The makers of Jolicloud have been on a roll lately. Jolicloud is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu aimed at netbooks. It lays a great emphasis on cloud apps and many believe it to be a true competitor to Google Chrome OS. Several big updates have arrived in the span of just a few days so the team believs the OS is pretty much ready for its final release and have launched Jolicould 0.9 Robby Pre-Final. It's not quite production-ready, but it is the de facto release candidate.
"Following a number of important updates we announced last week, including our new HTML5 ready web app platform, a new network manager with 100+ 3G card models supported, a new desktop mode, today we are shipping Jolicloud Robby Pre-Final," the Jolicloud team announced. "By the way, our Windows installer Jolicloud Express has been translated in English, German and French; additional languages are coming. Jolicloud is not in beta anymore, spread the word to your friends, they can install safely this latest version," the announcement added.
Jolicloud 0.9 Robby Pre-Final comes with several big changes and updates, so, if you haven't tested it in a while, you might be surprised. A few days ago, the entire web app platform got an overhaul as the underlying technology was switched to Chromium.
Jolicloud Nickel brings HTML5 for web apps
Jolicloud ran the hundreds of web apps available in the App Center on Mozilla Prism, a project based on Firefox and the Gecko web rendering engine, which allows web apps and sites to run, in a sense, as native software. However, the developers have now dropped Prism and moved to a new platform based on Chromium, the open-source project/alternative to Google Chrome.
They've done a significant number of modifications, enough that Jolicloud has now opened up the source code under the Nickel moniker. The main advantages of using Chromium, Jolicloud says, are the HTML5 capabilities. This is a bit strange, as Firefox boasts solid HTML5 support. However, Mozilla doesn't support the proprietary h.264 video codec that may have been the real reason for the switch. Firefox is still the default browser in Jolicloud.
Improved 3G support
Another big issue for a netbook, cloud-based OS is network connectivity. Users should be glad to hear that Jolicloud 0.9 Robby Pre-Final comes with a new network manager and greatly improved support for 3G modems. The developers boast that more than 100 3G keys are now supported. The latest Jolicloud release also comes with VPN support.
Finally, while Jolicloud is designed as a netbook OS, the developers have thought of those using it on normal-size laptops or other machines. Now, if the screen is larger than 11 inches, Jolicloud goes into "Desktop Mode," which, you guessed it, means a full-blown GNOME desktop environment. You can switch from the full desktop to "Netbook Mode" with the Jolicloud desktop switcher.
If you've already been using Jolicloud, all you need to do is update the packages to get Jolicloud 0.9 Robby Pre-Final. Alternatively, you can download the ISO from the link below.
Jolicloud 0.9 Robby Pre-Final is available for download here on Softpedia.