Trying to erase the Ghosts of the past

Israeli-Palestinian start-up Ghost has modest ambitions: supplant Microsoft's Windows and create Mideast peace.'s Ina Fried looks at the latter issue.

CARLSBAD, Calif.--In the field of start-ups looking to replicate the computer operating system on the Web, Ghost is just one of many.

Like others, it sees an opportunity to not just re-create Windows on the Web, but perhaps to even replace the traditional operating system. I see some interesting notions, but a lot of challenges in these models.

But what struck me most about the company is its unique workforce. Ghost has a few workers in Israel, while most of the company is located in the West Bank town of Ramallah. The idea is to show the world as well as those close to home that Israelis and Palestinians can work together.

At this week's D: All Things Digital conference, I had a chance to catch up with the company's business development head, Ori Weinroth (a former Microsoftie). In the video below, we talked about the challenges and opportunities of having such a unique workforce.

For instance, the Israeli contingent can't visit Ghost's offices in Ramallah, while it is difficult for those in the West Bank to get permission to come to the Israeli offices, near Tel Aviv. Video conferencing and a meet-up spot in a sort of no-man's-land are two of the ways that the company tries to manage that.

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