The DistRogue

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's all so clear now...

Now I think I know what the deal is with Ulteo. It's going to be a completely online OS that can be run over a fast internet connection on a remote computer. They don't have the entire system in place, but right now, you can sign up for a free account, and (supposedly) test it. It won't seem to let me try it out, but apparently, they managed to get OpenOffice working.
Ulteo will run via a Java virtual machine on your system, communicating with the main system over the Internet. This means that your settings and files will be available anywhere, and can easily be shared. Think Google Docs, but with an entire OS.
Take that, Fedora!
What about that 1.0-alpha CD they released a year ago (based on Kubuntu)? That was just the base system. AFAIK, they've ironed out the bugs and they're moving the system online. Now, some of the features (the UGD, for instance, which does the maintenance) are starting to make sense. Ulteo supposedly repairs itself and upgrades automatically, which would be essential to keep the system running smoothly without having to hire an admin for each person's online system... Imagine what a nightmare that would be!
Lead developer and Mandriva founder (remember how they kicked him out?) Gael Duval has been pointing out uses for Ulteo on his blog. Here are some of the implications:
-Collaboration. If something's online, it'll obviously be easier for more people to collaborate on it. Letting multiple people log into your account (as guests, obviously) could let you all work together on a project, similar to a wiki.
-Portability. This one's obvious. Ulteo can be accessed anywhere, be it an internet cafe, a hotel room, or even on a plane. But more importantly, you don't need a computer of your own to use it. Borrow a friend's computer or work from school. Hey, that's not a bad idea!
-Impact on the host machine. What effect does a live CD have on the machine that runs it? Nothing. Unless the host system doesn't have a web browser or Java, you don't need to change anything to run Ulteo- not even the BIOS, which most computers need changed to run live CDs and USBs.
-Anonimity. Ulteo uses proxy servers. Enough said. wink wink nudge nudge say no MORE!
-Friendliness. It's no secret that the main reason why people don't use Linux is because they're scared (Microsoft's incessant FUD may have something to do with this) that they'll have to do everything from the command prompt. Ulteo looks (SUSPICIOUSLY!) like Windows, which might help them overcome their fear, and does almost all of the maintenance (and there's less to do than on Windows) automatically.
The future looks good...
From SimplyMEPIS 7.0-rc2,
The DistRogue.

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