The Jolicloud web page is now live. But the operating system designed for netbooks is still in private alpha, which means you can’t download the software without an invitation code. Still, what you can do now is look around the site, view a number of screenshots, and read the Jolicloud Manifesto which lays out the ideas behind the operating system.
At its most basic level, Jolicloud is a customized version of Ubuntu Linux that blurs the distinction between desktop and web apps. It does this by letting you “install” web apps alongside your desktop applications, making it just as simple to launch Twitter or Facebook as it is to launch a desktop office application or media player.
Jolicloud also stores your settings in the cloud, which means that you can easily sync your settings between multiple computers using Jolicloud, or easily switch from an old laptop to a new one. The operating system also incorporates social aspects, letting you follow the actions of your friends who are using Jolicloud, or subscribing to feeds from entities like computer makers, brands, or specific software so that you can always receive the latest information about updates.
While Jolicloud is focused on cloud-based computing, it also uses Google Gears, Adobe Air, and WINE to make it easy to run web apps offline and to run some Windows applications in a Linux environment.
You can sign up to request an invitation. But if you can’t wait that long to see what it looks like, you can check out the video overview that Sascha from Netbook News.de shot the other day after the break.