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Summary:

I woke up this morning to see the whole world talking about Google’s new operating system, Chrome OS, that is targeting  netbooks and desktops. I spent a big part of the morning reading many different stories and posts — and they say absolutely nothing, apart from […]

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I woke up this morning to see the whole world talking about Google’s new operating system, Chrome OS, that is targeting  netbooks and desktops. I spent a big part of the morning reading many different stories and posts — and they say absolutely nothing, apart from chunks of information from the original blog post, which is, well, a lot of words that say nothing much. Meanwhile, The New York Times has the best overview of the Chrome OS announcement, so don’t bother reading anything else for now. The guys at jkOnTheRun sum up the release of the OS succinctly when they write:

A web, or cloud, OS that puts the bulk of all user activity firmly up in the web. No heavy lifting on the user’s netbook; that will all take place up in the cloud with the Chrome OS handling it all. This is so clever on Google’s part, and could very well turn the next page on cloud computing.

Stacey is currently working on our analysis, but I was hoping to get a conversation started with our community — what do you make of this new development? Do you think Google has what it takes to beat Microsoft, or will this prove to the the equivalent of a Hollywood starlet, hot today, not tomorrow?

  1. i have not neard any mention about the impact this could have on apple. that could be significant. apple is esentially the only alternative to windows right now for the mainstream consumer. chrome powered name brand machine could finnally be another alternative and attract thoose who do not want windows and may have otherwise gotten a mac.

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    1. Considering that Apple doesn’t make affordable computers, there isn’t really a direct threat to Apple here. There’s nothing in Chrome OS that will appeal to Pros who use Macs.

      Apple’s other constituency, rich white people, also aren’t likely to jump ship simply because there’s another alternative. They could be update their Facebook status just fine on Windows, but they buy Macs for display as a status-symbol, and so they can rub elbows with other rich white people at the Genius Bar when something goes wrong.

      Unless Google creates something as iconic and exclusive (which isn’t their intention at all), and delivers a similar level of service (which Google has no experience doing), then Apple has little to worry about.

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      1. And just so we’re clear, I do understand that sometimes rich people of other races buy Macs, too. The decision to buy a Mac by (by people who don’t edit video for a living) is governed by income and vanity, not by race.

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      2. Usually Named Wednesday, July 8, 2009

        Yeah, which is why you specially said “White” in your first posting. Nice tap dance. Not.

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      3. Mike, put your hands out, drop the Accusatory Flippant White Liberal Guilt and step away from the keyboard. In your rush to dismiss Mac owners as either black-turtleneck wearing, Galois-smoking artistes or vapid status-conscious yuppies, you completely (dis)miss those of us who own them because they generally just work.
        I can start an xterm, use GCC, OpenOffice and iTunes doesn’t bitch at me about crufty DLLs when I want to listen to some music. What’s not to love ?

        I’m so tired of this “People buy Apple because it’s a status symbol” canard. I own a Mac because it works and it lasts. This is only the second Mac in 7 years I’ve owned. Compare that to the 12-16 months I’ve gotten out of various PC craptops. Macs run UNIX at their core, come with sensible system defaults and don’t require nearly the setup or post-purchase tweaking that a Windows or Linux system does. My Mac travels around in my backpack all the time, functional, yet hidden away from all those who you think I seek to impress with it. I don’t ask my stuff to impress people. I just ask it to work.

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  2. It certainly confirms Joilicloud’s business plan …

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    1. Or the company called GoodOS, which is actually a Taiwanese-backed company based in East Bay which had been trying this and working with Google to port and integrate Google services into the Web OS.

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  3. With Google Chrome OS, privacy R.I.P

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    1. I am not sure the reasoning behind your “RIP” statement.
      All the email providers ( hotmail, yahoo …… ) does have some sensitive data. So are the wireless carriers.
      Why target Google ?

      Microsoft , Yahoo , Google and telcos can mine the usage data and profile them for their business use.

      I highly doubt that all these companies will sell sensitive information ( your first name , last name DOB, SSN, address ) flat out.

      Besides , its a ground breaking effort to change the personal computing.

