Google's Chrome Operating System: We've Got It All Wrong

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 11, 2009

“A real rival to Windows.” “Google drops a nuclear bomb on Microsoft.” It all sounds so dramatic and exciting, the kind of story we journalists love. But I can’t help feeling most of the coverage of Google’s announcement of its Chrome operating system missed the real point.

Most people seem to assume that the Chrome operating system is intended to replace Windows on personal computers, and that it will be a failure if it doesn’t. Many people also believe that Google is either off its rocker in jumping into operating systems or doing it out of spite for Microsoft. Although Google may well be overreaching here, and it faces many challenges in creating and getting support for a new operating system, I think those assumptions are largely flawed.

It’s an easy story to pit Google against Microsoft, partly because there’s some truth to the increasing tension between the two tech titans. But they’re each representative of a bigger battle going on, one that would happen regardless: the inexorable migration of computing (except for the interface to the computer you need to put your fingers on, of course) from the desktop and laptop to the Internet.

Essentially, Google is attempting to create an operating system tuned to the needs of the Post-PC Age, as my former colleague Richard Brandt, author of the book Inside Larry and Sergey’s Brain, puts it. That age has not arrived yet, and it may not arrive completely for a long time, but the trend is apparent: People increasingly are doing more and more of their work online, for which they don’t need or want the cost and performance overhead of a traditional PC operating system. That goes double for the vast majority of people around the world who have no PC at all—and something cheap beyond a cell phone that gives them the full experience of the Web would open up a vast new population of Web users.

And the bottom line is that anything that makes it easier for all those people to use Google services and view its advertising helps Google.

First of all, let's put to rest the notion that Google expects to replace Windows, at least anytime soon. "It's not a direct assault on Windows at all," says Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett. "Chrome OS will be streamlined and tuned for interacting with online services and the personal cloud."

In other words, it's intended at least at first to provide an additional option for the increasing number of people who do most of their work online to do so quickly and cheaply. What would a personal computer outfitted with Chrome OS look like? Michael J. Miller at PCMag.com has an idea:


It wouldn't be what we think of as a PC; instead it would be much more purpose-built for surfing the web than even today's netbooks. It wouldn't run any local applications: no Microsoft Office, of course; but also no Open Office, iTunes, or even a local mail client, although a webmail client could be cached by Google Gears. But it could boot much faster, be more secure, and could be less expensive. ...

These would really be "companions" to full PCs, not replacements. To a great extent, this is also what Qualcomm is talking about with its "smartbook" concept, and the other ARM-based vendors as well. So Google isn't really trying to create a new device; but rather be the software for it.


In fact, I'm not sure why Chrome OS couldn't be a second operating system on the same machine. After all, it's free, and both disk and flash-memory storage is pretty cheap, so I'm not sure I see much downside in installing both on a machine. And people are already doing this sort of thing on the Apple Mac, in some cases running Windows when they need to run a Windows-only application.

So if all you want to do is get online to browse the Web, check email, view video, tweet or update your Facebook page, edit some online documents, buy a book from Amazon.com--and think about it, that's a lot of what we do on a PC today--you get online in a few seconds and just go. If you work on a plane or use a Windows application like Word, go ahead and boot that up just like you can do on a Mac outfitted with Parallels. "I just want my s--t to run," says Dan Florio, developer of the iPhone app RunPee. "Chrome OS is sounding like the right idea."

Viewed in this light, Google's decision to create an operating system seems like a pretty obvious thing to do. In fact, you'd almost have to say they'd be kind of stupid not to do it, given the direction of user behavior and the advance of technologies that enable more and more online-only work. "The world is hungry for innovation on the operating system," says Sebastien de Halleux, cofounder and COO of the social gaming developer Playfish. "This is coming at the right time."

This is all assuming Google can pull it off. This clearly won't be easy, or Google wouldn't have announced it a year in advance and called for the help of outside developers. But it may be somewhat simpler than it looks. For one thing, it's building the OS atop a Linux "kernel," or foundation. So it doesn't have to reinvent everything, just leverage what already has been created.

Google also doesn't even need to attract developers to the OS, at least not in the usual way. Software programmers need only create a Web application using common platforms such as Adobe Flash, and they should run on the Chrome OS. Indeed, for that reason, one might make the case, as some have, that Chrome OS isn't even that big a deal.

Finally, Google doesn't need to knock it out of the park. As Rich Brandt puts it:


The Chrome OS is a catalyst. It will show others the way, and act as the seed that moves many industries, from telecommunications to computers, and perhaps someday to television and books, into the Post-PC era and into the true Internet Age.


Remember when Google made noises about bidding for new wireless spectrum in late 2007, only to bow out? That resulted in competition in the wireless business revving up, arguably to Google's advantage, and on Verizon's dime. Likewise, although Google's Chrome browser has minuscule market share, you can be sure the enthusiasm of some Web influentials for its speed hasn't escaped Microsoft or Mozilla, which will keep improving their browsers to avoid losing any more share.

I'm not saying that Google is above throwing a few marbles in Microsoft's way. It may not work, but if anything, Google executives have a fiduciary duty to do so, because that's business. You don't need to assume Eric Schmidt is desperately obsessed with Microsoft to find logical reasons for what Google's doing. (In fact, there's probably a greater case to be made that Microsoft has been obsessed with Google for a long time. Schmidt himself was wary of Google doing an operating system, he said last Thursday.)

All that said, there's a real danger that a Google operating system further stirs up Microsoft's wrath, and if it does, the software giant could inflict some damage on Google. Even more worrisome, Anil Dash makes a compelling case that in announcing plans for an operating system--whatever kind it turns out to be--Google has reached its own "Microsoft moment":


The era of Google as a trusted, "non-evil" startup whose actions are automatically assumed to be benevolent is over. ... Google is entering the moment where it has to be over-careful not to offend, and extremely attentive to whether they are treading lightly.

Is Google evil? It doesn't matter. They've reached the point of corporate ambition and changing corporate culture that means they're going to be perceived as if they are. Whether they're able to truly internalize that lesson, accept it, and act accordingly will determine if they're able to extend their dominance in the years to come.


Such existential concerns are real, as one prominent Googler, Matt Cutts, acknowledged. But the fact remains that Google continues to face an aggressive Microsoft that requires it to think outside the search box. Microsoft's new search engine Bing, let's not forget, is the default search engine for its industry-leading Internet Explorer browser.

And if Microsoft responds by fighting back and making sure Windows works better for online applications (thus preventing Chrome OS from getting a foothold), that can only help Google as the key economic beneficiary of anything that makes the Web more useful.

Sure, this is a risky bet for Google. But it might be even riskier not to make it.

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Reader Comments

Lee

July 12, 2009 08:40 PM

You got it wrong.
Chrome-OS is really just Linux with an X-windows wrapper in the form of an Internet Browser.

