The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand......

Anything I have to say about this would be redundant. I am placing a call this morning to the people responsible for this and asking why this is. Far be it from me to jump to any irrational conclusions....they can lead to messy misunderstandings as I hear it told.

Thank you to Thomas Holbrook for bringing this to our attention. You can see his insightful postings at

The phrase "their tentacles are everywnere" comes to mind. Then again, it may just be a silly over-reaction. I am curious to know what you think.

EDIT: David Liu of Gos has responded: While currently we do not have a relationship with MS, but most of our hardware partners do. Cloud will be customized into different versions, it may have Google, Yahoo, or Live.

That's fine...we just think that it might have been a better choice to put a Google representation know...the company that built their business on Linux Dave?

And oh by the way...sometimes links just won't become happens some times. For those inconvenient moments, a firefox extension has been created that allows double clicks on those annoying text links to act as regular hyperlinks. You can find it here.

Your welcome.

All-Righty Then


Anonymous said...

Another example of how innovation has been crippled by MS. Now that people "dare" to use Linux, you get all of these new ideas to make computers useful.

This is another "fast boot" Linux-on-ROM? feature that lets laptops access the internet/email/whatever without actually booting from the hard disk.

To me it looks like a stage in the boot sequence with a limited (Google browser) functionality. When you want full functionality, you get the full boot sequence into your main OS.

Actually, from the links inside it seems to be a gOS+Google development.

I see it as a step for the uninitiated to get a taste of Linux and FOSS.


devnet said...

I dunno guys...I don't buy this. Afterall, gOS cloud has never claimed to be exclusively Linux...they've, since the launch, claimed to have both Linux and Windows in the cloud. The OS is becoming ubiquitous and gOS is trying to demonstrate this.

So having a screenshot with Windows Live Search is probably just their attempt to show that they have Windows in the cloud for use just like they have Linux.

Does this make them evil? Hell no, they're still using Open Source to make everything happen...and if this gets people using Linux I say wooT! If you yell at these guys for doing this, you gotta yell at Wine and Cedega for doing the same.

kozmcrae said...

I guess the 'G' in gos changed from meaning green to gagged.

crvs said...

My thoughts on this...

what the hell!! Is that... M$ publicity on a web page supposedly dedicated to a Linux OS? Is that possible?

In a nutshell: shocked...

M$ publicity aside, isn't that pretty much a suicide in the eyes of the Linux community?

einfeldt said...

My reaction to the image of Windows Live Search (or whatever generic name they are using du jour) is somewhat along the lines of devnet.

Bottom line: FOSS is commoditizing Microsoft's services. Microsoft has an innovator's dilemma. They can't imitate us, because we are paid much less than they are, but FOSS services and software are becoming increasingly feature competitive.

We are stealing their thunder. Microsoft is probably paying for that promotion, but they are not going to make back the money they are wasting by paying gOS. They didn't make it back on the money they paid Linspire, and they will fail with gOS, too.


And that's a big if.

If we make sure that we don't forget what kind of company Microsoft really is. They are convicted monopolists. Court cases now have proven and established precedent that Microsoft will break the law when it feels its monopoly being encroached upon.

So the value of Helios posting stuff like this blog is that it reminds us that Microsoft is trying to gain acceptance in the FOSS community. We should not let them do so. After all, the CEO of Microsoft (Ballmer) called Linux a "cancer" and the Chairman (Gates) called us "communists". Those are inflammatory words. Microsoft has spent billions blunting the spread of FOSS in the developing world, and has intervened with OEMs to prevent the OEM installation of Linux.

Microsoft is not our friend, and never will be.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to helios for not going off the deep end with this. I can see where he could have taken the opportunity. Slash and burn isn't always the way to get it done. Good to see moderate tones prevail.

But no, he is correct in his analysis. I don't see why we should afford Microsoft OR the creators of gOS any quarter here. And what kind of answer did David give in his response to helios? That some of their hardware vendors are Microsoft shops? What bearing did that have on the initial question/observation? gOS code isn't based on Windows in any shape or form, at least not to my knowledge, it's a derivative of Ubuntu. Is Ubuntu Linux? The why show a Microsoft product in the advertisement. Live Search doesn't have a fraction of the recognition Google has.

