Version 2.0 of gOS, used on the fast-selling $199 Wal-Mart PC, integrates Google-based applications and features.
The startup that used Linux on the fast-selling $199 Wal-Mart PC last November will launch version 2.0 of its gOS operating system, dubbed Rocket, Monday in Las Vegas.
Rocket will add new Google-based applications and features as it debuts at the Consumer Electronics Show. It will also be available as a free download at www.thinkgos.com. A Google search function is built into the center of the gOS 2.0 desktop. The operating system already works with Google's online applications, such as Gmail, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, and Google Maps.
In the 2.0 version, gOS will include Google Gears, which will synchronize online and offline use of the applications.
Rocket, like the first version of gOS, is based on Ubuntu Linux, but has an upgraded desktop workspace based on the Enlightenment 17 user interface, which bears some similarities to Apple's Mac OS X.
Rocket will come with its first custom application, gBooth, a browser-based Webcam application that can capture photos and video, add special effects, and share the results across Facebook, YouTube, and other Web services.
GOS uses the open source Firefox browser, and Google applications are run inside the Firefox window.
To get a gOS-compatible Webcam, Good OS and its spinoff, Meebooth, formed a partnership with Webcam manufacturer Ezonics to create the gCam Webcam.
"We are excited to launch the gCam as a first of many Linux-friendly cloud devices," said Liu Ping, CEO of Ezonics, in a statement. Rocket and gCam illustrate how a lightly equipped PC can be designed to work more closely with the resources on the Internet, or in the network "cloud." Wal-Mart PCs, for example, had smaller disk drives than other new PCs because both applications and some files are kept on Internet servers.
Pictures and files may be stored online in up to a gigabyte of free online storage at Box.net, an online storage service that charges for storage above a gigabyte. Five gigabytes are $7.95 a month.
Although Rocket contains Google Gears technology, the only application available to work offline with the operating system is Google Reader, which allows the user to read news and blogs in one place.
GBooth and gCam "mark the first of a series of Web products we will help build to create a gOS software/hardware ecosystem for the cloud," said David Liu, Good OS founder and CEO, in a statement prepared for Monday's announcement.
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