So the support base for linux already exists.

There is little risk here for Google technologically.

Leonardo C.

July 12, 2009 08:57 PM

Congratulations on the article Mr. Hof.
I've been reading a lot of nonsense about Chrome OS lately from allegedly 'expert' sources.
I'm a computer scientist, and It's weird to me the number of economists, journalists and managers writing at length about things they don't seem to really understand(computing).
Like one article I read last week, and this economist was going on and on about Google's general inability to deliver good apps(says him), and then he went on citing examples of the alleged apps, and making points about google and microsoft business and concluding that google would fail.
He failed himself to take into account the dynamics of software creation and development..If Google didn't already have one, with their uncanny ability to attract talents, they could build a software engineering division able to take on microsoft in less than a year.

sergey's mom

July 12, 2009 08:58 PM

ZZZZZZ....

Oh was there something I should havetaken note of here... pleeze... It's so nice having Eric Schmidt around... He was so Dreamy at Sun (i mean oracle), Novell... ahh netware.. and Cambridge Technology Partners - CTP was soo cool... now he can do his magic at Google. Its starting already!

Patrick Mondout

July 12, 2009 09:05 PM

Oh thank God someone in the media finally "gets" Google's announcement! It would be instructive, however, to go back and look at the goals and dismal failure of the circa 1996 JavaStation -as the parallels should be obvious.
Making a modern operating system that provides all the services of Windows is not a task Google is equipped to tackle in the timescale referred to in the coverage elsewhere thusfar. And making something less than Windows is not going to cause people to switch in meaningful numbers any more than the aforementioned JavaStation did a decade ago.
Thanks again for providing a voice of reason on a story that has been completely misunderstood by the tech media.

T. Washington

July 12, 2009 09:10 PM

New systems that will work is good for the computer users to make things more usable in business and every day works.

bamm

July 12, 2009 09:18 PM

I suggest a better name. Instead of ChromeOS, they should call it CloudOS, so people immediately know what it does.

It's better to promote the cloud than to market the browser used to access it.

Better yet, call it Google Clouds, just like Microsoft called their operating system Windows (even though windowing systems existed way before Windows).

GloomBoom.com

July 12, 2009 09:19 PM

Once again the media has gotten the story wrong and given the wrong impression. Why does this continue to happen?

Sttephen Kay

July 12, 2009 09:22 PM

As a family for whom the pc is indispensable in our daily lives, one of my concerns is issues of spyware and semi-legit mining of data for sales targetting. Targetting that we know will most likely be plus profit oriented, and not the types of deal we can find on various sites such as ebay, amazon, etc.

The last thing I want is my family information stored on a small number of servers that can legitimately or illegitimately be scanned for customer targetting.

All you have to do is look at how the great majority of what comes in our old mailbox goes directly into the trashcan

And turn that into ever more electronic trash.

No thank you. I can see Google Chrome being used with eg netbooks, etc. Low cost devices, but with another hidden cost.

Judson

July 12, 2009 09:33 PM

A lot of these "apologists" for Microsoft probably own stock in Microsoft. I would challenge any of these writers to divulge what if any assets they have in Microsoft.

They're likely feeling the pinch and producing little articles like this to shore up their portfolio values.

Ajay Sindwani

July 12, 2009 09:39 PM

The thought of using this as a dual boot OS makes sense. It would be nice though to see better hardware integration from computer manufacturers for dual boot, ie: two separate ON buttons for Windows and Chrome OS so you don't have to explain to non-techies to go and click it on a boot menu.

Steven

July 12, 2009 09:43 PM

Not at all. 1) They're making a new windowing system. (according to their blog) which makes much Linux front-end software initially incompatible with it.
2) They plan on making all software designed for Chrome to be executable anywhere there's a Chrome browser (or Firefox and Safari). So it can't depend on the Linux kernel.

But that just helps your point. Support for the web is already widespread :)

Ellis Cron

July 12, 2009 09:55 PM

The only way for this to turn not-evil is if ChromeOS supplies a pure decentralized P2P network, as an alternative to Google and other centralized clouds. This is what Google Wave seems able to do, in its server-server synchronization.

aleks

July 12, 2009 09:55 PM

I've never bothered to make the jump to Linux, because it'd just be too much work for a semi-computer nerd like me. With Google's talent for user-friendliness I'd definitely be willing to give Chrome OS a try.

ABC

July 12, 2009 09:58 PM

The real story here has almost nothing to do with computers or software, but rather something that is happening within our society.

The issue is that younger generations are more 'consumers' than 'creators' - they'd rather read about what everyone else is doing rather than creating something useful for society. And these 'consumption' usage models don't really require a full blown PC. Really, how much computing power do you need to read a tweet?

To really create, invent or design something new (e.g. write a novel, invent something, create art like a movie, music or photo, engage in new thinking, design a new drug, design a house or skyscraper, etc...) requires advanced tools that run on powerful personal computers. Today kids, generally speaking, don't seem that interested in creating something.

It's really quite sad because the tools available today (such as autocad, mathematica, protools, photoshop, premiere/after effects...the list goes on) that run on a powerful PC are easily availale and relatively inexpensive.

There are people using these tools to create new music, art, science, etc. Too bad the media is so fixated on Google, Twitter and Facebook!

Lets hope that more people get turned on to the coolness of creating, inventing and designing new ideas, products, art, medicines, etc. today the tools are cheap, powerful, and relatively easy to use.

Ca

July 12, 2009 10:02 PM

Nothing really new here with the google announcement. I remember when Windows XP came out (long time ago in computer years) someone at Microsoft stated that the next generation operating system after XP would be on and for the internet. Well we have Vista and Windows 7...Guess the future is here but it still has a LONG way to go...

Tech Guy

July 12, 2009 10:05 PM

Rob: The points you are making are all valid but I do not think we have fully realized what Chrome OS is going to enable. Google is going to release Google Wave at the end of the year which integrates Email, IM, blog, web publishing, twitter like functionality under one framework. Wave with Google Gears is all Google needs to basically take over the desktop even with Windows as the OS. So Google has to be thinking at much higher scale and broader ambitions here.

Also, your former colleague Richard Brandt in that article you linked, does not know what he is talking about. He writes "Windows took off and Microsoft was the only company with robust applications.", that is quite nonsensical. May that was true initially but Microsoft does not even complete well on any desktop app other than Office. What about Firefox, iTunes etc. They are robust windows applications.

Valerio della Porta

July 12, 2009 10:08 PM

It's really refreshing that there are still intelligent journalists out there.

Thanks for the great article!

The Chrome OS really fills an empty niche that may become bigger and bigger as people move all their data to the cloud over time. Can't wait to get it for my netbook.

