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Jolicloud pre-beta now ready for download, and I love it

While Chrome OS has been getting the lion's share of netbook/smartbook buzz of late, Tariq Krim and company have been steadfastly plugging away at Jolicloud.

Today, the Jolicloud pre-beta has been released and it's ready for the general public to install on their Windows netbooks.

Jolicloud's Wubi-derived installer make the process dead-simple. Download the 600Mb .exe [or the torrent] from their website, launch it, and make your selections. Within a few moments you're system can dual-boot into Jolicloud or Windows.

While I suppose it's technically not fair to compare Jolicloud and Chrome OS right now since Chrome is so early in the alpha stage, I'm going to anyway. Right now - and for the near future - Jolicloud is the winner in my mind because it supports both native and web-based applications equally well.

"Sure, but Jolicloud uses Firefox and Firefox is slooooooooooow!" you say? Fine, go grab the Google Chrome beta for Linux and install the 32-bit .deb on Jolicloud. There. You've got a nice, fast, webkit-based browser - just click in from your internet apps tab.

And you're not giving up the speedy boot time, either. Check out the video, where you'll see the OS boot on an Asus Eee PC in less than 15 seconds. That's very competitive.

If you hadn't guessed from my screenshot, I'm busily installing games on my Acer Aspire One at the moment. Apart from the Jolicloud directory, you've also got terminal access to apt-get for installing anything available from the Ubuntu repositories (like Wormux and FreeCol, for example). I'm only two days in on Jolicloud, but I'm really enjoying the experience so far.

It's well worth trying out, so go grab the pre-beta now - and share your impressions in the comments!

Tags: beta, chrome os, ChromeOs, jolicloud, linux, netbook, smartbook