gOS Space 2.9: Blatant OS X Leopard Rip-Off, Linux for the Masses, Or Both?

Despite the many, many flaws we encountered while using gOS on the CloudBook, this operating system, which relies heavily on Web-based applications, is, in theory, one that should be pretty kicking. So when news came across the wire a few days ago that Everex' new, limited edition MyMiniPC packed a new version of gOS, we were instantly intrigued. Then, when we we took a gander at the screens, we nearly blew our collective morning beverages onto our monitors.

gOS Space 2.9 (a tweaked version of Ubuntu using Compiz-Fusion and GNOME) shamelessly takes a heavy, heavy cue from Apple's Mac OS X Leopard. How heavy? Let's see . . .

When we booted the OS, we were presented with a beautiful outer-space theme with stars twinkling in the background. Hmm.

Then, we noticed the reflective AWN dock that houses the system's various open-source applications. Hmm.

Finally, we discovered that clicking on certain dock icons opens an elegant, arching fan of sub-icons. Oh my.

Okay, gOS is a little more than "inspired," but it is without a doubt the most beautiful Linux distro that we've ever seen; icons become illuminated and rotate when moused over, and the starry, earth-orbit view desktop wallpaper is simply stunning. More importantly, gOS Space 2.9 offers a few decent features that help it stand on its own, particularly if you're a fan of the MySpaces. Check out some of the deets after the jump.

  • Tight integration with MySpace. Clicking the dedicated MySpace dock icon opens a Stacks-like fan for quickly jumping to MySpace Comedy, MySpace Film, MySpace Mail, and other sections of the popular social networking site. The dock also features Super Clock, Super Graffiti, Super Mood, and Super Quotes applications that let us add the time, graffiti, current mood, and quotes to one of our MySpace profiles. We're not big on it, but we figure the target demographic will dig it.
  • Fun "Stack" - Quick links MySpacer Layouts, and a link to David Liu's MySpace page (the founder of gOS Space 2.9). Mr. Liu also has an "Ask David" link where we assume the gOS head honcho will help you with any potential problems.
  • News "Stack" - Quick links to Valleywag, TMZ, The Superficial, Pop Sugar, Perez Hilton, MTV News, and other vital sites designed to stimulate the minds of America's youth.
  • Video "Stack" - Quick links to YouTube, Veoh, Google Video, and other video repositories.
  • Photo "Stack" - Quick links to Splash Up, Picnik, Flickr, Photobucket, and other photo sites.
  • Music "Stack" - Quick links to Yahoo Music, Pandora, MySpace Music, and other free online music sites. Oddly, Slacker, our favorite streaming music site, is M.I.A.
  • Compatibility with Google Gears - For accessing Gmail and Google Docs & Spreadsheets when you're offline.

Of course, like other Linux distros, gOS Space 2.9 comes stacked with open source applications such as the OpenOffice suite and Gimp, which are very nice alternatives to Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop. We also love that gOS Space 2.9 includes multiple desktops that you can navigate between using your mouse's scroll wheel. It isn't just a simple jump from desktop to desktop; the entire screen rotates. It's more than a bit awesome.

So what's the early verdict on gOS Space 2.9? Granted, this was just a brief once-over, but we have to say that the new OS looks plenty good. While some have said that Linux is the OS of choice for the geek set, and that Linux mini-notebooks aren't ready for big-box retailers, the new gOS looks to have the polish to appeal to a mainstream audience. But the question remains: Will gOS Space 2.9 save the CloudBook? We'll explore that topic shortly.