Peter

July 12, 2009 10:15 PM

Excellent article.
Many people agree that google is not a huge threat in terms of Microsofts operating system. Since the announcement Microsoft shares are only down a few percent. The market it seems quite rightly knows that Microsoft position is still pretty safe. It makes a nice headline but reality is reality.

commonsense

July 12, 2009 10:22 PM

Every message you send via gmail brings ads keyed to the words in that personal email.

Every Google Word Whatever personal doc will do the same.

If you want to turn every one of your personal docs into a data mine for marketers to sell you crap, that's up to you. I'll keep my docs on a Mac with its own software...offline.

Rohit

July 12, 2009 10:28 PM

Apart from the Microsoft windows and google chrome OS there are other OS which are increasingly becoming popular everyday, like the Ubuntu with its different versions being released every six months and is virtually virus free and is mostly compatible with windows formats for word,excel and others. It has some added advantages of having multiple desktops and all that- and all of this for FREE, but how many people have used it till now. Google OS may be used for a few times but replacing windows would be very difficult because people are used to it and they dont want to CHANGE - even if it is for their better. I'm sure a normal office user would love ubuntu, but does he want to try it is the question (there are other OS like ubuntu like fedora,kubuntu,edubuntu,xubuntu).

C. Smith

July 12, 2009 10:30 PM

Sttephen Kay - all the right people will love the new evolutions of google and microsoft will only prosper. For anyone serious about computers microsoft will reign. If the pc is but a toy there in lies google chrome.

craig meagher

July 12, 2009 10:34 PM

GOOGLE IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE BEST BECAUSE OF THE TEAM THAT RUNS THE COMPANY THEY ARE ON A WHOLE OTHER LEVEL THEN MOST PEOPLE THINK AND IT IS BEING DRIVEN BY GREAT VISIONAIRES AND DEVELOPERS ALIKE THERE IS A REASON THEY GET THE BEST THEY WILL KEEP THE WEB TRUELY FREE REMEBER SURFS UP WITH GOOLE WAVE AND NOW CHROME OS GAME IS OVER GOOGLE WINS THE RACE IT'S GOOD TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE IN FIRST PLACE CHANGING MANY LIVES AS WE GO GOOD WORK GOOGLE LIKE A ANCHOR IN A STORM YOU HAVE STAYED STRONG TO HONESTY WIDE SCOPE INTEGRATIONS AND THANK YOU FOR THAT AS AN ANDROID DEVELOPER ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU FOR THE BEST ITS WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF!!!

Atma Gandhi

July 12, 2009 10:45 PM

To begin with, Dual boot system would good idea for hardware manufacturers. Also if Chrome OS, proves good, it would be boon for Corporates to have it installed on all their work stations and staff could work directly inst servers instead of individual PCs.

John

July 12, 2009 10:47 PM

and so the day you travel to Timbuktu with no internet, your pc is dead in the water. nice.

Greg Meadows

July 12, 2009 10:51 PM

This has been coming for years now. Both Microsoft and Google are building massive data centers which far exceed today's demands for hosted CPU, disk, RAM etc.

This is only my opinion but it's obvious the desktop PC (in it's current form) is going bye-bye. I think in

Anyone familiar with Ray Ozzie's career knows he was brought in by Gates to make this transition to Cloud services. And I believe that Microsoft are minority investors in Xcerion which is a very impressive Cloud OS almost 2 years old. I'm sure Google's Chrome OS may become incredibly powerful.

Whatever happens, these two companies drive the future of computing like no other.

Laird Popkin

July 12, 2009 10:51 PM

ABC, you've got it backwards. The older generations are used to being a consumer of media produced by big publishers. The younger generations are engaged and interactive, posting to blogs, tweeting, video blogs, etc., that most older people don't know about.

That being said, software is largely moving away from the desktop and into the cloud. With Google Docs, web-based email, Wiki's, etc., knowledge and the ability to do work aren't tied to a particular computer any more; computers are simply an interface to the internet, so most people can work from anywhere. This is why MS is losing dominance - if people are free to use any OS/browser to access the internet, they are free to pick choices other than Windows. For example, I use Windows, Mac's, and Linux computers in various places, and I don't bother to carry a laptop any more - everything I need is accessible from wherever I am.

Mihi Nomen Est

July 12, 2009 10:53 PM

If they are largely using what will be Linux, there's no reason to presume what it will or won't be like either of the Linux desktops.

This is something which came to mind the first time I heard of the plans.

(Linux) More importantly, there's a way to gain a large user base: the US gov't. SE Linux [1]. If it is good enough for the NSA et al...

( The biggest concern is some type of back door)

[1] http://www.nsa.gov/research/selinux/

-or-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security-Enhanced_Linux

jsg

July 12, 2009 10:57 PM

Google is boldly going where the Linux community fears to tread.

The future of OS's is on small devices, but the Linux community is too obsessed with trying to out-Windows Microsoft. There is no way Linux is ever going to supplant Windows on the desktop... but they refuse to accept that, and squander their limited resources tilting at windmills.

So it's up to Google to drag them kicking and screaming into something approaching success. But it's not all that surprising- IBM throws at least hundreds of millions of dollars at Linux in order to keep them focused on mainframe development.

So likewise, Google is going to have to throw sweaty wads of cash at them in order to get them to focus on small devices (which will, of course, be using Chrome browser and have Google homepages).

Don't let the "free and open source" thing fool you- in the real world, everything is always about money. Well... in the case of Linux on the Desktop, it's about hate. So to be accurate, if it's successful, it's about money.

jom

July 12, 2009 11:00 PM

"To really create, invent or design something new (e.g. write a novel, invent something, create art like a movie, music or photo, engage in new thinking, design a new drug, design a house or skyscraper, etc...) requires advanced tools that run on powerful personal computers."

Wow, you have seriously drunk the kool-aid. I am working on a dissertation that I could write with nothing but a typewriter and a library. I have a friend who is a professional computer programmer -- until recently he did most of his work on a 15-year-old computer. But obviously we aren't creating anything, since we aren't using "advanced tools that run on powerful personal computers."

What's really happening is that computing power is so readily available that it's not really that valuable anymore. Computing power, like many things, has declining marginal utility.

gondwannabe

July 12, 2009 11:05 PM

This is a good, balanced article that begins to peel back the inevitable distortions triggered by Chrome O/S. One thing is obvious to me - Chrome O/S is not a competitor to Windows, Mac or Linux, for that matter.

The real strategy can only be one thing. As web applications mature and as bandwidth improves, there are many compelling reasons to move applications and documents off the individual workstation and onto distributed servers.

In return, the computer as a device can be transformed into a simplified and truly mobile information appliance.

The loud, dubious and/or hostile reaction by many tech savvy commentators tells us that this change poses as significant potential disruption to the existing skills and infrastructure that support existing PCs.

I have had the experience of painlessly migrating to Google's free small business GMail service. Who do you think can best deliver reliable and secure email, Google or the average small business? This is even more the case for individual users who don't need full-strength workstations to browse, tweet, skype and email.

