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French Joli OS surrenders on the desktop, retreats to cloud

Work on Chrome-OS-like desktop to end on New Year's Eve

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Jolicloud, a company headquartered in Paris, France, has surrendered its ambition to give the world a desktop operating system and will henceforth operate only in the cloud.

The company has been around since 2009 and has crafted a cloudy environment that conceptually resembles Chrome OS, inasmuch as offers not much more than a browser and a persistent desktop that offers shortcuts to, and a launcher for, your preferred web apps. Bare metal installs of JoliOS were part of that deal as the company initially imagined the OS might be a good alternative for netbooks. Jolicloud even made its own "JoliBook" for a while.

The company also offered a cloudified version of its creation and that is now the company's sole focus after it decided not to bother with the messy business of sending .ISO files and installers into the world any more.

Users were notified of the decision to do so in an email sent on Wednesday evening, Paris time.

The email was brief, offering only the rationale that “it’s time for us to entirely focus on the web” and “For this to be possible, we have taken the decision to discontinue the development of Joli OS and Jolicloud Desktop Environment for now. From the 31st of December 2013, Joli OS and Jolicloud Desktop Environment will no longer be supported, or receive any updates.”

Joli OS users seem largely unfussed by the decision. The Twitter conversation above is just about the only expression of angst we can find and if there are tumbleweeds bouncing through the Jolicloud forums there's nobody there to see them.

The demise of Joli OS on the desktop won't ruffle many features, but does remove one handy alternative for netbook owners wondering what they'll do with XP-powered machines come April 8th, 2014. Vulture South has been looking at Jolicloud as netbook OS for the last couple of weeks and can report it's stable, functional and pleasant enough. If that's enough for you and you feel a browser-based OS has a smaller attack surface than XP, it'll do a job. ®

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