Google Chrome OS - the morning after still has people not getting it

Steven Hodson

If there is one thing about the tech blogosphere it is its predictability. Just as you could predict the almost breathless press that surround Google's announcement that yes they were working on an operating system, yes they were going to open source it (in other words free), and yes everyone can now get excited but you'll have to wait until next year when you buy a netbook to use the real thing.

There's gotcha number one - while you can download it (see Kim's post of where to grab a copy) it isn't going to be the real thing because the real thing is only going to be installed on the netbooks of those hardware companies that meet Google's standards.

But just as you can predict the positive spin that comes with just about every Google release you can predict just as well the next day's rapid back-peddling as the early rush of kool-aid begins to leave everyone's system. In this regard we definitely weren't let down in the slightest even though there were a few that seem to have grabbed themselves a whole new serving.

Chrome isn't about next year or even the year after that. No one in their right mind would bet on netbooks as the future of humanity. But it is about Google showing the world a new way of computing and earning the world's trust.
Google's preview of the Chrome OS was more than a product release. It was a milestone in a vision of a Web-centric world, one in which we are increasingly living. For the vast majority of my own activity, I am online, not using software. I intentionally use some applications, like Microsoft's Office suite or Adobe Photoshop, quickly, and then close them just as quickly, as to not slow down my computer's performance. Google's Chrome OS is the latest development in a vision that says our activity will be online, our data will be stored in the cloud, and applications that have traditionally been desktop software will make their way online.
Today InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy says that Google's Chrome OS will fail.

What he is missing is he's looking at the wrong field.

Google is playing a different game. Google Chrome OS is NOT about killing Microsoft or Apple.

What is it about? Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers.

See, what happens if the world goes to Microsoft's Silverlight, the way that Seesmic did this week? Google is locked out of such a world.

Google is in a war over developers with Microsoft. Google wants developers to build for the open web. Microsoft wants developers to build for Silverlight. Those messages are VERY clear coming out of both camps now.

What he is missing is he's looking at the wrong field.

Google is playing a different game. Google Chrome OS is NOT about killing Microsoft or Apple.

What is it about? Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers.

See, what happens if the world goes to Microsoft's Silverlight, the way that Seesmic did this week? Google is locked out of such a world.

Google is in a war over developers with Microsoft. Google wants developers to build for the open web. Microsoft wants developers to build for Silverlight. Those messages are VERY clear coming out of both camps now.

Here's the thing: Microsoft is well aware of the Google Revenue Equation. It also knows that Chrome OS and its price point (free) aren't in its best interests. Thus, Microsoft won't play to Google's game, leaving Google with only option: to destroy or fundamentally alter Windows. This is equivalent to gutting Microsoft and leaving it to wither away into oblivion.

Google is setting the stage for is biggest battle with Microsoft yet. The result of its Chrome OS bet will directly affect the fate of computing, the operating system, and the web.

Google is setting the stage for is biggest battle with Microsoft yet. The result of its Chrome OS bet will directly affect the fate of computing, the operating system, and the web.

The Chrome OS is here -- sort of. This week, Google was kind of enough to give the world a sneak peek at its nascent desktop operating system. And after months of speculation (and more than a few bogus screenshot galleries), I can finally say that I've seen the future... and it's not Chrome OS.
And we had to make do with web apps. I wouldn't buy such a thing, not after getting used to the Swiss-army wonderment of the iPhone.

As far as I'm concerned, the Google Chrome OS seems limiting at best, and at worst, pointless. I don't get it.

As far as I'm concerned, the Google Chrome OS seems limiting at best, and at worst, pointless. I don't get it.

At the end of the day, Chrome OS is an exciting, but not fully realized, vision. Although it has potential, the world may not be ready for a web-based netbook right now. Also, the technology needed to make the Wi-Fi only netbook useful without an internet connection isn't up to full speed either. At the end of the day, the netbook will be marginally more useful than an iPod Touch - when connected, it's amazing. Offline, not so much.
That's why Google ChromeOS, which says "do everything in the web", is so weak. Of course, there's good reasons why Google wants you to use web interfaces for everything (MOAR EYEBALLS! MOAR ADS!) but there aren't really good reasons for customers to want to do it.
The second reason, which many blogs have not stated, is that everyone knows this will fail.

ChromeOS will fail because the timing is not right. If mobile phones were still those nasty little devices that made even checking email a chore, it would have a chance.

ChromeOS will fail because the timing is not right. If mobile phones were still those nasty little devices that made even checking email a chore, it would have a chance.

Why Google Chrome OS has already won - Robert Scoble

Well, it's a new field altogether. I'm hearing a raft of new, low-cost, devices are coming that you will only need to have on the Web. For instance, I want a cookbook on my kitchen counter that just brings me cool recipes. Right now I use my big Windows 7 computer for that, or my big MacBookPro.

But what if there were a new device that costs less than $100 that JUST does cookbooks and other things I need in the kitchen? I would buy one. A Chrome OS is all that's needed for such a specialized device.

But what if there were a new device that costs less than $100 that JUST does cookbooks and other things I need in the kitchen? I would buy one. A Chrome OS is all that's needed for such a specialized device.

There are quite a few misconceptions going around about the new operating system, among them that it's aimed squarely at Microsoft's operating system hegemony. It's not. Chrome OS is targeting netbooks, not desktop and server systems.
That leaves 158,616,176 potential users for a Google product that could effectively be the cheapest computer ever mass produced.

Cheap. We're talking theoretically $150, which incidentally is cheaper than what you can buy the famed "$100 Laptop" for.

You're telling me that Google and their partner vendors don't have an incentive to move 158,616,176 $150 machines? In case you're really bad at math, that could theoretically be a $23 billion market. And that wouldn't include one single Microsoft or Apple customer, nor does it touch the dollar figure that Google makes from selling ads against those people's time online.

Cheap. We're talking theoretically $150, which incidentally is cheaper than what you can buy the famed "$100 Laptop" for.

You're telling me that Google and their partner vendors don't have an incentive to move 158,616,176 $150 machines? In case you're really bad at math, that could theoretically be a $23 billion market. And that wouldn't include one single Microsoft or Apple customer, nor does it touch the dollar figure that Google makes from selling ads against those people's time online.

That could possibly result in the largest influx of people to the Internet we have even seen in the Web's short history.

ALL CONTENT © 2008 - 2021 THE INQUISITR.