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Google's New Operating System - Chrome OS

By anaesthetica in News
Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 03:27:59 AM EST
Tags: year of linux on the desktop, google, chrome os, chrome, netbooks, thin client, operating system (all tags)

Google has announced a new operating system: Google Chrome OS.  

It's set to ship in the second half of 2010, over a year from now.  It will be open source, free as in beer, run on x86 and ARM chips, and feature a new (non-X) windowing system.  The same spartan aesthetic of the Chrome Browser will guide the Chrome OS interface.

Just as developers complained of Steve Jobs offering them a shit sandwich when he let iPhone developers know that Safari was their SDK, so too is Google trumpeting the fact that there is no native developing environment for Chrome OS.


Google's Foray

TechRadar confidently states that "Google Chrome OS is the company's first attempt at designing an operating system for more powerful computers [in contrast to Android]."  This is an outright falsity.  Google has already developed and deployed for internal use Goobuntu, a Linux distribution based on LTS versions of Ubuntu.  It is supposedly used by up to half of Google's employees.  Chrome OS is not a full Linux distribution, despite being based on the Linux kernel, and so it is likely a different beast entirely than Goobuntu.  However, Google already has some years experience assembling the constituent pieces of an operating system.

In a way, Google is un-writing an operating system.  Just as they billed Chrome Browser as having as minimal an interface and feature set as possible, it seems they're doing the same with Chrome OS.  As Tech Crunch puts it, "What Google is doing is not recreating a new kind of OS, they're creating the best way to not need one at all."  Instead of beginning with all the common assumption about the diverse environment that an operating system must be able to support, Google seems to be starting at the end object, web apps, and building backwards only what's necessary to support that end.

Netbooks

Netbooks are an emerging class of light-weight, low power, portable computers designed for shitheads.  These machines are Google's initial target market.  Chrome OS is not targeted at smaller internet-capable devices—smart phones, PDAs, and the like.  For that, Google is remaining committed to the Android platform, a wholly separate project ostensibly.

The netbook fad may not last long enough for Google to actually ship Chrome OS.  If this OS had been released alongside Vista—which was grossly unsuitable for low power mobile computers—it might have burned through the netbook sector like wildfire.  But now it's not clear that either netbooks as a distinct hardware category or the mismatch between Microsoft's OS offerings will exist in a year's time.  Crunch Gear opines:

Netbooks are going the way of the Dodo and the race to the bottom will cause them to disappear, replaced by more powerful ultralights that will fill out the middle of the laptop market. These ultralights will be running Windows 7, not Chrome.

Fake Steve Jobs makes a similar point:

[T]he netbook market is fucking tiny and will remain so forever. According to IDC, there were 11 million netbooks sold last year, and by 2013 that figure will hit 39 million. The market for PCs and laptops will be 10 times that size – literally – at 400 million units. Smartphones will be over 300 million units. So, um, you guys at Google want to have a dog fight with Microsoft to get a few points of that market? Go have fun. Seriously. Knock yourself out. Frankly, if the entire netbook market caught fire, I wouldn't piss on it to put it out. But that's just me.

Of course, Google is not only targeting netbooks: "for people who spend most of their time on the web, [Chrome OS] is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems."  An entry on their Chrome OS FAQ lists the range of device manufacturers that Google is working with: "Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments."  While this demonstrates a pretty wide range of potential device capabilities, Dell is a gaping absence.

OEMs

Chrome OS is a piece of leverage for OEMs, although they likely do not care much about Chrome OS in itself.  Dell already offers Linux, and Walmart tried Lindows while it could.  But no one's rushing to ditch Windows, especially not with the widely anticipated Windows 7 on its way.

However, Chrome OS allows OEMs to push back on Windows pricing.  OEMs can never get rid of Windows, but each and every one has an interest in reducing the price of Windows (i.e. the 'Windows tax').  With a rival operating system built to run on the same hardware backed by a fellow multi-billion dollar corporation, OEMs can start trimming the fat off of Microsoft's margins.

Fake Steve Jobs puts it more eloquently:

The only people who are pushing for this are the hardware OEMs and ODMs and they're only doing it so they can get a bargaining chip on the Borg. They don't want to use Chrome, or Android, or Linux. They want Windows. They just don't want to pay for it. Whatever Microsoft wants to charge for Windows 7, the hardware guys want to pay less. Hang the threat of yet another OS over Ballmer's shiny head and maybe he'll bring down his prices. That, anyway, is the thinking. Happened already in netbooks when they first came out with Linux on the Anus EEEEEPC – that rang some bells up in Redmond, believe me.