We don't have to open ports on our mobile phones and we don't have to roll-back drivers on our TV.

The PC is still bound by it's origins as a hobbiest's toy - it's been a lot of fun, but it's clearly time to move-on.

Google are one company with the market power to brand the cloud. If they don't, then someone else will.

Jeff Mulvey

July 12, 2009 11:05 PM

Great Article! Thank you for putting this issue into a different perspective.

felix tang

July 12, 2009 11:08 PM

will the google os free?

jwwhite

July 12, 2009 11:09 PM

Two major concerns that I think most are overlooking:
1) Google's motivation in creating this OS is simply to enable it to harvest more and more information about your personal computing habits in order to allow it to generate and deliver more highly-targeted (i.e. more expensive) advertising. In spite of popular opinion to the contrary, virtually nothing that Google does is altruistic. It is all firmly focused on their core business, which is selling advertising. In order to do that, they must, by definition, harvest data about your usage habits. They may claim that they collect no user-identifiable information, but I for one don't want the "benevolent" super-Google (or anyone else, for that matter) tracking and data mining everything I do on line.
2) Has no one been reading the news this week? What happens to your irreplaceable data when North Korea/China/The Russian Mafia decides to bring down the Information Superhighway? No organization in its right mind would ever trust mission-critical or business-proprietary information to someone else's "cloud"; Any CIO who embraced such a model should (and probably would) be run out of the business on a rail.
Why, oh why, would you trust your efforts and data to an untrusted, unreliable entity?
A local, secure operating system, with local, private storage, is the only reasonable location for critical or sensitive data.
Google Chrome O/S promises neither.

IndyEvans

July 12, 2009 11:09 PM

Now if I can just run my firefox within Chrome all will be good...lol

Estabon

July 12, 2009 11:12 PM

He gets it.

Chrome OS isn't necessarily competing against Windows. It's going to be for the netbook type computers that are low cost and in my eyes the computer for the masses.

Your typical person using a Windows or a Mac does not use a 10th of their computing power.

Robert

July 12, 2009 11:16 PM

Chrome is the logical next step to take, but it's also the wrong step.

Privacy concerns here are the tip of the iceberg. I have a difficult time trusting any one company that has so many eyes on the internet watching everything, everywhere, all the time. And to roll that up into an 'online desktop' is too creepy. Lucius Fox: 'This is too much power for one person.' Think on that.

I'll pass on Chrome.

Roland

July 12, 2009 11:20 PM

I don't see what's the big deal. Anyone can create a new linux release. It's easy--I could send you instructions. Make it simple and put it in an EPROM. It'll boot fast, and viola!-it's Moblin! Eliminate login and require presence of CF or USB for home directory. Allow users to install apps in that home directory. Wifi+3G, no disk drive. It's simple, inexpensive, and rugged. And if it breaks or you lose it, you get another--you still have your home directory on CF or USB. Do complicated stuff in the cloud, where users don't have to deal with config issues. It's not brain surgery!
I bet that could be done for US$100 in quantity. It would sell like crazy.

Talleyrand

July 12, 2009 11:21 PM

Google's priority list, like MS's, 1 crucial top-ranking item: making money by somehow making masses of people dependent on their product. Goal number 2.... who cares. The few benefits of this technophilia (the absurdity of people even discussing the merits of an OS is mind-blowing) are swamped by the downside, namely the total enslavement of the human being to the machine. When I read this stuff, I realize that the greatest visionary of the past 100 years was probably Theodor Adorno.

DanS

July 12, 2009 11:25 PM

I think that Google will be able to get their foot in the door with an OS that focuses on web surfing if they can make an OS which has a much quicker boot time than Microsofts OS

James Ayton

July 12, 2009 11:26 PM

I've been saying the same thing all along. Way to go on an excellent article that finally gets it right!

m

July 12, 2009 11:31 PM

"inexorable migration of computing from the desktop to the internet"..

God, I hope not. Does anybody REALLY like using web apps better than desktop apps? Isn't the only reason people use browser-based apps because they are free, or really cheap?

From what I see, everything web-based is dreadfully slow, buggy, bloated with ads, scrolly, blinky web crap, and is just so frustrating as to be unusable.

Google Docs??? Yikes... I could write and draw my documents with pencil and paper faster.
I want to click, point, draw, type, and have it all be SNAPPY, RESPONSIVE, and above all LOCAL. Not something that quits, crashes, or becomes unavailable the minute I'm not on the internet.

Mac

July 12, 2009 11:34 PM

Hey buddy,

I think you've accidentally left the CAPS Lock on. Also, we're allowed to use punctation at the end of sentences, not just at the end of the paragraph.

Peace!

BusinessWeekReader

July 12, 2009 11:38 PM

The ramifications of this is significant.

Google Chrome is no longer just a browser.

It is now an integrated OS/browser and it's targeted initially at Netbooks. Many of the vendors are interested because it will be cheaper than bundling Windows.

With the computer vendors wanting to lower prices and eager to embrace Chrome, it creates some serious problems:

1. Combining a browser and OS violates antitrust laws. The Microsoft lawsuit a few years ago demonstrates this.

2. Integrated OS/browser applications present serious privacy problems for users, some of which only computer technologists can understand, the average user is going to fall prey.

3. Some info will be stored on Google's cloud. This is very disturbing. This gives a combined OS/browser the capability of caching on Google's system rather than the user's system, if they wish. Anything cached on Google's cloud rather than the user's local system could be viewed in much the same way the user is viewing it. They wouldn't even have to log into a secured site with a password to see sensitive information, because the user has already logged in. They could view the info in the cache on Google's cloud with a sniffer or a system administrator's monitor whether they know the password or not. This puts everyone's private personal and financial information at risk. Many people do stock deals, business deals, and personal and business banking on the Web now.

The info on Google's cloud could be mined for business purposes without the user's knowledge.

Dishonest employees could use the info for identity theft.

The data on Google's cloud could be subpoenaed by law enforcement without the user knowing, because it would be subpoenaed from Google, not from the individual.


In terms of privacy and national security, OS/Browser integration is one of the most dangerous and disturbing developments possible, especially with off-local caching. It is absurd to expect a for-profit, publicly-traded company like Google to police itself (and all its employees). It's the same as letting the fox guard the henhouse.

Computing is too complex to legislate before the fact. There aren't sufficient laws to prevent Google from using and abusing private information at the present time, no matter what they say in their press releases about privacy or about anonymizing info "within 24 hours or whenever is practical".

This is serious and needs to be understood and remedied now, before the software is installed on millions of machines of unsuspecting users.

CSSteve

July 12, 2009 11:40 PM

I have seen a lot of press on the Google OS announcement and this is the first article I have read by somebody who "gets it". Great job of putting this move in perspective.

sunny

July 12, 2009 11:49 PM

Sony laptops have already started to put browser in laptop without booting up laptop, I tried it and it is cool, main windows OS is protected.

