more knowledge on how to create good user experiences which attracts new market segments. I welcome their attempts and their ideas with open arms, and wish they will succeed greatly in what they try to achieve!

  • Home Improvement

    Wow, a GUI OS that runs on both Windows and Mac computer.

  • Milk and Cookies Episode 3: The Hump episode! | Milk and Cookies Podcast

    […] 2010 by Admin August 8th 2010: This week on the Milk And Cookies Podcast, Tim and Nick discuss Jolicloud, the open source linux operatin system, coming out of beta, as well as this nation’s first public, electric car charge station in Portland, Oregon. The […]

  • Conexão TE » Blog Archive » JoliCloud – um sistema operacional para netbooks

    […] Jolicloud 1.0 “the (free) iPhonesque OS for netbooks” goes live ( […]

  • JoliCloud – um sistema operacional para netbooks « Enio de Aragon

    […] Jolicloud 1.0 “the (free) iPhonesque OS for netbooks” goes live ( […]

blog comments powered by Disqus