What do you mean gOS hasn't ever claimed to be exclusively Linux? What then do they claim to be? They can "claim" to be a sissy a** poodle but that doesn't make them one. They use Linux as their code base...that argument made no sense.

Fine, the uninitiated get a taste of FOSS and Linux. All the while being drug to a home page that MS owns.

I'm not picking a fight...I am just wondering why some are so ready to pull back the curtain and let the enemy in.

It's prevalent many places, not just in these postings. While I applaud moderation, capitulation sickens my stomach.

Anita Mertz

Anonymous said...

Cloud is Linux driven and will be presented in a dual boot environment with Windows to my understanding. I think there probable displaying to show that it can exist alongside a Windows OS.

devnet said...

Cloud can run ANY operating cares not what it runs.

If having a screenshot of Microsoft on your website means people burn you alive...all review sites that have vmware snapshots of XP running in them need to be burned also.

This is ridiculous Ken, you stirred up a hornets nest over a picture. The guys at gOS are INNOVATORS. Don't crush their innovation with a bunch of zealots.

Unknown said...

@devnet: I do understand where you're coming from. However, I fail to see where a hornet's nest is being stirred at this point. If a hornet's nest was stirred, the comments would be in the high double digit range by now. I do see how a machine of that nature can be innovative. On the other hand, I personally would have no use for such a machine since I buy a computer for purposes of personal computing. Being able to access the web is great, but I also want to do stuff that doesn't require the web either. If I wanted similar functionality (sans desktop), I'd be using a Sony PSP to connect to the web via wifi.

If they wanted to be fair about it, they could have shown the machine in three separate instances demonstrating that the user had a choice between most major search provider.

Anonymous said...

Take a moment to step back and see gOS as a business with the role of representing their product. If one of their core concepts is "optional Windows," I think representing Windows Live makes sense.

Honestly, this is probably a bigger step in the direction of removing Windows from the picture than anything else being done. I'm surprised that any of you would be angry.

If everyone used gOS and then gOS decided, "Let's slowly stop using Windows and instead have people use the Linux equivalent," we would all be on Linux. It's inevitable for them to remove Windows as it would lower the cost of their product in the long run.

Think before you start complaining about advertisements.

Anonymous said...

Hm... did you read The Register's article(s) on gOS? The change might be more about gOS trying to look like it's a Google-sponsored project. Changing their frontpage pics to something other than Google helps to separate gOS from Google, and avoid a possible lawsuit.

Unknown said...

I'm surprised that any of you would be angry.

I'm not angry about where near. I just raised a question and asked the community to respond with their ideas. I personally think it's an oil and water mix but then again...I don't own an enterprise trying to sell a sorta-kinda Linux-ish product.


Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous Ken, you stirred up a hornets nest over a picture.

These are pansy hornets then. Less than a dozen comments and not posted on any news forum anywhere.

Couple of points though. VMware is a product MADE to operate other systems within. gOS is, from anyone's perspective, a Linux distribution and I can see where their might be a rub for those loyal to the cause.

Comparing a product that is meant to house systems such as Windows and a Linux Operating system fully displaying a known Microsoft product are two different things.

It may be that helios just isn't aware of "the cloud" or its purpose. I wasn't either until I saw the picture he referenced and researched it. I'm not too sure its anything I want to work with personally.

stirred up a hornets nest over a picture.

Again, no where near a hornets nest but he said so could be an over-reaction. He found it mildly objectionable, you obviously do not. I think it's a valid question. Sounds to me like some are just weary of the conflict. While this may not in itself be a big deal, it's probably a step in the direction of getting the Linux Community used to what is inevitable...the melding of the two systems. Given the division of the Linux Community, there's precious little that can be done about it.

Glad to see some are already on board.

Anita Mertz

devnet said...