MS and google, both are trying to create monopoly using their ways. In a way iPhone/iPod Touch has everything needed for cloud compting, but it is expensive for masses.

Brad Fregger

July 12, 2009 11:50 PM

I hate Microsoft mostly for personal reasons, however, currently, I find that I really don't have another good choice. I would love it for someone, anyone, to take them down a few notches ... but, sadly, I doesn't look like it will be Google. The problem is ... they've forgotten how to make quality products.

As one example, they're maps are a disaster. Currently, I wouldn't trust a 1.0 app from Google anymore than I would from Microsoft. I'll let the techies do their beta testing and come on board once all the bugs are out.

Kyle

July 12, 2009 11:50 PM

We can run it in virtualbox that way we can still be using those windows apps safe offline and just click into the other desktop to use googleOS. No wait MS only has one desktop, better to use Linux then and run chomeOS well no chomeOS is linux OK I ll just stay with Linux, thanks.

Okay?

July 12, 2009 11:51 PM

I'm pretty sure the writer doesn't understand how things work. Goobuntu will probably fail though.

business101

July 12, 2009 11:54 PM

You've all got it wrong. Basic business 101 - when a 300 pound gorilla in your, or a related industry, rolls out a product that directly competes with your main product, you MUST roll out a product that directly challenges THEIR main product, or they will roll over you. They can keep trying again and again while their main product keeps bringing in revenue, while you are fighting for your life. When BIC brought out disposable razors, Gillette should have brought out disposable pens.

cloud9ine

July 13, 2009 12:10 AM


What you are actually saying are 'you are all wrong' but putting it softly to the dumbasses in media out there.

Google OS is simply a base shell on which Chrome would work.

Given that even on my windows PC, almost 90% of my usage is now firefox, this would be a sensible move. Coupled with the presence of Online Google apps for pretty much everything you need to do, this is going to be a cost-reducing option for the netbooks.

leonidas

July 13, 2009 12:18 AM

" aleks
July 12, 2009 09:55 PM

I've never bothered to make the jump to Linux, because it'd just be too much work for a semi-computer nerd like me. With Google's talent for user-friendliness I'd definitely be willing to give Chrome OS a try.
"
Ha ha this is funny, your are not even close to being a semi-computer nerd, what are u talking about here?
if u could do a little bit of research about linux distros you wouldn't be embarrasing yourself with the comments u made. typical windows user.
:)

zhufei

July 13, 2009 12:35 AM

I think google is getting ready to found a new OS to face the challege to MS.

Pookie

July 13, 2009 12:48 AM

I agree with CSSteve - congratulations on "getting it". Chrome doesn't compete with Windows...it replaces it. We are beginning the age of internet everywhere. Web apps powered with AJAX, running on your browser, are computer programs of the future. On Windows, these javascript intensive apps are miserably slow. I use Salesforce - one of the most popular business applications around, but it could be much better.

Everything is moving toward Saas (software as a service).

Netbooks are selling like crazy.

You do the math.

john Dillings

July 13, 2009 12:50 AM

Google has gotten too big and powerful. They are all about taking your private data and harvesting it to sell to companies. Nothing is free, and that will be the cost of using the Chrome OS. Yuch. Count me out. I'll stick with whatever OS gives me the most privacy.

SingoStar

July 13, 2009 12:56 AM

The advantages of Chrome to the public is that it will be free. It will be installed free with no fees to the PC by PC manufacturers like Acer or Lenovo.Being a web based browser OS,it gonna avail the web and its interconnections 2 the individual user at a faster speed than non web based OS like Windows, Apple or Linux.The disadvantages of Chrome will be lack of web security to the individuals. The data on Chrome will be stored in a cloud environment where it will be transparent to the prying eyes of cyber criminals and nosy government security agencies. True, some govt. work is essential for national security but a few overzealous govt bureaucrats may step overboard and illegally snoop easier at personal data by scrutinizing and using Chrome OS.So where does the balance between Chrome and other OSes lie here? Using the Internet centric Chrome OS to store our confidential data or relying on the "old fashioned" hardware based and standalone operating systems like Windows, Apple or Linux? Time will tell.

greg

July 13, 2009 12:57 AM

They are going get their feet wet in the market and see what happens. Then they will know who the base is gonna be and what direction it need's to go.

Jamesok

July 13, 2009 01:34 AM

It's interesting that the big news last month was Microsoft launching Bing. Bing is a direct competitor to Google's core search business. Now this week Google announces chromeOS aimed in at Microsoft's core business. Microsoft shoves, Google shoves back.

Rob

July 13, 2009 02:04 AM

Microsoft is the junk-food junky that can't come clean from all the twinkies (mind numbing features that only THEY seem to think WE really want) - and produce a stripped down OS for netbooks - or any other slim device.

No matter how many regurgitations of Windows they vomit up - it will always be the same old chunk-ware trying to run on smaller platforms.

Good riddance Microsoft.

Rob

Pointer

July 13, 2009 02:36 AM

Google's primary biz model is search and any data they centrally host they would like to search through.. sort of like what they do with GMail afaik. So I think this has implications that are relevant to Google beyond just supporting Netbooks.

Nairb

July 13, 2009 02:51 AM

I think that maybe you underestimated the potential value of this type of OS to big business.

I work for a very large organisation with many internal programmers. It has been 3 years since any application has been designed in-house that was not accessed through a web browser.

Some have remote access, while others, for security reasons, can only be accessed through the LAN.

We used to use MS Word, Excel and Access. Access has now been replaced by web based apps and while excel will still be available on our desktops, 60% of its function within our organisation will be replaced by web apps by the end of 2009.

Forward Thinker

July 13, 2009 02:52 AM

When the cloud really takes off, maybe all we'll have to do is plug a monitor, keyboard, and mouse into our ISP modem, and we'll be off and running. I think we could even get rid of the PC altogether.

Mike

July 13, 2009 03:29 AM

Linux sucks. Its a pain in the ass shell system with a GUI wrapped around it.
The first thing every geek does is try to show off by typing ridiculous commands in a vain effort to make it do something you can do in windows with a few mouse clicks.
No thanks Google, I'll stick to XP or Win 7 when it comes out.

Anon

July 13, 2009 03:53 AM

Another Linux distro...I can see people eventually running windows on a VM on chrome or the other way around. MS will not lose out on much and they seem to be expanding into money making businesses in parallel as well. I'm not convinced that Google has a sustainable money making business model outside of search yet. I for one will continue to use both, just like I do now.