It's unlikely that Microsoft will take this lying down.  Ballmer already announced a Cloud operating system which actually turned out to be Azure Services Platform.  But if Google thinks that Microsoft can't rush a shitty Cloud OS out the door within a 18 months, and then browbeat and threaten OEMs with all varieties of ills, then Google is naïve.

Netscape Google versus Microsoft

According to the New York Times,

In a recent interview, Marc Andreessen, who created the first commercial Web browser and co-founded Netscape, said Chrome itself was already well along that path.

"Chrome is basically a modern operating system," Mr. Andreessen said.

Of course, Mr. Andreessen is in an ironic position to comment on the matter, given his own past predictions for Netscape:

"The only difference technically between Netscape's Navigator browser and a traditional operating system is that Navigator will not include device drivers, Andreessen said." —PC WEEK, 6/17/1996

As we all recall, Microsoft saw Netscape as threatening its core business, the operating system.  They figured turnabout was fair play.  In response they licensed Spyglass's Mosaic code, churned out a steady stream of Internet Explorer releases until they hit the sweet spot with versions 3 and 4.  The browser wars were on, and Netscape got handled.

A Washington Post blogger astutely notes that Google's announcement might just as well be called "Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's Revenge."  Judge Jackson presided over most of United States v. Microsoft, and wrote a 'Findings of Fact' that outlined the browser as middleware, making the underlying operating system largely irrelevant to the applications running within the middleware.  Judge Jackson was removed from the case in 2001 for biased conduct.

The two titans now clash along six fronts:

  1. Search: Google vs. Bing
  2. Documents: Docs vs. Office
  3. Messaging: Gmail/Talk vs. Hotmail/MSN
  4. Mobile: Android vs. Windows Mobile
  5. Browsing: Chrome vs. Internet Explorer
  6. OS: Chrome OS vs. Windows

Following Microsoft's standard playbook, whenever a threatening project with prospects is announced by a rival corporation, Microsoft soon thereafter makes an announcement of a vaporware product that will do basically the same thing.  This inoculates against users living within the Microsoft plantation from considering leaving for the rival's product.  True to themselves, Microsoft is making a major announcement Monday.

Of course, there's already speculation about Microsoft's previously announced Gazelle browser, a browser that's designed from the ground up to act more like an operating system than a user-space application.  Clearly, a Bing OS would be a major coup for Redmond.

Finally, given the recent European Commission ruling that bundling Internet Explorer with Windows was anti-competitive, forcing Microsoft to offer Windows without a browser, one wonders if a Chrome OS offering in Europe is obviated from the get go.  Or will Google's behavior get Microsoft off the hook?

Linux Community

Obviously, the Linux community is up in arms about this announcement.  There is nothing worse than a major new free open source operating system running the Linux kernel backed by a multibillion dollar company with the willingness to take on Microsoft's core competencies.  It's hard to imagine how Linux enthusiasts can recover from such a body blow to their project.

Netbooks have been a growth area for Linux (sometimes more anticipated than actual).  Linux, starved as always for a place on the desktop, will now face a competitor in the same space at the same low low price of nothing.

Renee LeMay at CNet captures this mood of dismay almost as convincingly as a genuine Slashdot poster:

"Not another Linux distribution," they'll cry.

They'll say this because if there is one problem that the Linux and open-source community has suffered repeatedly over the past two decades, it's been fragmentation.

Now, over the past few years, some of us had begun to believe that we could see a bright light forming at the end of that confused and heterogeneous tunnel. Out of the ferocious Linux distribution wars, one contender has emerged with the seeming strength to take on the rest—at least when it comes to the Linux desktop platform.

I speak, of course, of Ubuntu.

In this context, Google's decision to create its own Linux distribution and splinter the Linux community decisively once again can only be seen as foolhardy and self-obsessive.

Instead of treading its own path, Google should have sought to leverage the stellar work already carried out by Shuttleworth and his band of merry coders and tied its horse to the Ubuntu cart.

If Google truly wants to design a new "windowing system on top of a Linux kernel," there should be nothing to stop the search giant from collaborating openly with the best in the business. I'm sure Linus Torvalds would have something strongly worded to say about Google's plans to "completely redesign" the underlying security architecture of Linux.

