Apple has been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for the "Method and apparatus for administering the operating system of a net-booted environment.
Many computer users know how to change the boot disc for the operating system they work in. For instance in Mac OS you can boot off a disc by restarting and holding the option key or by selecting a boot disc from the system preferences.
How about the ability to boot from a web-based OS? There is also some talk of network computers (NC) and NC servers, and we will admit to not being networking experts beyond plugging in a router and crossing our fingers.
Here's the description of the patent:
A method and apparatus are provided for supplying a reliable and maintainable operating system in a net-booted environment. According to one embodiment, a network computer (NC) system including an NC server and multiple NC clients is managed by an NC client causing the remainder of the NC clients that are subsequently booted to receive operating system software that is configured differently than that currently in effect by replacing one or more system volumes on the NC server containing the operating system software with one or more different system volumes.