Having read a lot lately about the cloud OS, Azure (great video here), Chromium and the rest that’s “in the cloud” I decided to actually test two of the alternatives. For those of you that know me I’m a Microsoft-geek, so I went outside my circles and tested Chromium and JoliCloud. Chromium came preinstalled on a VMDK so I didn’t have to do more than mount it and boot in VirtualBox (VirtualBox is freeware from Sun with an impressive featureset). JoliCloud came as an ISO offering the alternative to run it directly from that, or install it on the harddrive. To get a user experience I installed it in VirtualBox since I don’t own a netbook (so if you’re from Samsung and read this, yepp you can send me one).
The two videos of the OS’s can be found at /tv. I know that sound quality is a little shaky, but for geek purposes it’ll do 🙂
So what’s my opinion on this?
Chromium is in an early “developer build”, so it’s hard to say. Personally I don’t like the fact that single sign-on doesn’t work. I’d rather see that once you choose to use it it logs you in to all Google web services at once. Or subscribe you to those you don’t have yet. I’m not quite sure about handing over everything I do to Google either, but that’s more an integrity question. The lack of offline capability is a huge annoyance. Reading stuff like http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/25/google_chrome_os_closedness/ doesn’t make me more positive either.
JoliCloud has a very nice idea going. You install a linux-based OS which gives you offline access to your stuff locally, and you can logon to “the cloud” which hosts applications at their location. And if you don’t wanna run linux you could install JoliCloud Express, which lets you access the cloud from a Windows application.
If I have to choose today what to run, I’d go for JoliCloud based on functionality, integrity and offline capabilities. I was up and running with everything working in less than 30 minutes, and I’m a Windows-geek…
What’s your opinion on the cloud? Comments are welcome!