What a bizarre feeling of entitlement Linux enthusiasts feel.

InformationWeek's analysis holds that Microsoft will not be the big loser, rather the Linux community will be the big loser (as if they weren't already fat losers):

Chrome OS potentially strengthens Microsoft, by sowing confusion among the Linux competition.

It's hard to take this seriously, as no one in their right mind conceived of Linux as a threat to the desktop, nor did anyone characterize the Linux community as anything other than a disorganized fractious mess.  Chrome OS poses no threat to the Linux community, because they never had a chance on the desktop and they were never organized, despite Shuttleworth's millions.

Apple

Comfortably immune to any hype but their own, Steve Jobs and Tim Cook think that netbooks are embarrassingly shit products and that the people who want to buy netbooks should not be allowed to give their money to Apple.

Idiots believe that Google's move into the OS market will lead to war between Apple and Google.  This makes no sense, as Apple will never compete for commodity machines or for customers who refuse to pay for products.

The only likely outcome of Chrome OS for Apple in the short to medium term is the exit of Eric Schmidt.  Apple has three legs to its business (and one hobby): Mac, iPod, iPhone (and TV).  Schmidt already had to recuse himself from board meetings on the iPhone due to the conflict of interest concerning Android.  Now he'd have to recuse himself from board meetings on Mac topics as well.  It's unlikely he'll stay around to be a board member solely for iPod topics.  (Also shared between Apple and Google is Arthur Levinson, who will undoubtedly share the same fate as Schmidt.)

I do feel bad for Steve Jobs, who has managed to ship an OS that, version after version since 10.2, is held to be better, safer, and more beautiful than Microsoft's concurrent offering.  All of a sudden Google announces a vaporware OS that's over a year out, and bloggers are suddenly gushing about how they "never thought I'd see the day when a company made a frontal assault on Microsoft's core business."  Seriously?  Are you fucking kidding me?  OS X?  Safari?  iWork?  ::tap:: ::tap:: Hello, is this thing on?

Panopticon

Given the already egregious extent to which Google tracks and stores every piece of data that it can possibly obtain from its users, it seems wholly logical that the same level of surveillance capabilities will be built into the Chrome OS.  Advertising will increasingly to target you with ever more presumptuous accuracy.

In an article titled "Chrome OS, Huh? Will It Be Based on a Google Analytics Kernel?", an AllThingsDigital blogger writes,

The privacy implications are, of course, horrendous. And while Google will inevitably dismiss such concerns as paranoid and argue that any data the company might collect at the OS level will be used only to improve its services and benefit users, it should still give us all pause. Because when it is finally launched, Chrome OS will be yet one more deep well of consumer data to which Google will have access. …Lest we forget, Google is in the behavioral targeting business. Why would people ever use an OS developed by a company whose business is based on meticulously recording and analyzing their online behavior?

Wild Speculation

It's pretty clear that prior Google projects will play building blocks roles in the upcoming Chrome OS.

Gears will be an essential mechanism, allowing users to run web apps and manipulate locally stored information in the absence of an internet connection.

Native Client (NaCl) may be another mechanism, delivering higher performance code over the internet, in place of the relatively weak Javascript that web developers currently employ.

O3D allows web apps to access a machine's graphics card, such that "interactive 3D applications" can be built with hardware acceleration.

Google already offers a whole slew of web applications and services: Gmail, Google Reader, Google Docs, Picasa, YouTube, Google Talk, Google Wave, and so on.  In addition, it offers a framework, the Google App Engine, for third party developers to create their own web apps.  And, Google's Web Toolkit simplifies writing JavaScript front-ends for web apps.

Ars Technica speculates on the emergence of a previously rumored 'gDrive' service to provide storage and backup.

Chrome OS: 'The Cloud Operating System'

People who talk about The Cloud with authority are marketers or self-appointed internet gurus whose ignorance wildly surpasses their knowledge and who get paid by the buzzword.  Any article about Chrome OS that tries to tie it to a broader point-of-view regarding 'cloud computing' should be ignored with prejudice.

Before The Cloud was a buzzword, Oracle had invented 'thin client' as a buzzword.  Not to be outdone, Sun invented 'the network is the computer' as a buzzphrase.  Before those buzzwords, there were actually networked graphical terminals, but only graybeards in university basements used them.  There are dozens of related buzzwords that I am missing, and there will come dozens of new buzzwords to replace The Cloud.  Do not bother learning about The Cloud or thinking about Chrome OS in terms of The Cloud, because The Cloud will be gone before Chrome OS arrives, replaced by another fatuous marketing slogan.

