Ulteo – Yet Another Linux Distro?

So why do we need YALD? Well this isn’t just any new Linux distro! This Linux distro is created by Gael Duval, the recently-booted creator of Mandrake Linux. Mandrake Linux was in the position Ubuntu now is – the easy distro to introduce new people to Linux with. It had the easiest installer around and generally worked on the greatest amount of hardware. It was originally based off of Red Hat Linux 5.0. (This is back when they used to sell boxed PC software in the niche that Fedora now occupies)

Mandrakesoft, a company Duval founded to make money from his distribution. They made money by having a Mandrake Club which gave paid users the benefit of being able to download upgrades a few days or weeks ahead (I’m not sure about the timeframe because I joined Linux right before something big happened….as I will soon mention). The French company made some money and lost some money, but within the last year or so finally became profitable. They became so profitable they were able to purchase Connectiva, a Brazilian Linux company! The companies merged as Mandriva Linux and relanched this year with Mandriva Linux 2006. But then Gael Duval got booted from the company he had co-founded!

It’s one of those things that can happen when a company becomes a corporation. It happened to a famous fast-food founder in the US. I can’t remember the chain, but I know it was a burger chain. We always feel for the founder because there’s just something fundamentally wrong about someone getting kicked out of the company THEY founded. However, it happens.

Mr. Duval didn’t take it sitting down, no! He decided to start ANOTHER Linux company. (Take that you idiots who say that Linux it anti-capitalistic!) His new distribution is called Ulteo and there isn’t much information on it yet. In fact, I only found out about it through Linux Format Magazine. They mentioned the cryptic distribution a few months ago and did a feature in their most recent issue.
Part of the appeal of the new company was hinted at in the LXF article; the new OS seemed to be running inside of a web browser. As the website claims that most of the work to make Linux easy to use and install is now available (thanks Ubuntu and others) and Gael wants to start a new revolution in computing! So at least part of the strategy seems to revolve around Gael having your OS reside on his servers and accesible via the web. This would mean that you could access your PC from anywhere in the world that had a broadband connection! This would be quite a revolution in computer and it’s where Microsoft eventually wants to go as well. Personally, I have a problem with keeping my computer and information on someone else’s computer/server. What about when it gets hacked (by Evil Black Hat Hackers – aka Crackers) – I lose my bank info? What about any important documents? Sure, my personal computer can get hacked, but it’s not as nice a target for crackers as a large computer (or computer farm) containing the data from thousands or millions of people. Neither Linux nor Microsoft could convince me otherwise. (At least for now) Also, it’s easier for governments to poke around in there (and less scandalous) than my own PC.

However, Gael recently wrote on his page:

September, 27th 2006 – About the Ulteo Connected Desktop Following the Linux Format coverage, it seems that there is a need to provide a few additional details about the Connected Desktop: the Ulteo Connected Desktop is going to provide a way to use the Ulteo OS within the web-browser, for free. Of course, the Connected Desktop is a part of the Ulteo concept, which also includes an installable and free operating system for PC. The Connected Desktop will be introduced soon.

So it would appear that The Connected desktop will only be one facet of his financial strategy. He’s looking for hackers (in the nice sense of the term) and I think some of the positions are even paid positions! So mosy on over to http://www.ulteo.com and check it out!