It's now a fact, ghosts are real--at least the Global Host Operating System, the brainchild of G.ho.st Inc, a 2006 start-up with an interesting ideal. On the surface of things, what G.ho.st, Inc is attempting to do is "develop the Global Hosted Operating System, the world's only true Web Operating System." But beneath the surface of this company lies a progressive vision based on collaboration and co-existence.
The company has a simple, yet provocative, vision:
"to provide a free fully functional Virtual Computer, on the Web, so that every person in the world can do any computing at any time, any place, on any budget."In that spirit, the G.ho.st provides a word processor and spreadsheet program, applications and games. Much like Google has challenged Microsoft with their new free Office Suite-style package, G.ho.st provides a means for consumers to avoid financially supporting corporations. This would be good enough, but there is more.
The company is founded on an interesting philosophy. According to their website, "Windows, MAC and UNIX are all successors to operating systems that were designed in the 60’s, 70’s and 80's, long before the Internet was even dreamed of." Well that's a great point that never even crossed my mind! All of our software is constantly catching up to technological advancement. We have been limiting our capacity by not exploiting the wireless nature of the Internet to its fullest. Internet communication has allowed people to break cultural, diplomatic and economic boundaries like no other media has. G.ho.st is implementing that spirit of cooperation into their work. And it does not stop at the software...
Perhaps the most inspiring and impressive aspects of G.ho.st is not so much the background of the company, as the background of the individuals who made it.
These men and women are Palestinians and Israelis. This company does seek to help the world collaborate, share and cross boundaries. These people have experience in collaborating, sharing and crossing boundaries that many of us cannot fathom. In their own words:
The G.ho.st team is itself a rare Palestinian-Israeli collaboration. Ghosts go through walls and the very first wall that G.ho.st goes through is the 425 mile concrete barrier that Israel has built in the West Bank between itself and the Palestinians and which physically divides the G.ho.st team into two. However the Internet and collaboration between human beings transcends all physical boundaries.
The team is led by Founder and CEO Zvi Schreiber, a British-born Israeli; G.ho.st is his third Israeli start-up company. He describes G.ho.st as a "consumer service," as opposed to his other two projects which were "business ventures." The company's director is Tareq Maayah, a US educated Palestinian who was on an advisory board to the Palestinian Ministry of Post and Telecommunications. The company itself itself is made up of 40 Palestinians and Israelis who desire to provide free computing for the world and peace for their communities.
Perhaps the most important facet of their company is the G.ho.st Peace Foundation. According to their website:
The GhPF is founded on firm beliefs that
Their website is not yet developed, but based on what they've been able to do with their web-based Operating System, I'm sure it will be an impressive digital feat. This is an endeavor we should all be supporting. We should use their FREE web-based operating system (I wrote this post on their word processor!) and support their peace initiative.