Prospects

ZDNet asks, "Have people taken leave of their senses?"

Dispassionate and unimpressed, Dave Winer puts things in perspective:

But did any of the reporters take a quiet moment to reflect on the basic question: What Just Happened? If they had, they would have been hard-pressed to find anything actually had happened, other than a press release.

Let's be dispassionate. Before yesterday's announcement: 1. Chrome ran on Linux. 2. Linux was an operating system. 3. Linux ran on netbooks.

However, most people want XP on their netbook, not Linux. That was true yesterday and it's still true today.

Google has never made a substantial impact outside of its two core competencies: search and advertising.  Its only other major area of dominance, video hosting with YouTube, it bought.  Google's Chrome Browser did light a fire under its rivals, spurring increased efforts at increasing javascript performance and in separating tabs into their own processes.  But it has failed to achieve much more than overtaking Opera's marketshare—so, basically nothing.  It's likely that Chrome OS will have a similar effect: spurring the major operating system producers to do better.

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Poll
Google Chrome OS:
o I'm excited, this is just what I need 11%
o I'll give it a shot when it arrives 33%
o Maybe, I'm going wait until after the early adopters 11%
o Doesn't look like it will meet my needs 44%

Votes: 9
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Slashdot
o ZDNet
o Google
o announced a new operating system
o TechRadar
o Goobuntu
o Tech Crunch
o Netbooks
o Android
o Crunch Gear
o Fake Steve Jobs
o Chrome OS FAQ
o Ballmer already announced a Cloud operating system
o Azure Services Platform
o According to the New York Times
o past predictions for Netscape
o turnabout was fair play
o Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's Revenge
o Microsoft is making a major announcement Monday
o Gazelle browser
o Bing OS
o bundling Internet Explorer with Windows was anti-competitive
o competitor in the same space
o Renee LeMay at CNet captures this mood of dismay
o Informatio nWeek's analysis
o Steve Jobs and Tim Cook think that netbooks
o Idiot
o exit of Eric Schmidt
o bloggers are suddenly gushing
o same level of surveillance capabilities will be built into the Chrome OS
o Chrome OS, Huh? Will It Be Based on a Google Analytics Kernel?
o Gears
o Native Client
o O3D
o whole slew of web applications and services
o Google App Engine
o Google's Web Toolkit
o Ars Technica speculates
o Have people taken leave of their senses?
o Dave Winer puts things in perspective
o Google has never made a substantial impact
o Also by anaesthetica


Display: Sort:
Google's New Operating System - Chrome OS | 35 comments (32 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
She wore big knickers and she worked at the sewage (2.00 / 9) (#1)
by GrubbyBeardedHermit on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 04:44:37 AM EST

Got my hands down her jeans and I nearly lost half my arm.
But after ten pints, she looked quite fit,
Couldn't wait to get my hands on her flabby tits.
Slap that and ride the ripples, just got to get my gob round her greasy nipples.
Flabby arse, sweaty breasts, thirty eight chins, she was a mound of flesh.

Sweaty Betty, she eats a lot of pies,
Sweaty Betty, she's got enormous thighs,
Sweaty Betty, have you smelled her breath?
Sweaty Betty, she'd crush a man to death.

I knew that she wanted me to shag her, so I stabbed her cunt with my mutton dagger.
I couldn't believe the size of her bum,
She used to play for Wigan at the back of the scrum.
I've seen nowt like it since the day I was born,
But you know me, I'll shag owt that's warm.

Sweaty Betty, she eats a lot of chips,
Sweaty Betty, she's got massive tits,
Sweaty Betty, she's got a huge vagina,
Sweaty Betty, you'd fit a bus inside her,
She's so obscene, three tons of margarine,
She's like a lump of lard
But Sweaty Betty makes my willy hard.

GBH

why isn't it named NSA-OS?$ (none / 1) (#2)
by mirko on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 05:21:34 AM EST


--
Finally I managed to make the decision that I would work on it. - MDC
we had to huddle together - trane
A really good article on Schmidt, Google + Privacy (none / 1) (#32)
by anaesthetica on Mon Jul 13, 2009 at 12:45:00 PM EST

Lots of interesting back-and-forth between the interviewer and Schmidt on the issue of privacy, the amount of data they retain, and their values/moral position on why to retain so much data.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
Now they just need (none / 0) (#3)
by QuantumFoam on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 05:42:33 AM EST

to be able to get good video drivers and to convince Valve to port Steam to it (and maybe recompile a few games).

