I dropped in over at the official gOS site to see if there were any updates. Boy were there ever.
On the download page is the following:
We’re still in alpha stage…
At our current state, we are just encouraging interested developers to download, play with, and help improve the gOS. For our general audience, we encourage trying a gOS product that gOS has already been qualified on.
Er, that’s putting it mildly…
In my earlier review I noted that I didn’t think gOS was ready for prime time at all right now, because as soon as you start actively trying to us it, you find yourself “under the hood” of Linux. Classic old school linux issues. Whereas, with the Zonbu, I have never had to drop to the shell to do any of my regular tasks. In fact a co-worker who wouldn’t even know what the shell was has been using the Zonbu daily for over a month now almost without incident. In addition, the one in our lobby has performed beautifully with random members of the public sitting down and surfing the Internet without instruction. Although, they keep trying to install MSN messenger, I find the installer all over the desktop.
In any event, I find it amazing that an OS which its own developers consider to be largely in Alpha stage is available on retail shelves. They hedge their comments by referring to it being on “qualified” hardware, but the hardware isn’t responsible for the kinds of issues I ran in to….
Zonbu may have launched a bit early, but were relatively quick to identify that the product was in BETA, and if you look at the Zonbu releases page you’ll see an enormous amount of work and improvements happened between the public launch of the Beta and the formal launch yesterday of the 1.0 product.
I think gOS is a victim of Ready, Fire, Aim! marketing. For gOS I think the equation was: Channel partner (Walmart) + Christmas buying season + pressure from Asus 3e PC and Zonbu = rush it to market and hurt everyone. As I said before, gOS is a problem for Zonbu, but not because it’s good right now…
This is my favourite user review of the gPC at Walmart’s site
“This is a great computer. Even without the monitor it works great because of the text to speech program. Sometimes I hook this up to my TV and work from there but other times I just use the text to speech because it tells me exactly what I’m viewing and where to click for other pages on the internet.”
all the alpha means is that it’s not ready for prime time on any old computer. The gPC running gOS was built for gOS (or the other way around). Either way, a gOS device works with gOS. Try running Zonbu on a MacBook, or a Dell XPS, or a Compaq Presario. It won’t work nearly as well as it does on a Zonbox. You’ll have driver issues like crazy. The wifi won’t work, the sound won’t work, the screen will freeze, the CD-rom won’t work, etc. gOS, at this point, is a OS for a specific device or series of devices, the OS is in alpha to the general public. But on a gPC, it’s fine.
To use a non-Linux example, look at all the hoops you have to jump through to run Mac OS X on a non-Apple PC. Does that mean Mac OS X isn’t ready for prime time, or that it wasn’t meant to run on anything other than an Apple?