Cloud Computing Descends

Cloud computing could soon be coming to a netbook near you.

Good OS, best-known for making Linux operating systems for netbooks sold through Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) , this week unveiled "Cloud," a new OS that boots directly into a browser with links to classic Web applications such as YouTube and Skype.

Available images suggest a look and feel that melds Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) simplicity with Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) OS X style, including a "Dock" at the bottom of the browser where you'll find icons for available Web software. Good OS plans to ship Cloud with GIGABYTE's touchscreen netbooks early next year, according to a company press release.

So, once again, the iEmpire misses out on the netbook opportunity. For now, at least. But isn't it Google that blew it here?

The Big G is heavily committed to cloud computing as a desktop replacement. Google Apps, while nowhere near as popular or as functional as Office, is nevertheless catching on. Chrome, meanwhile, was built both as a browser and as a hosting platform for Web applications.

Contrast that with how Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) , EMC (NYSE: EMC  ) , and salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM  ) view the cloud -- as an economically viable home for business software. Or, better still, as a way to disrupt buy-install-and-maintain incumbents like Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL  ) .

That's good news. Google is thinking differently -- just not differently enough. Otherwise, Good would already be Googly. So, great job, Good OS. Now show us your rebel yell.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Apple and Google and a stock position in Oracle at the time of publication. It was partly cloudy where The Motley Fool's disclosure policy had lunch today.


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