- Barack Obama: Because it will work this time. Honest!

and ogg frog$ (none / 1) (#4)
by jolt rush soon on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 05:48:10 AM EST


--
Subosc — free electronic music.
[ Parent ]
Do not worry, Ogg Frog -will- run on Chrome OS. (3.00 / 3) (#7)
by hugin on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 09:59:39 AM EST

MC will spend 10 years and $10000 in new hardware and software just to make sure that Ogg Frog is Chrome OS compatible.  

This is a clip that shows the Phantom makeup being applied to Michael Crawford as well as other behind-the-scenes footage as he prepares to perform on the Bob Hope Show. A must-have for any Crawford fan. Enjoy!
[ Parent ]

But what's the point of Microsoft Cloud Office (none / 0) (#5)
by Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 06:27:17 AM EST

if it doesn't only run on Internet Explorer? That's what's going to kill Chrome OS.

I would love to see competition in Chrome OS's (none / 0) (#19)
by anaesthetica on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:31:19 PM EST

browser space.  It's not technically impossible, according to Eric Schmidt:

"Microsoft is welcome to put Internet Explorer on our operating system," Mr. Schmidt said, although he conceded that "it's highly unlikely they would do it. They would have to port it and the port is not trivial...the ball is in their court."

It's just a strategic non-possibility.  Remember how quickly Microsoft dropped Internet Explorer for Mac OS X once Apple announced Safari?

In any case, Microsoft Cloud Office will obviously work best in IE, but of late they've been making their web services compatible with Firefox and Safari.  Insofar as Microsoft just wants more people to send it money on a regular basis, I'm not sure why they would prevent Mac or Linux users from buying expensive subscriptions to Microsoft software-as-a-service.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
What's this 'Cloud' business about anyway? (none / 0) (#8)
by Gruntathon on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 10:12:53 AM EST

Maybe some OS designer might take the idea seriously someday, even if the author doesn't.
__________
If they hadn't been such quality beasts (despite being so young) it would have been a nightmare - good self-starting, capable hands are your finest friend. -- Anonymous CEO
Perhaps, although an OS designer might just take (none / 0) (#20)
by anaesthetica on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:32:44 PM EST

the Internet seriously someday instead, and ignore idiotic marketing sloganeering.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
The name Chrome (none / 1) (#10)
by TDS on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 01:17:35 PM EST

Is there some sort of history here? I'm sure I remember reading something ('rebels of the empire' or summut like that) about Microsoft and a browser called Chrome that promised all sorts of innovative features that they eventually canned (this in the days when MS was still pretty much in denial about the internet; ie. before Bill's book came out). Is it a coincidence, is it the same project, or is Google needling Microsoft?

And when we die, we will die with our hands unbound. This is why we fight.
Actually you're right, I didn't remember that at (none / 1) (#11)
by anaesthetica on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 01:24:38 PM EST

HIREZ. Apparently it was supposed to be a super-browser, eventually got watered down to a plugin, and then got killed after universally negative feedback.  

Also, here as usual.

Might be worth a story in its own right.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
The book was called (none / 1) (#13)
by TDS on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 01:32:28 PM EST

Renegades of the Empire and was, by the standards of dotcom-era business story books, not bad. It tells a slightly different story to the Wikipedia entry though, IIRC (keep saying this but it was years ago that I read it) it was more of a 'skunkworks' project killed off by internal politics.

The veracity of that tale vs. the wikipedia line, I have no idea of.

And when we die, we will die with our hands unbound. This is why we fight.
[ Parent ]

As to the actual reason why it's named Chrome (3.00 / 2) (#12)
by anaesthetica on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 01:31:27 PM EST

I think it just comes from the Mozilla term for the UI bits, 'Chrome.'

Google's Chrome browser was made by a former Firefox developer, Ben Goodger.  It's likely that he just carried the term over to Google when they were designing a web browser with as minimal a UI as possible.

Or at least that's the official story.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
App-1e whore [n/t] (none / 1) (#15)
by AlwaysAnonyminated on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 06:35:32 PM EST


---------------------------------------------
Posted from my Droid 2.
I think google is just being smart (3.00 / 2) (#16)
by 5 dolla on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 07:37:52 PM EST

Microsoft's hold on the OS market is going to slip.

