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Review: On Atom, gOS Is Good

Good OS is barely two-years-old, but its gOS operating system appears to have quickly caught up to the market, according to a Test Center review.

OS operating system software

Touted as "Linux for the rest of us," gOS had its beginnings a little more than a year ago as the operating system on the widely publicized Everex gPC, which sold for $199 in Wal-Mart stores. Currently in its third version, called gOS 3.0 Gadgets, the OS now heavily features widgets from Google Gadgets for many of the included applications.

Like other popular Linux distros, gOS 3.0 Gadgets installs easily without much user interaction. Booting a PC from the CD, which can be burned from a downloaded ISO image, brings up a "Live CD" version of the software, allowing the user a chance to get the feel of how it looks and works before committing to an install. Once satisfied, the installation can be initiated.

On our PC, which was a test bed we built with components to simulate a netbook, the installation went smoothly with no hiccups or driver issues.

The test hardware includes an Intel Atom 330 CPU at 1.60GHz, with the D945GCLF2 Mini-ITX motherboard. We built it with 2 GB of memory.

Using Primate Labs' Geekbench 2.1 cross-platform benchmarking software, gOS scored 1,138 - - making it competitive, performance-wise, with every other operating system we tested on the platform.

Upon launch, a bright green desktop appears, with various Google application shortcuts and widgets scattered about. A strip of shortcuts that roll and bounce, reminiscent of a Mac, lines the bottom of the desktop.

Overall, the OS is very easy to use, and intuitive enough for even a Linux novice to navigate without any help. As is becoming common with many versions of Linux, numerous open-source applications are included that allow the user to accomplish most typical tasks. In addition, the highly graphical nature of the interface makes this latest version of gOS an excellent consideration for netbooks, historically laden with very small keyboards.

Good OS, which has U.S. operations in Los Angeles, is about to start a private beta of a new product it calls Cloud OS -- which it says is a "browser + operating system." Cloud, the company says, enables a PC to just "boot into the browser." Focusing on optimization for netbooks, Cloud will initially be released only for the small, inexpensive computers, but because it just boots into a Web browser, it is expected to be a good option for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and users who are strictly interested in using the Internet as well.

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