@Anita and @h

I find objectionable how people responded to this more than anything. When you speak of the cloud, you speak of ubiquitous operating systems...see, the OS won't matter anymore in the won't be important...because the cloud will have all operating systems and be able to create and destroy said machines at will.

Knowing this, being able to run Windows in the cloud using a 'cloud' operating system is something that can get more windows users using Open Source software...which is the gateway to other open source software like Linux. Hence, my labeling these guys 'innovative'.

Hope that explains why I reacted the way I isn't that Ken 'said''s that he insinuated something was up with this. Knowing what the cloud is and how it enables users, I found that this insinuation is a bit off...and the reactions to this verified that people are ready to bite anyone uttering the word microsoft or windows without any prodding whatsoever...zealotry at its finest.

It's reactions like these that I wrote my "New User Guide to Linux Communities" that you link to on your sidebar.

Now Ken, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying anyone is stupid or silly here...I'm just saying that a bit more research would have went a long way and the 'hornets nest' aka the commentors...would not have been 'stirred'.

FelixTheCat said...

"Cloud" computing is becoming one of those terms thrown about with increasingly fewer nuts-and-bolts technical foundation to its definition. It is bandied about as the Next Greatest Thing In Computing, but it's little else than running applications on a browser, something that has been growing over the past decade anyway. A bit of an aside, I know, since this OS is called "Cloud" as well.

In any case, the question brought up by Ken, and one I don't think you are confronting directly, is the fact they are a Linux-based technology company using a Microsoft web page to make a first impression. They could use anything there:,,,,, (OK, I wouldn't suggest that for anyone else, but still...).

In purposely choosing a Microsoft homepage for touting gOS, they are taking a safe route and emotionally attaching themselves to something roughly 90% of the world uses. Good for business, perhaps, but very disingenuous at best considering the enmity and distrust that exists between FOSS and MS. If one were to think about this, maybe too much, this could be seen as gOS kowtowing to a company who has leadership calling FOSS a cancer, a virus, and whatever else they've breathed behind closed doors.

For folks with varying degrees of mistrust of MS and desire to keep GNU/Linux purely Free and Open, this can either be seen as good marketing or full-on betrayal. I personally see some of Microsoft's offerings as an olive branch being handed with a knife hidden behind their backs, ready to plunge when we aren't looking, such as mono and some of the possible IP issues that introduces. Granted, that's a whole other can of worms.

I'm with Anita on David's non-answer, too. I don't think any of his hardware partners had much to do with his marketing folks' decision on what they show on their front page. I can see that kind of answer coming from a company specializing in proprietary software, where spin and red herring marketspeak is desirable, but not from FOSS.

I do, however, agree with your statement, "they're still using Open Source to make everything happen...and if this gets people using Linux I say wooT!" I do have one qualification along with that, though. The overwhelming theme of this blog is Linux advocacy, simply to let folks know they have a choice for their computers' operating system. Where on that site does it state Cloud is based on Linux? After digging a bit, it states, "Good OS is also the developer of gOS, a full featured Linux operating system." Is it clear that folks are using Linux if they decide to use Cloud? In fact, it tells them they can switch to Windows or Linux, so folks really have no idea they are using something that has a Linux foundation if they decide to use Cloud. Full circle: this creates an issue with the mindset of this blog and a number of the group that follow it - if folks don't know they have a choice, and something based on Linux doesn't make it known that the bits are indeed Linux-derived, another opportunity is lost for folks to see how much power there is with GNU/Linux and FOSS in general.

I know this was a bit wordy. :)

Anonymous said...

I second FelixTheCat. There are HUGE differences between Linux and Microsoft, and the FOSS world and proprietary software. Linux and FOSS have huge advantages to offer, and that is what we should be proudly proclaiming. Instead of going all apologetic and wimpy. gOS would not exist without Linux and FOSS. Displaying a Microsoft screen is insulting, as they are the sworn enemy of FOSS and have devoted considerable resources to destroying it. Why promote them in any way? This is a bad thing.

Carla Schroder, yes it's really me

devnet said...