Before now if you wanted to run all those legacy apps you had to stick with MS. But now that virtualisation has matured it opens things up a lot. You can still run your old windows apps in a virtual box and run your choice of Windows 7, Linux, MacOS or Chrome as your host OS.

With Windows 7 offering "XP Mode" people are going to be a lot more aware of their options with virtualisation. Do you want Windows 7 with XP Mode or do you want Ubuntu with virtual box? Or Chrome with whatever virtualisation google will offer?

Next year, for the first time in a long time, people will have real choices for what OS to use. Should be interesting.

Virtualization (none / 0) (#21)
by anaesthetica on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 01:12:08 PM EST

As I recall, one of the very first presentations on Windows 7 (right after Vista was launched) was centered on virtualization technology.

It's not clear to me that a Chrome OS will have enough under the hood to support a full virtualization environment.  From what I can tell, they're going to strip out almost everything that they can, and leave only just enough to get the machine to boot up and load Chrome Browser.

I do think that virtualization is important, however, and makes minor platforms like Mac OS and Linux more viable for potential switchers.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
More on Eric Schmidt: (none / 1) (#17)
by anaesthetica on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 12:31:14 AM EST

From the Wall Street Journal:

In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Schmidt said he isn't obsessed with competing with Microsoft

From roughly 2003 to 2005, Mr. Schmidt convened regular secret meetings of a small group of executives to discuss how to best compete with Microsoft in specific product areas, an effort code-named "Canada." …He was quick to try to foil Microsoft's plans to acquire Yahoo Inc. last year, calling then-Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang to offer help fending off Microsoft's hostile takeover attempt.

A bit from that Fake Steve Jobs blog post is relevant here:

But on the anti-Microsoft angle, take it from someone who has spent the past 10 years selling a superior operating system and getting only 4 percent market share – as obsessions go, battling the Borg is waaay overrated. If you ask me, Google is getting a little nutty about the Borg and it's starting to show. They're starting to look like the new Scott McNealy. Remember him? Ran a company called Sun, which had a great little business going until McNealy became obsessed with Gates and started doing things like paying millions of dollars to buy StarOffice so he could get into that booming free software business.

Sun?  WSJ reminds us:

Mr. Schmidt, a veteran of Sun Microsystems Inc. and Novell Inc., fought bruising battles in the 1990s as the two companies couldn't match Microsoft's advantages in marketing Windows.

I wonder if that regular meeting of anti-Microsoft executives counts as an anti-competitive conspiracy in restraint of trade?

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


Is this kuro5hin? (3.00 / 2) (#18)
by sien on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 06:12:08 AM EST

Umm, isn't this site just a troll game now? What's a proper article doing here?

Writing off netbooks is a bit over zealous. 13 million sold in 2008 and the figures for 2009 are expected to be considerably higher. This means that it is possible that there will be more netbooks out there than iphones by the end of 2009.

Also, there is one area where a Linux or Chrome OS might have a chance and that is in ARM based netbooks. NVidia wants to put ultra cheap combinations of an NVidia chipset and a dual core arm. It they are cheap enough they could do OK.

sorry, mistakes get made, this one slipped thru $ (none / 0) (#22)
by anaesthetica on Fri Jul 10, 2009 at 05:02:20 PM EST


—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
Netbooks (2.33 / 3) (#27)
by localroger on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 01:51:04 PM EST

Some of us have been waiting for netbooks for over a decade.

The ridiculous extremes of computing power are finally killing the numbers game that has driven the industry since 1990 or so. Normal people are figuring out they do not need a 5 GHz 8 core supercomputer to read their email and watch YouTube videos. And while a 17 inch monitor is nice carrying one through an airport is a major PITA. And the idea of a portable computer running for more than 2 hours on a battery charge seems to have finally been rediscovered, and maybe those people who are still using Tandy Model 100's for this feature can finally upgrade.

And that is what is so great about the internet. It enables pompous blowhards to connect with other pompous blowhards in a vast circle jerk of pomposity. -- Bill Maher
[ Parent ]

LOL (none / 0) (#23)
by Ron Paul on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 12:28:12 AM EST

http://www.reddit.com/r/WTF/comments/9066v/creepiest_subreddit_after_jailbait/c0 azo9n

This [Ron Paul] Diary! has brought Kuro5hin back to life! HUZZAH


Your typical customer (1.75 / 4) (#24)
by Vladisglad on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 02:10:04 AM EST

Your typical 15-30 year old customer walks into best buy or whatever the local brick and mortar dispensary of laptops is.

