After Nivio and Live-documents, Ulteo has joined in the already packed crowd of wannabe startups who want to conquer the world of online desktops/virtual offices.
The project started as an Open Source Linux distribution (eventually morphing into an online desktop) and is the brain child of Gaël Duval, the creator of the Mandrake Linux distribution (now called Mandriva Linux).
The firm allows users to use the latest version of OpenOffice.org without having to install or download any application.
Available through your Firefox or Internet Explorer browser, the service is currently being tested by 15,000 beta users on a number of platforms (Windows, Linux or Mac).
Although Ulteo is not officially supported by the OpenOffice.org foundation, the marketing project lead at OOO, John McCreesh, welcomed the launch of Ulteo, adding that “This is an interesting development for people who want to try out OpenOffice.org without having to download and install the software. If you're wondering how OpenOffice.org compares to your current office software, this is a convenient way to see OpenOffice.org in action in a browser on your desktop."
Since it is based on an Open Source product, Ulteo will not require a license to be used, although it has yet to unveil how it will monetise the service.