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The Jolicloud Blog.

6 years ago we had an idea

by Tariq Krim

October 31st, 2014






6 years ago, Romain and I, surrounded by one of the most dedicated teams ever, started a new platform called Jolicloud.

A platform for the digital “have not”

We designed a beautiful and free alternative to Macs and PCs using the web as the only interface.

We couldn’t build our own laptop at the time, so we made our OS available for download on our website.


Joli OS 1.2

Soon, our product was embraced by early adopters around the world. Sometimes people were so excited that they would buy a netbook just to be part of our adventure.

Jolicloud was very innovative. We introduced a lot of innovations that you now find today in other services. We did iCloud before iCloud and Chrome OS before Chrome OS. It was simple, it was easy, and many users started to give away their Jolicloud netbooks to their parents, grandparents and kids so they could live in the cloud too.

It’s a privilege to be part of a new social computer experiment, and seeing user adoption around the world.

Soon we started to become indispensable in the lives of our users.
Public Schools with no budgets recycling their oldest computers, ruined farmers from the midwest, users in Africa or in Egypt during the Arab spring. They all sent us messages to tell us how Jolicloud changed their life.

Kids at Sotogrande school using Joli OS

It was an incredible, but also an impossible challenge.

Every day would teach us how hard it is to change the status quo in the world of computers.

Our own government would consistently dismiss our platform in favor of US based competitors.
No hardware partner would take the risk of building our computer (except Vye, a great company in the UK who collaborated with us on the Jolibook).

The Jolibook

And soon, we would be in competition with the highly trained PR machines from Google and Mozilla, announcing two years after us their own web based OS.

Maintaining an independent infrastructure has a cost, and last year I decided to stop our operating system to focus on our web platform.

Stopping our best product and turning our back to our most loyal users was the most difficult business decision I have ever made. But we didn’t have the ability to build a good and modern OS anymore.

Everyday, I would regret it. I would be sad. It felt like losing a bit of our identity. And the work on our product started to look more like a web app than a platform.

And yesterday I decided I wanted to change that.

Competing in this new mobile centric world with a web only product is a challenge, but it’s also a gift.

Don’t ever forget that the web belongs to no one. It belongs to everyone!

With Jolicloud, we had a dream of being the last European platform, resisting the common idea that the brand of your device defines what you can or cannot do with your digital life.

But also, we always wanted to build a platform that cares deeply about its users, not using their data and selling their usage patterns to advertisers. We wanted to build a place where we feel at home and can simply access, enjoy, and share our favorite content.

Like for food or music, we believe that being smaller, careful and different can be better.

Since we launched our paid version of Drive, I was surprised by the amount of people who purchased our yearly plan right away.
I decided to talk with some of them, and they told me “oh, we like the Jolicloud spirit, keep up the good work!”

I was blown away.

Over 6 years, we have “infected” more than 1.4 million souls with our passion for doing something different.

And I think today it’s time to come back to that spirit, to that original idea.

To amaze you again

But today it’s not about becoming the alternative to the mega giant offerings. It’s about creating and designing the world we want to live in. With our own rules and a truly open experience.

If we started Jolicloud today, we would not need to build a new OS. Instead, we would take advantage of the fantastic progress that occurred over the last 6 years. Our mobile devices are faster than the netbooks we had when we started. Extending the web on your TV, or using a Chromebook to connect to your home stereo are things we can do just by using web technologies. I am sure even crazier things are possible.

I am already working with my team to figure out a way to use and “hack” this existing web infrastructure and find a new home for Jolicloud inside our most used devices.

In addition to that, we are already looking at how we will connect Jolicloud to all the new available hardware and to the Internet of things.

The web is not dead, it’s just hidden in all the devices we use, and together we can resurface it and use it to do cool things again.

Oh yes, I just wanted to say one more thing to all our users: We love you!

The Jolicloud team

Comments (15)

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Frank
October 31, 2014
6:40 pm

Well done, I am using drive and am waiting patiently for more delight.Our Lug group was introduced to OS joli by Martin Webb and his brpther. I have used it for years, and have tried to introduce it to others!


Frank
October 31, 2014
6:41 pm

I have just made one!


Dave
November 1, 2014
10:07 am

I love the work the Joli team has done over the years. I’m still disappointed about you stopping Joli OS but understand the commercial realities. Anyway, I’m continuing happily to use it on my netbook and it is keeping an old PC useful. While not a big user of cloud storage I like Drive and appreciate the innovation. I look forward eagerly to what you will do next. I love the Jolicloud spirit too!


Bill McGuire
November 2, 2014
12:18 am

We love you too!


Daniel
November 2, 2014
5:09 pm

J’adore Jolicloud et le Drive ! It is a wonder of integration for Cloud access. Simple and easy to use and configure. Great functions. Innovative and user friendly as the Net ought to be. Bravo! et grand merci à toute votre équipe!


November 3, 2014
10:53 am

Thanks for the love!


Miguel Angel López
November 4, 2014
8:22 pm

Love too!!!


Leonardo Alviarez
November 4, 2014
9:49 pm

Usé por algo más de año y medio Joli OS y era un proyecto impactante, algo diferente y novedoso, mi netbook nunca estuvo mejor. Felicitaciones al equipo que lo hizo realidad, es una verdadera lástima que no se haya podido seguir pero las experiencias quedan y es lo más importante. Están para grandes cosas y esperamos más ideas nuevas que hagan de la Internet un lugar mejor, gracias y muchas felicidades.

Un abrazo.


November 5, 2014
10:22 am

Muchas gracias!


devauto
November 5, 2014
7:19 pm

Hi, I was one of the founding users of the beta of JoliOS, and I miss it tremendously. I would like to see you bring it back, as it was better than any of the other “Mobile OSs”. It ran more efficiently than any of them and on more hardware. It was an awesome OS and I hope you will consider this request to bring JoliOS back, it would be an exceptional platform for accessing the new JoliDrive on older systems.


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Francesco Maria Saviotti
November 20, 2014
11:31 pm

I’ve appreciated so much your projects, since joli OS


November 21, 2014
2:39 pm

And we appreciate you as one of our users!


Christian Vazquez
December 21, 2014
10:24 am

I continue to use JoliOS to this day. I’ve pushed so many users to this OS. You’re not just an alternative, you’re the solution for many older machines and EVERY netbook on the market. If you ever need a beta tester, I’d love to take part even if its paid.


December 29, 2014
10:56 am

Thanks Christian for your kind words!

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