in Open Source, Technology

Linux Splashtop beats Google’s Chrome OS to the Punch

With all the Buzz about Google’s upcoming Chrome OS — Buzz… get it… a little Google joke, but with all the buzz about Google’s upcoming release of cloud-based operating system Chrome, people aren’t taking much interest in Linux’s already released cloud OS — Splashtop.

The new cloud-based OS has yet to make a big splash but it has already been released and has been preinstalled on some ASUS, Dell, HP, Acer, and Lenovo machines. The release date ahead of Google’s Chrome deserves kudos, but the warm welcome hasn’t been forthcoming from the Internet community as most cloud fans are still holding their breath for Chrome.

Linux’s Splashtop is an open source downloadable instant-on cloud-based OS. Splashtop has been designed for heavy web app-users who primarily need their computer for Internet, Email, Facebook, Gmail, and Google Docs. The OS runs without any native applications and includes just the Chromium-based browser with a Flash plugin, but additional plugins, web apps, extensions, themes and games can be installed via the browser and are available at the Chrome Web Store. The plugin and app downloading makes the OS similar to the iOS system from the iPhone and iPad.

The bare-bones operating system boots in just seconds, to a Bing-based search engine, thanks to the SquashFS filesystem and special X11 architecture.

Phil Sheu, co-founder of Splashtop Inc. believes that “with Splashtop OS, users don’t need to buy new dedicated hardware, and they don’t need to wait for six months.”

Thus far Splashtop has been mainly used alongside the Windows OS, with an option to boot into Splashtop or the full windows desktop. With no separate installer this could be an easy migration for most Windows users. While the Splashtop OS has not gained much, if any, notoriety it can be run on most notebooks, netbooks and windows-based tablets, and hopefully will make it to more hardware soon.