Moka5 Brings LivePC to The Mac

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF — Moka5, a startup virtualization services company, is releasing Macintosh support at this week’s Macworld Expo extending availability of its LivePC library already available for Windows.

Moka5 leverages virtualization software (currently VMware, though support for other providers is planned), to provide a secure computing environment with features such as self-healing, data protection and automatic updates.

Mobility is a key benefit of Moka5. A user’s computing environment (applications, OS, data files and documents) can be loaded on a USB flash drive that can be plugged into another system for a virtual re-creation of the original desktop in a separate, secure partition.

The free Mac version of Moka5 requires Web site for free download including Fearless Browser for surfing anonymously on the Web; the classic Quake II video game and even the operating system for the One Laptop Per Child notebook that you can run on a Mac or PC with MokaFive.

“We store the applications, the operating system, the entire image in a compressed format on the flash drive that’s in its own partition so you’re not exposed to malware,” John Whaley, founder and principal engineer at Moka5, told in a briefing here at company headquarters.

Moka5’s LivePC software automatically installs the latest drivers, security patches and other updates whenever it’s connected to the Internet.
“But all the user data, your document files and so forth, are persistent; it stays protected in the original format,” said Whaley. Also, Moka5’s LivePC works offline as well but you don’t get any updates until the system is reconnected.

Whaley said the goal of Moka5 is to make it easier for individual users and small-to-medium size business who don’t have a large, or any, IT department, to run their computers in a simpler, safe way akin to a consumer electronics product. In a demo, Whaley launched Excel but also loaded a macro virus that froze the system. The solution? Shut down, restart and a fresh Live PC window with the original settings and data loads—minus the virus.

For enterprise customers, Moka5 is developing a management console and other features designed to help IT administer the software over multiple machines. The management software is now in beta and set for release about the middle of this year when pricing will also be announced.

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