First Beta Version of Ulteo Online Operating System

Mar 20, 2008

Gaël Duval has announced the first beta release of the Ulteo Application System. This innovative Linux distribution aims to drastically simplify the use of computers applying thin client principles to do so.

Users will not need to install applications; instead programs run centrally on an Internet server. To achieve this, Ulteo provides various online services including the Ulteo Online Desktop, which supports program execution in a browser, and offers up to one GB of online storage where users can store their documents. The recently published Ulteo Application System (Ulteo AS for short) implements the client for access to these services, and is thus the core element in the Ulteo Framework.

Under the hood, Ulteo AS is based on a pimped Ubuntu distribution. Users log in to the online desk via "Ulteo AA", a Kerberos-based authentication service; the connection is then established via VNC. Local files are synchronized with online versions by a synchronization service; currently an online storage limit of 10MB applies. On top of this, the developers have introduced a "My Digital Life" panel that helps users to manage their own documents and applications in a convenient way.

Ulteo mainly finances its operations with value-added "Gold" and "Premium" services. Ulteo’s founder and CEO Gaël Duval is well-known in the Linux community: he founded Mandrake Linux (later renamed to Mandriva) in 1998. Eight years later he was dismissed. Shortly after this Duval founded the Ulteo WebOS project. Duval tried to launch a similar concept dubbed Eazel, a few years ago but the endeavor failed.

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