Customer: Hey I need a computer and I can't afford an apple because it costs $2000 dollars and I have an expensive drug habit to sustain. I need some computer ASAP.

Salesman: Okay well we have this Dell 9400X laptop with the latest kick-ass intel technology, ultra sweet screen, and dope-ass battery life. It's just $700 dollars. Or $550 if you want to get one with Google OS.

Customer: Google OS? What?

Salesman: Well, it isn't like windows. You turn it on, enter your gmail account info and it sets it up you. Then you can do whatever you want bro.

Customer: Okay well, can I surf the web and go on facespace on it? Work on my resume and download photos from my camera?

Salesman: Yeah it does all that. It has google docs, google even backs everything up for you for free when you go online.

Customer: Wow, sweet deal. But I have have to do a lot of photoshop, don't I need windows to run it?

Salesman: There's a free version called Gimp, built for Google OS. But Adobe is starting to port a selection of it's Suite to Linux so it'll come soon.

Customer: Awesome, I'll take it. Now I have extra money to spend on my sinful vices.

And thus the sun set on Microsoft.

Google will take over the consumer computing market within a decade. OS X will becoming the business standard by releasing premium and innovative hardware/software devices piggy backing on the already free Google services.

no gimp or photoshop (none / 0) (#25)
by anaesthetica on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 11:34:35 AM EST

It's pretty clear that there's going to be very little support for anything other than a browser. i doubt that there will be other rich desktop applications, certainly not as lumberingly large and complex as the Creative Suite.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
picasa (none / 1) (#26)
by Vladisglad on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 01:35:29 PM EST

Maybe not right away. But obviously Picasa, in the least, is destined to make it to Chrome as far as desktop applications go. It's been running great on Linux for years so I'm sure they will implement all that technology to run within whatever Chrome's browser windowing system is. They'll eventually want to bundle chrome OS with real, non-netbook machines, and what'll be the point of running only gmail on modern computer?

I agree that most likely it will be a very Internet centric system but heavy duty binary applications will run along side and integrate beautifully into the environment.

[ Parent ]

more like aviary than picasa for gimp/shooping: (none / 0) (#28)
by anaesthetica on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 01:56:31 PM EST

Basic image editing on the web: Aviary.

I don't know.  I think they're pretty serious about not having an environment for desktop apps other than a browser.  Everyone keeps thinking about what Linux apps could run on it, but I'm pretty sure when they say Linux kernel + windowing + browser, that's basically just it.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
Note entirely sure (none / 0) (#33)
by dhk on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 06:25:35 AM EST

I guess a significant portion of the 15-30yrs customers will also ask for a gaming machine. Any idea in how far these guys will be served, or at least targeted, by Chrome?
- please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
[ Parent ]
In a couple of years time ... (none / 0) (#34)
by walwyn on Tue Jul 28, 2009 at 05:31:45 PM EST

... it will be obvious that running web based apps is fuxored and lame. Of course your typical consumer may learn nothing from the experiences of Twitter.
 
----
Professor Moriarty - Bugs, Sculpture, Tombs, and Stained Glass
[ Parent ]
Interesting Anil Dash article on perception of (none / 1) (#29)
by anaesthetica on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 06:52:21 PM EST

Google now that they're entering the OS market, which he calls Google's Microsoft Moment

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


Another in the same vein from Mini-Microsoft: (none / 0) (#31)
by anaesthetica on Mon Jul 13, 2009 at 12:07:02 PM EST

Rather than pulling an Apple on us anymore, Google has picked up the nasty habit of pre-announcing technology. Guys, you stole the wrong playbook. And, uh, we don't want it back.

The whole post is interesting, and tries to make the case that Microsoft has changed for the better, whereas Google's corporate culture is changing for the worse.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
Dono, netbooks seem pretty popular around here; (none / 0) (#30)
by Morally Inflexible on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 07:55:39 AM EST

in my house there are as many netbooks as laptops (if you don't count the luggables from the '90s languishing in the garage.)

I see quite a few out and about as well.  

So it happened - Schmidt is out (none / 0) (#35)
by anaesthetica on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 02:41:15 PM EST

Dr. Eric Schmidt Resigns from Apple's Board of Directors

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


Google's New Operating System - Chrome OS | 35 comments (32 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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