Google Chrome OS

The first I heard of the Google Chrome Operating System, I was at the breakfast table, eating a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats and listening to NPR with my family.  As soon as the news broke, my brother exclaimed, “Chrome is a browser, not an operating system!”

I drank my coffee and listened, but there weren’t a lot of details.

It was about noon when I booted up my laptop and checked my RSS feeds.

And it was all over the place.

From Mashable (2 stories!) to Lifehacker to PC World and C|Net, it had hit the web with wild abandon.

“Wow,” I initially thought.  Then I started to think about it some more, and I’m not sure if it’s the best idea ever.

I thought about antitrust issues, internet availability issues, and the fact that it’s another OS that is competing. 

Antitrust Issues

Google might start to face these with their entry into the OS market.  I’m not sure how this will pan out (IANAL) but I’m sure it might raise some eyebrows in the government.  However, if the OS is free (like many of Google’s products) then it might not be an issue.

Internet Availability

What if you don’t have access to the internet?  Google Docs are great, as are all the other Google apps, but if you can’t access them and your data, the computer is pretty much useless.  As far as all of your stuff being “on the cloud”… well, if you can’t access the cloud, then you can’t get any work done.  I felt this pain at my last job; I tried to do as much work as I could on the documents that were saved on the server.  I ran into issues when the server went down (about 4 or 5 times when I was there) and I couldn’t really do any work.

Another OS

Let’s face it.  You purchase a computer, are you really going to install another OS?  Well, with the exception of a few people (my geek friends will) most won’t.  I can’t help but think that Google is looking at either the Android codebase or the gOs codebase (Ubuntu).

I also can’t help but think this is going to be almost like another Linux distro, but it’s a big deal because it’s from Google.

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5 thoughts on “Google Chrome OS”

    1. Yes, that is what gears is for, but this is being touted as a full operating system, and for that, it should be functional offline. for instance, my laptop is completely functional (with the exception of updates, some widgets, and of course my browser) without the internet.

      1. Gears makes both user data and application files (e.g. HTML and Javascript) available offline. Also note Google’s experimentation with allowing native code to be executed (Native Client). What’s the difference between indefinite caching of those resources and code libraries and instillation? I’ve even noticed that in some of Google’s Apps you get a notice that says “A new version is available. _Refresh_”, which is parallel to a package manager notifying you that an update is available.

        Considering how much time a lot of people spend in their browser anyway, it makes some sense to center the user experience around it. Perhaps one of the most awful UI things today is having effectively two window managers: your window manager and your browser (tabs).

  1. Of couse, there will always be freaks who will download the OS and install it, and stay with it. But from the market point of view,I think that what they have as strategy is to sell it first with Netbooks.

    What you say is right, in a cloud based OS, it would seem you need to have access to the Internet 24/7 if you want your computer to be functional and useful.

    1. Yeah. I did that with Ubuntu.

      I agree with the netbook idea. Actually, the gOS looks pretty cool, and I might want to give it a tinker on my netbook (uh-oh… more tinkering!).

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