Let's be real here. Displaying a Microsoft screenshot on a computer on your website is NOT insulting. It's telling.

It tells that not only does gOS do Linux like it normally does, it also does Microsoft. This is an excellent gateway for people into free and open source software. They'll be more likely to experiment with it because:

A) It's in the cloud and can be created/destroyed like cloud resources can...that is, in an changes don't matter because you have a reset button

B) Because they can destroy/create they'll be more likely to experiment with other aspects of FOSS that are contained on cloud gOS.

So, what you all are complaining about is that gOS will push free and open source software further than many other distros have pushed it. You're upset OVER A PICTURE. Not because gOS runs Microsoft software...but because they enable it right?

You all need to go over to WineHQ and start griping bigtime...they've been enabling MS software for much longer than gOS cloud has.

The screenshot was showing a was 'hey, we also enable Microsoft Windows in the cloud' and that my friends is 100% NOT insulting. A feature of an item is neither FOR nor AGAINST free software. Those decisions are left up to the supporter or zealot that reads the feature and pulls in the politics they support/oppose and assing them to these features.

As an example, Amarok supports iPods. gtkpod supports ipods. Ipods support DRM laden music that is proprietary and unportable. I don't go over to Amarok and the gtkpod project and rip them a new one because they support these things...I instead, go after the source...the DRM in itunes/ipods.

You guys should do the same here. Don't go after gOS because they enable Windows in the cloud...go after Windows at the source. Remember that this is only a windows software is housed on gOS cloud.

A picture sure is worth a thousand words...I just wish the 'community' thought about the words they used instead of just firing off with a sharp tongue...quick to criticize, quick to anger, slow to apologize, slow to learn.

devnet said...

correction above:

assing should be assigning in the 7th paragraph

Danny said...

I just want to know where to get a full size of that cool oil and water wallpaper.

This is a very interesting discussion. Many have made some good points on both sides here. Not yet sure where I stand.

Alan Moore said...

I think we need to back up and get a sense of perspective here.

I think for a lot of people, the Free software philosophy is what drives their use of Linux. For these folks, people and companies are either on the "FOSS side" or the "Proprietary side"; or more to the point, they are either on the "Linux side" or the "Microsoft side". If you see the situation in this light, and you are presented with something like this where a "Linux company" is in some way "promoting Microsoft", you are forced to come to the conclusion that there must be some conspiracy going on, that these folks are double-agents or somesuch.

On the other hand, if you just look at it as a business trying to make a profit with technology, it makes more sense. Consider the bad press going on about Linux netbook returns, and consumer confusion being presented with a new OS after decades of MS dominance. If an MS logo makes the user feel safer buying the machine, of course they're going to stick it on there. If paying someone to have the right to distribute proprietary codecs makes it easier for customers, of course they're going to do it.

I am not, by any of this, standing up for Microsoft or anything they do. I'm just pointing out that for someone making money selling technology, you do what you have to to move units.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of confusion...putting a Windows logo on a Linux box is sure going to clear that up, isn't it.

It's the same old toadying to Redmond, and I'll wager gOS are hoping to score some of those nice MS sponsorship monies. All of this buzz over "The Cloud" is mostly one more attack against Linux and FOSS-- the tag line is "The OS doesn't matter." Funny, it's all that has mattered up until now-- Windows logos on everything in the world, Windows promoted as though it were the most important part of a computer. Now with Linux on the rise suddenly the OS doesn't matter? This is an attack, folks, don't be fooled.

Carla Schroder

Anonymous said...


Their core feature after being a cloud OS is that they support Windows if you want to use it.

Despite what you may think (and as a person in IT/programming profession), Linux doesn't support custom applications and software that businesses are CURRENTLY using and have already paid in full for (or not native, Wine may possibly un-assuredly help).

That is an important feature for, oh, 90% of the entire computing and business computing industry. They have that feature. They slapped Windows' logo on there to correlate they have that feature. It's nothing more than that.

GrueMaster said...

