Global Hosted Operating System

G.ho.st (Global Hosted Operating System) is a free browser-based hosted alternative to desktop client systems like Microsoft's Windows and Apple's OS X. With Gh.o.st, all users need is an active Internet connection according to Zvi Schreiber, CEO of G.ho.st: "The idea of having the whole computing environment on the Web has been a great idea for a while, but the [applications] haven't been there." That's changing, however, as companies like Zoho and Google rolling out Web-based word processors, spreadsheets, and calendars, Schreiber said. "The intention [of G.ho.st] is people are doing more and more of their work on the Web and less and less on the local [client]." Launched as an alpha version in April, the Web-based operating system is being hosted by Amazon Web Services data centers – a fully functional service is planned for this summer.

G.ho.st uses Linux technologies along with freshly architected pieces in such areas as client-to-server connectivity. "We give you a single file system to keep track of all the different files you've got online," Schreiber said. Schreiber admitted his operating system can't compete with client operating systems and noted instead that G.ho.st is targeted at three groups: people who do not have a laptop, people in developing countries who cannot afford a PC or Internet connection, and people not permitted to install their own files on their computers at work. Possible growth opportunities include mobile workers, who could use it to access a personal desktop remotely. The company is hoping to generate revenues through affiliation with service providers like Amazon.com.

News source: InfoWorld

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26 Comments

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Why not just use a SSH shell :S sure its no fancy graphics... hang on are we going back to the days were everyone had thin clients and used terminals :S

I think it's a great idea, it's like a terminal session over the internet. If everywhere you went in the world you had access to a pc, you could have access to your desktop. It would be great for students who could do there homework at home, go to school carrying nothing, log into there desktop and print there homework. The possibilities are endless. Come on you guys, have vision.

Since when did a GUI become an OS? This is just piggybacking on various technologies which do the hard work...

Agreed.

A real OS is a "tiny" layer into the hardware and the software.
A GUI is just a layer into the hardware (like windows) or some subsystem (like Linux ) and the screen.

Can exist a GUI without a OS.. yes! (for example some webadmins of router), Can exist a OS without a GUI yes (DOS for example)

For started a real OS will interact with fixed and volatile datas (memory and harddisk/floppy for example).

G.ho.st is targeted at three groups: people who do not have a laptop, people in developing countries who cannot afford a PC or Internet connection, and people not permitted to install their own files on their computers at work

uhh dont you need an internet connection to use ghost in the first place? besides if you cant afford a pc , your probably already using a public pc with its own internet connection, so the point about not being able to afford the internet connection is moot... i think...unless they worked out a plan whereby you arent using your own computer but you have your own internet connection instead? blah i think im just making a big deal out of this

and what advantages could there be over like, using windows xp's remote desktop connection ... other than some public pc's dont allow you to use remote desktop, or let you install the activex script that the web functionality of remote desktop needs...

haha the above post is funny. " what are they tryin to do...?"

I must agree with that entirely. People are just trying to be different and show off. Yeesh. Next thing ya know they'll be wanting to make virtual hardware where all you have is a box at home that connects wirelessly to remote hardware in some overheated basement. I think I'll stick with my awesome rig right here at home where I can show my friends! Honestly... virtual hardware... virtual this and that... this is the real world!!! Not Digimon!!!!

edit:

Ok I just tried it out for a moment. I must say it is certain impressive to create an OS out of flash! Too bad it's online and not bootable. How did they create a browser within flash to show HTML pages??? I've been trying to do this for years now.

this is the stupidest thing i have ever seen in my life.
it is laggy and not stable ( I know its Alpha but still... ).
besides, I just don't see the point for this "Online Operating System".... i mean what are they tryin to do...?

I see it useful for a small business as an Intranet, then again we have terminals, its basically an external terminal session

dugbug said,
What is it with people being facinated with cramming everything into a browser?

People aren't fascinated by this. Everyone is jumping on the Google-MS "services" bandwagon. It is a concept that has failed numerous times before under various incarnations.

They want an alternative to expensive desktops so that even poor people could be gouged out of their $$$ by using a subscription-based model they could theoretically afford. But you're dealing with people to whom even $12 a month is expensive.

Still, it might make some sense for Google, but it makes no sense at all for MS. It cuts into their core business. This may be intended for their "set top box" vision. That is where the Xbox is heading, the new WebTV.

These other small-time startups are not going to be able to compete with Google. I tried the G.ho.st demo and it was so slow it was unusable. Google isn't going to have that kind of bandwidth problem.

Why all this work when you can just put up a Terminal server on the internet and use thinclients to connect to it.
You can even connect to terminal servers using web pages.
I know it works for windows, and I'm sure there is an alternative for linux!
Only thing we still have to do is shrink the thinclients image a bit and put it into the bios.
Which can't be that hard imho...

What happens when you miss a payment? Microsoft wanted to create an OS like this not too long ago and to run it on computers called NCs (Network Computers) that only had enough local BIOS to connection to their servers over the internet. They had stated that all data stored on their servers would be their property as well.

sunbiz_3000 said,
And..... on what do I have my browser installed?? Im thinking.... :blink:

Hmm...that guy wants to have his OS like this...

1. System boots
2. Bios redirects a "download" or "GET" command to a url (say www.someoperatingsystem.com/version2.3)
3. Around 400 MB preliminary datas are downloaded(maybe in future it may just take 30 sec or so..)
4. It checks your hardware etc...& then shows the login screen!
5. now you have an option to open a browser lol

guruparan said,

Hmm...that guy wants to have his OS like this...

1. System boots
2. Bios redirects a "download" or "GET" command to a url (say www.someoperatingsystem.com/version2.3)
3. Around 400 MB preliminary datas are downloaded(maybe in future it may just take 30 sec or so..)
4. It checks your hardware etc...& then shows the login screen!
5. now you have an option to open a browser lol

And the question is "why" - whats the point of downloading your whole OS on every boot?

eAi said,
And the question is "why" - whats the point of downloading your whole OS on every boot?
It will take 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds in the future, much faster than a mechanical drive. :P

It's a bit laggy, probably because it relies on Flash (which isn't known for being CPU friendly).
I'm waiting for the day where you can just buy a laptop where it boots right onto the Web, skipping the client operating system entirely.

billyea said,
...where you can just buy a laptop where it boots right onto the Web, skipping the client operating system entirely.

It shouldnt happen, i cant trust anyone online to save my personal files ALWAYS & i need my files in MY Computer in MY way i want.

And paying for broadband bandwidth will suck a lot, if everytime the OS connects to net to get the datas!..think of playing a Flight simulator game or Need for speed - most wanted, using your Online OS concept

I'm with you, forget keeping everything online, what if your connection goes down for hours or days? What if the server that has the OS and your info crashes and all is lost? What if it gets hacked and all your data is taken?

The idea of keeping all your info and data on a server side and using thin client like systems only is not for me, or for the majority of people IMO.

Won't have long to wait, Sony have been talking about a disk-less laptop, funny how things go
around in circles. I can remember the Windows CE "laptops" that cost about £1000 when normal
laptops started at about £3000. Samsung already do an XP embedded disk-less thin client,
complete with monitor. It's basically a PC and monitor combined with flash drive. No fans
or whining from inside, and little energy usage. You can use USB drives and there's even enough
room for small applications. The future's here! And it's thin client technology! ;-)