Ron

July 13, 2009 03:59 AM

1. "These would really be "companions" to full PCs, not replacements."
I don't believe that. You say people want a cheaper alternative than the current PCs and software (with which I agree), and then you say it is a companion to a PC. Doesn't make sense, as that result in double costs.
2. I also do not believe in people wanting to run 2 operating systems on the same machine. People want more simplicity, not more complexity.
In my opinion it is largely a question of needs: for most home users / consumers, probably Chrome wil be a very attractive option, because free, simple, and quite adequate.
Business users on the other hand will probably need more functionality than Gmail and GDocs bring. I am a fan of Google, but the functionality of Excel is just not nearly available in GDocs.

Chris

July 13, 2009 04:36 AM

GOOGLE IS GOING TO FAIL...

As long as there are people who use dial up and small bandwidth internet connection...this is not gonna work...

You need at least 1 MB internet connection to breath through this stuff.

Majority of Internet users in this world have small bandwidth internet connection...

Josh

July 13, 2009 04:58 AM

Google is a highly focused company with only ONE goal! It is to get users to use its services.

Gmail, OpenOffice, Google Map, Chrome, everything fits into its web strategy.
Android, and now light OS for Netbook.

WAVE is another strategy to move users from PC locale based to web based collaboration.

This is NOT Google vs MS, it is Google being Google, the giant sound that suck all web users to its portal.

HereAndNow

July 13, 2009 05:09 AM

HTML5, Gears, Ajax, Native Client, etc., allow developers to build web apps that look & even perform like desktop applications, but instead of being bundled with the OS or installed after the fact, they are "installed" from the net.

One positive side effect of Google releasing plans for the ChromeOS early is that desktop application developers, who have not done so already, will have time to re-implement their applications in the cloud, in time for ChromeOS's release.

It's good to see a desktop OS paradigm shift going on, much like the smartphone OS paradigm shift. The coming months/years should be VERY exciting!

Tom Violin

July 13, 2009 05:16 AM

People want an OS that "just works." The continuing broad demand for XP in the face of Vista and Windows 7 demonstrates that.

Microsoft is going in the wrong direction with their OS development. This creates a massive opening for something like the Chrome OS.

Once Microsoft pulls support for XP, they will face the largest tidal wave of backlash that has ever been seen in the history of personal computing. Google plans to be there with an alternative. And then their moment will have come.

Yacko

July 13, 2009 06:31 AM

Everybody has it wrong. This is about wireless carriers and the future. There are content consumers, 99% of PC users, who would like nothing better than to get a $100 computer, with a super simple OS (think Canon Cat or Palm OS - you don't have to remember where you saved a file), that is connected all the time, essentially on credit. This wireless carrier summer of the subsidized netbook is a dress rehearsal for LTE and WiMax and the fact that said carriers want to connect all your devices (including some you may not have thought of like appliances and your car), yes car eventually) via wireless broadband (see also MiFi router). Will consumers bite? We'll have to see, but if they do it will be a tsunami change. The other 1%, the content producers and power users and large business users, will continue to buy powerful desktops and servers and large notebooks, and it will be a small yet lucrative market that Apple will still target. It remains to be seen who else will be in it. This is about credit. The carrier model is a low down payment or free device and then a monthly installment payment plan. You thought you were paying for wireless service? If you extract the likely actual cost of service, then the money left over each month is the "interest" you pay for your subsidized device, something I would estimate at 10% per month. Not as high as the mafia or even Rent-A-Center, but it beats the shameful credit card companies. Would you not want to extend something as lucrative as that to other devices? Why remain trapped as a "phone" company? So, there are three players. Low margin hardware companies. Usury wireless carriers. And the company that provides the free OS and also gets fringe benefits from people using it (like Google search has benefits). That's what this is all about.

Kris

July 13, 2009 06:34 AM

Chrome will have good success if they allow to switch to windows OS if needed. I remember in earlier days there were applications where we can tunnel to linux files from windows OS.

Ben

July 13, 2009 06:41 AM

Great article, and the idea about having windows and Google OS as a dual boot would be a great idea.

Although what I find funny about the whole Google OS thing is again people worried about google stealing their personal information, what they do on the internet and google being able to beter target ads for you. Firstly who actually cares what you pages you have been visiting, no one will be able to track you down and stalk you because of it. Also its a good thing if google is able to target ads at you, it means you may see a product that would be beneficial to you?

Maverick

July 13, 2009 07:12 AM

ABC, you need to think outside the box. What google is trying to do is spur a movment towards interface only computing. We are entering an age where the hardware is becoming less needed. Where those high end programs you speak of will be accessable by interface hardware only. Could you imagine? The abilty to design, create, and communicate through something as simple as a pair of reading glasses, linked to a server farm by a wirless media outlet? Sure it seems far fetched, but the idea is there and this OS might be a good way to spur those advancments.

Ransome

July 13, 2009 07:22 AM

We had thin-client server back in the old days. The competition was the workstation where the user could choose the apps they wanted instead of IT. If you had a noisy landline you wanted to throw your terminal out the window.

I have been following a web log of a long distance sailor and a couple of years of his data and logs simply disappeared. He had backups but will probably not host them unless he has a bunch of spare time. Reminds me the server days when Wordperfect documents would evaporate when a burst of static hit.

And we are still left with the pipe, how expensive will the pipe get if we go to unit pricing. Verizon is probably licking their chops. We will have to pay for all the feature rich garbage that Chrome may not allow you to turn off or block. The amount of advertising is not going down.

Darkflame

July 13, 2009 07:35 AM

Its amazing how so many people are out of date with their arguments.

To all those people complaining about local storage;
You -can- store your stuff localy on almost all of Googles main survices.
Just install Gears, and the whole lot can be backed up, used ofline, and automaticaly kept in sycn.


Also, for those saying Google Docs is slow.
It really isnt, not in Chrome or other browsers with fast javascript.

(Of course, feature/interface wise you might still prefer open or ms office.)

Voice of Reason

July 13, 2009 10:32 AM

Correct, these products don't directly compete, initially. Just like word processors didn't compete directly with the typewriter, initially. Chrome will co-exist and do all the web things much better than Windows ever could. Over time, they will do more and more. Then, at some point, people won't need Windows anymore.

Sundar

July 13, 2009 11:44 AM

Google will have to ensure that the device drivers are available for all sorts of devices to be able to run on Chrome. This is one of the strengths of Windows. Otherwise users will not take lightly to their devices not running on Google.

I do not know whether microsoft can tune windows to make google running on windows difficult

kuei

July 13, 2009 11:48 AM

If google can pull this off and make it so people do not have to do constant software upgrades like you do with Microsoft i think it would be a sudden death of windows for the PC user. Once the software industry gets onboard and configures for Chrome it would be unstoppable. But realistically, this is what has held apple and linux back from getting greater market share.
I hope instead of having to run a dual boot pc that someday one software company will give me what I want at the price I want (free) without the constant upgrade headache.

Peter

July 13, 2009 11:56 AM

Good observations.