I see a lot of complaints from the purists, but what they fail to realize is that Microsoft still owns most of the PC market. If you have Qwest DSL or FIOS, your ISP is MSN. Lots of businesses also use MSN as an ISP. So, with that in mind, showing the public that they can still access their normal startup pages using gOS is actually a step forward to weening them off of MS.

The switch from Windows to Linux won't happen overnight. But it is happening, and the pace is starting to pick up, with products like this and the surge in netbook and MID sales. We as Linux users and developers need to spend less time focusing on beating Microsoft and more time on winning users due to our strengths. Keep an eye on the ball, and only cry foul when there is an actual foul to cry about (OOXML ramrod, MS attempted takeover of Mandriva Classmate PCs for Nigeria, etc). If we keep Microsoft within the bounds of ethical business standards, we will win eventually. They are already down to 90% market share on the desktop, and <70% in the browser market. All due to open source/open standards.

Anonymous said...

You have to ask: Would Microsoft place the Google search page or an image of Tux on their home page? (Or indeed anywhere on their site.)

Why else would anyone advertise a third rate search engine unless they were being handsomely recompensed?


Anonymous said...

Because that third rate search engine has the same logo as the #1 by popularity desktop OS and one of their features is "Switch to Windows." Duh?

Fadumpt said...

This isn't a big thing really. For one, Google is no angel...and it's not like they bend over backwards to release their apps for Linux (it usually takes a good while).

The Windows Live logo gives regular a people a glimpse in to the compatibility of the gOS them that warm, fuzzy feeling, that even though they are buying some unknown software (TO THEM) they will have compatibility to what they know.

As much as Linux wants to get in to the hands of every person in the's users want it to be some kind of closet fetish that shouldn't be touched by the outside world...left to be the subject of whispers in cold, dark corners and the basis for secretive parties in mansio...basements.

To everyone that reads this: Let Linux out of the closet! (not the gay closet stupid!) Let it be all that it can be (not an army reference) Let the masses discover and learn about it and be initially ignorant and stupid about it. Let companies do what they can to get people interested and excited about Linux.

Linux has given you *SO* much...can't you give it this little bit?

That is all.

Kourosism said...

I think its just a good marketing strategy. I'm not saying its particularly clever, but it will have the effect that was probably intended.

Like it or not, many non-Linux people find the four panel windows logo to be comforting. It's known territory. Its safe.

Its an easy way of saying: Look! This is familiar! You'll like it.

Anonymous said...

I find them a li'l goofy over there at gOS. They self-hype so much, it's crazy. They make it sound like they've built an OS from the ground up & may have deluded themselves into believing they are apple re-incarnate. For all intents & purposes, the OS is just Ubuntu w/ a really nice theme...yes, it is. Gnome + compiz + greeness on top of Ubuntu = Ubuntu. Let's see how many horrible failed products they can get Cloud on. Someone also needs to tell them, if you're second to the OS on rom game, you're not revolutionary; you're just a competitor. I grow tired of them...

Anonymous said...

Cloudbook, Slvania many people did gOS chase away from linux w/ their lousy alpha quality OS? What's a WIndows logo going to do that's worse than what they've already done?

Anonymous said...

>Speaking of confusion...putting a >Windows logo on a Linux box is sure >going to clear that up, isn't it.

I dunno.. I was pretty confused when Google released their open source browser but not on Linux.
And I am pretty confused when I run Ubuntu Linux on my Dell Mini 9 and I have to press the Windows button for full screen.

Seems like a lot of people pushing Linux are confused.

Anonymous said...

"I'm just saying that a bit more research would have went a long way and the 'hornets nest' aka the commentors...would not have been 'stirred'"

I don't think research has much to do with this.

Linux distribution ad


Microsoft product prominent on Linux Distribution page

= cognitive dissonance.

I think the question was a valid one and the tone by which it was presented was measured. The author even asked for opinions on this observation and didn't take the opportunity to rage on with a diatribe. Maybe there have been lessons learned here. Hopefully.

As an educator who recently had my head handed to me for making some assumptions, it might be a good idea to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them.

Thanks Ken for the opportunity to discuss this. I believe that Was your intention.