As for those who say Google is trying to collect more information, I disagree. I think Google is looking to make the Web a more powerful platform, and create new sources of revenue and reduce its dependency on ads. Google's business model is still a one trick pony and that's risky.

Add Google's Native Client to the equation, and you can see clearly where this is heading. Secure, high performance computing in the browser. O3D and Native Client together aim to provide a platform for computationally intensive graphics, like 3D modeling.

gymnos

July 13, 2009 01:17 PM

time will answer
G or M.......

All Together

July 13, 2009 02:44 PM

This is all fine and dandy until you get locked out of the cloud! I have the feeling that once it launches it will be like getting basic cable. You'll have access to the web with no applications that are useful. It's not free, you still have to pay for an ISP which are getting more and more expensive. Clear and Comcast Wimax services are $35 bucks a month with a free Netbook, but you have to sign up for two years. This does not guarantee access to cloud programs that will be provided to the users. And I suspect, they will eventually charge a fee for the usage. Wait and see. IMHO

armon

July 13, 2009 06:23 PM

i think all the talk about the post-pc age is a bunch of nonsense. are there going to be a lot of people that just want to use a computer for the internet? sure, and thats fine for them, but there are still going to be plenty of us that want a home base with storage for software apps and whatnot, and the ability to tinker with our hardware. so if pc's stopped being retailed, there would be people like me building their own anyway. ABC did bring up a good point about more people becoming consumers than creators, but a pc is not essential to create something new.
creating something new, and not just improving upon something that already exists is a very difficult thing to do in the first place. if you want to get philisophical about it, this really boils down to the overall dumbing down of society that we are experiencing.
google chrome sounds like something i would give a try, but if you dont like it, you dont have to use it, simple as that. we can already download a nice free operating system that fits on our flash drives from portableapps.com, and it has many of the same kind of apps and features that windows already offers. what google is doing is nothing "new", but it certainly presents us with an alternative to the way we currently operate our computers.

coolfx35

July 13, 2009 08:01 PM

I don't think Microsoft has to worry about Chrome OS, just like Google doesn't have to worry about Bing!. Ubuntu has to worry about Chrome OS and Yahoo! has to worry about Bing!

When XBox came out, MS just wanted to be #2. It knew it was up against the PlayStation and set its sights on Nintendo which was fighting on two fronts - against Sony and Sega.

Similarly, the Zune is there just to make sure that MS has something in that arena. MS isn't trying to take down Apple because it knows that's a losing fight.

It's not about the fight to be #1; it's about the fight to be #2. It's smaller players that are threatened when the giants venture into new waters. When MS made the Zune, it didn't threaten Apple - it threatened Creative.

Besides, MS has experience competing with Google. Last time I checked, Microsoft Office was still the industry standard.

Love to hear your views at http://www.ChromeOSchat.com Take care.

SB

July 13, 2009 08:53 PM

Much ado about nothing.

Anyone with half a brain can see that for many young people they don't want a traditional computer. They want an extension to, and facilitator of, their social life - something that is currently being filled by a cellphone that gives them a variety of ways to chat to others and access entertainment. A chrome driven netbook with built in web cam and microphone would serve the same purpose but with a bigger screen and keyboard.

That's the market Google is after, the next generation web users, not an attempt to take over tradional computing from Microsoft and Apple.

Not yet, anyway...

Rakesh Chintha

July 14, 2009 01:03 AM

Great Article!

I can hardly wait to see the Google Chrome OS in action!!

M Johnsson

July 14, 2009 03:22 AM

First criticism on Google's claim that end-users of their OS won't be bothered by viruses and malware: http://www.googleblogos.com/security/security-guru-calls-chrome-oss-security-claims-idiotic/

ARC

July 14, 2009 04:19 AM

Big brother does not have to watch. It would appear that everyone is just going to hand over all their information.

What trust people seem to have.

Look forward to a new OS though, but not giving up my private data.

Dhiraj

July 14, 2009 06:55 AM

I am waiting for google chrome OS.....

CBRaw

July 14, 2009 08:05 AM

It seems a lot of the comments and indeed bits of the article are too focused on the competitive side. Virtually every PC you by these days is loaded with Windows- indeed you are hard pushed to find one without it. But that may change soon, with Microsoft's pricing of Win7 causing a pinch in the manufactures pockets; and they may very well start looking at open source OS's- lets not forget the Dell have started shipping their netbooks with an Ubuntu and have done a great deal of work in open source.

As for the comments like 'everything else fails, windows rules'... Stick with it. I'm sure you make all of the Linux users very happy by knowing you get the line share of viruses and have to pay for all your software. And while you bumble around trying to work out why your PC doesn't work and eventually call tech support, the free forums for supporting Linux will laugh at you :)

Regardless. The key is innovation- Chrome (the browser) had good ideas, even if it may not be as popular as Mozilla (I discount IE as a web browser because Microsoft ships it to the average user- its not a choice). That has led to some real development in other browsers. That's what will separate Google from Microsoft- innovation.

Bignumone

July 14, 2009 08:57 AM

I am trying to figure out why having all my data and apps only accessible through the web is better than having it on my desktop. What is so great about "cloud computing"?
Expensive? Not really, my hard drives (which are fairly large) are all under $100.
Convenient? Not when the web is down. I would like to be able to work even when some butt-head has released the latest web attack.
Safer? Someone already pointed out that it gathers your data into a more easily identifiable server. Less anonymity, less safe. Plus, what is to stop those in control (and government) from scanning what you have if it is not disconnected from the web? Why would I like that? Google has already proven (in China) that it will cave in to government pressure to reveal "dissidents".
Better? Maybe for software producers. They can "rent" applications to you, "force" you to upgrade, and (legitimately) look for/stop piracy. And what happens when MS decides it doesn't want to support old versions? You are screwed if you have old docs and no app to open them with.

Maybe I have it all wrong, and please write an article explaining how I do. But I don't see any real advantage for me in putting all the power, control, and personal information in someone else's hands.

kyle h

July 14, 2009 09:56 AM

"Post-PC" era. LOL, wut? I hate games with s****y graphics and truth be told no "Web OS" is going to bring me more than some boring Flash game that gets old in 5 minutes. But games are only a small portion of software that doesn't run from a web browser. Amongst many things, you're never going to be able to host a server which runs your "web apps" using Google OS. Leave that to a real beefy operating system like a solid Linux distro or maybe Windoze. Google OS is like a starving third-world country inhabitant (sic: African) who can't find water but needs to update his blog very badly. I don't want to go to a website every time I want to play music or movies off my hard drive either. Although this will bring the web to a lot more people, I don't think making another noob-inducing app is what the Internet needs right now. I want to read internet material from people who are able to think, not people who picked up Google's latest s***box for under $99 so they could go on MySpace and play "Mafia Wars." Google OS is nothing worth mentioning for the rest of us. Why doesn't Google take a few more years and bring us a full featured OS that boots in under 3 seconds? One that is compatible with a lot of Windows executable files also maybe?

Vadiraj Purohit

July 14, 2009 10:13 AM

Google OS will open an entire set of needs for porting existing applications that run on Windows onto Google. First of all, Google OS should provide a powerful free antivirus. Google OS should think ahead and include system software such as popular drivers, popular applications like adobe reader, java. So that a user doesnt need to think of searching for Google OS compatible software.

SunUnited

July 14, 2009 10:55 AM

Google Chrome OS got it all right. This OS is specifically for web browsing and it is simple. Simple thing is all what what most people want.

E.g.

TV - Only for watching video.
Radio - Only listen radio.
Games - Game device.
Car - drive.

All can turn on in seconds and can be operated by non-techy people.

However
Web Browsing - ???????

You can claim Microsoft Windows OS can do all, except driving and I agree. I bet you still have TV, radio and some games console at home.

I would like to have a cheap device that I can turn it on in seconds, check my email or check weather information, then throw it on my sofa.


Stephen Beattie

July 14, 2009 11:10 AM

To my mind, Chrome OS is all about controlling the platform, whether that be an internet-enabled TV, car computer, internet tablet, netbook or full-blown PC. Doing so means that they can introduce advertising at a much lower level and create a marketplace for applications and 3rd party paid-for services (earning cash each time an app/service is bought).

I'm not convinced Chrome OS will really give us as consumers any more than what is already available, but it might make cloud computing more seamless across devices. It will interesting to see precisely how Google will monetize things and whether the trade off in ad-placement/privacy will be worth it.

Either way Google entering this space is sure to be a good thing generally.

Ahmad Hadeed

July 14, 2009 01:23 PM

Indeed you got it wrong.

Well, since it's a Linux based, am sure many applications will be available even at development stage.

People have hacked around the tight obstacles on Apple's ipod touch to get their software to work without having to install via Apple's online store, am sure it's a LOT easier to develope & install software on the opensource Google's OS! Which will be considered as a Linux distro I assume.

Intel it's self is on the way with OS/software development for netbooks at the moment, with:
"http://moblin.org/"
It runs only on Atom architecture based computers aka netbooks.

And if you think Microsoft's "cutting edge" IE as presumed is gona pose threat on Google's OS or any web browser that's SOO wrong!

Microsoft screwed up on Vista & they just screwed up in IE 8 when trying to mimic what Google did in Chrome, via separating the process of each tab for more security & stability, the result?
HUGE memory consumption & excessive CPU usage!

Microsoft's software is anything but "micro" when it comes to system requirements, new portable devices simply DO NOT have the over exaggerated requirements of Microsoft's software.

If Microsoft was ever to refine their software and make it "usable!", they would have done that long time ago!

Javatiser

July 14, 2009 02:55 PM

Google Rocks !! Mircosoft sucks sucks sucks

http://abusleem.net/blog

begger

July 14, 2009 08:44 PM

hello google, please make products like google antivirus,antispyware also google media player make some games like google motocross madness i know that all your products will be freeware.ha ha aha ahah

Harcon

July 14, 2009 10:29 PM

One thing that I find hard to understand is this... You pay for your ISP right? How about on top of paying for your ISP,you also find yourself paying for your Storage space too? Its free now, but when google or any other company suckers you into getting all your software online and forcing you to store it there what do you think will happen?

Cloud computing has its place,but if we are fool enough to put all our data online and have no choice but to store it online,we deserve what we get.

If you no longer have a hard drive,you will certainly end up with a hard bill at the end of the month. This is how the money will be made in the future of computing.

Ghost

July 16, 2009 04:49 AM

it looks like it's true. I mean Google can't create a OS that supports programs.'Cause it takes so many years for all program developers to release a Chrome version of their programs.
Also, even apple with those amazing features and so many compatible programs and so many years experience cannot hit Microsoft Windows. The biggest problem with linux is that it's not user-friendly.
After all, Microsoft is still a giant. so many people even in this page are sayin' that Microsoft sucks, but it's not like that. All of us owe Microsoft. Because if there was no PCs, we should pay so much money for macs.There wasn't a computer available at any price and any performance.

Cypher

July 20, 2009 10:48 PM

Chrome OS will eat at the smaller players like Red Hat, Ubuntu, and even MAC OS. I've been following the Chrome Browser and it chipped away at Firefox, ate up Opera and even Safari. Microsoft will get away unharmed in the short term. JMHO.

www.chromeoszone.com

student

September 7, 2009 09:14 PM

Very well thought out post, thank you very much.

I notice that in moving towards cloud, developers have potential to produce better products, as theres only one version on a server somewhere and the consumers all access it, no need to update, easier to find what works and doesn't, no need to distribute. I'd be quite happy to use a chrome os, if only once such applications become common place.

Of course, i'd still use windows, but anything i have done on chrome i could access on a windows computer, in that way, they would complement each other, one for on the move, and one at home or work. I doubt we'll ever see anything as remotely powerful as solidworks running as a web application, but you never know whats coming in the future.

I myself use google docs, and it is true that it is slow, at times unresponsive, and sometimes crashes. But then, i expect them to severely update and improve all the google apps, with special concentration on offline access.

I hope they do not offer it as a download, that could be said to be a failure of linux distro's. If they stick to selling it with netbooks, all the hardware/compatibility issues would be sorted by them, and not the consumer. No bad after taste from stuff not working.

I hope it turns out to be a fully finished, refined and polished means for me to check my emails, edit my documents, and look around the web, maybe play a game or two, be interesting to see how powerful a browser based game can be pushed to.

Overall, i'd say its a bit ahead of its time, but thats the way to be, in before the competition.

hostmyportfolio.com

September 21, 2009 05:22 PM

Thanks for a great post.

As a computer scientist (games developer), i am always keen to give new things a try and can't wait to get my hands on google ChromeOS.

The way I see this working at say ver 2.0 (2012 or so) is by integrating Googles current systems think about it, Google docs, wave, mail, maps, lattitude, chrome browser, chat etc.. There is more or less something to replace every application and most of it can CURRENTLY be achieved online.

So lets take this one stage further...

If technological advances in wifi speed and coverage can be acheived there will come a day when you can turn on ANY chrome operated PC / netbook, login with your Google ID and *BAM* there is your computer / documents / email / music / desktop / calendar etc, streamed off Google's servers.

Making any PC your PC in an instant.

This truly would change the way people view their computers. Ok, there are many barriers to break to get an OS to this stage, but with programs such as Spotify paving the way for data streaming, i really don't see why this isn't feasible in the same way that my G1 updates / syncs itself every 15 mins.

I'm going to write more about this approach on my blog so check it out: http://andy-robinson.net

Cheers!

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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