      In early 90’s
      I waited three minutes for my PC to boot up to the dos prompt after the clicking noise of hard drive stopped.

      In the late 1990s
      it was the same old 3 minutes boot up for Win 95 or Win98.

      In the early and late 2000’s
      It is rather five to ten minutes based on what virus software you have.

      Mac did change a bit of that, but not really ground breaking. If google can get the os to boot up with always on browser , hmm I say this will kick in the next PC operating system battle.

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  4. Even if this happens, why shouldn’t EU ask Google to ship the (Cloud)OS without bundling browser? And if it does, what will shipped product be left with? Not sure if its a good idea to give user just the web.. platform is as important atleast now.

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    1. I am with you – it is perfectly fine and legitimate to bundle your own browser but it would mean that they need to support Firefox and others in this OS as well.

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      1. The sound you just heard was the EU’s anti-trust case against Microsoft being thrown out the window.

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      2. One of these times Google will use up all of the stamps on their “get out of jail” free pass, but this may or may not be it. Will the EU treat G the same? They should, but …

        Ironic that on the same day as the Google OS was announced and Gmail went out of beta I wasted a few hours trying to figure out why the sync between Gmail contacts and the mac address book was broken.

        Irritated to find out that it had been broken for months (maybe six or more), Google didn’t acknowledge the problem and in fact continues to advertise the service as working, and that on a thread on their own support forum users had figured out the problem and posted a work around.

        The weird irony is that nobody was mad at Google in the thread – just another punch on the “G can do no wrong, get out of jail free’ punch card.

        Nobody, and I mean nobody else in the industry can get away with such shoddy practices, and they won’t forever either.

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      3. Wow, when exactly did it become perfectly fine and legitimate to bundle an OS with a browser? And I’m not even talking of a search of your hard disk being extended to cloud searches.

        I do see a eels way out. The browser is free, the OS is free, the search is free. So what am I complaining about? That we pay for everything else. Yes we all pay unwittingly for the money machine that is triggered by ad words. To catch the eel, someone will have to make a case for exploiting the monopoly in search space for well..extending it to the internet of devices.

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  5. Apple’s original concept for iPhone “web apps” failed for a reason. They’re just to limiting.

    Why would I choose a stripped down Linux that can only run web apps over a full Linux that can run web apps and a host of other useful software?

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  6. Yeah, I fell into the ‘trap’ of rushing to comment too (http://blogs.ibo.org/ibonline/2009/07/08/google-chrome-os-web-30/) and I have seen a lot of rehashed commentary since then…but…I still feel people are missing a key piece of the puzzle.

    I expect Google Chrome OS to heavily push Google Connect…or more accurately, to seamlessly and quietly implement it. It won’t necessarily be the OS that is the next big thing, it’ll be the portal capabilities.

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  7. My thought as a customer is that apps is what makes people captive with Windows. Ultimately, that’s where the issue will lie. I have a huge legacy of powerpoint slides that are worth a lot to me professionally. If I have to move that to a software that can’t handle them properly, I’m staying with Windows no matter how clunky it is.

    In other words, the OS is not enough.

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    1. I couldn’t agree more…new OSes are fine and dandy but what people really use their computers for is the applications. I believe the Google OS could be successful in non-enterprise related activities and for users that have no use for something like Office. Even as a student, it’s hard to try and use non-Windows Office products for presentation, word processing, etc. The network effects of Office alone should create a legacy platform that will sustain win-based OSes for a while. I mean, Google Docs, in it’s current form is simply a joke compared to Word, Excel, PPT.

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  8. for many people the noise is mainly generated by the “anything but MS” crowd. without having any real info the analysis are everywhere.
    You can only judge Google OS when it arrive, and it start to be used by people, concept and papers and blog post are marketing tools not technology tools, till then , it will be more like Google fans against MS fans

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    1. For sure… we are working on a post right now which is looking at various issues and are trying to make sense of it. It is a joke that this thing won’t ship till 2010. It is no less vaporware or confusing as Google Wave. I think the company needs to announce things just to keep people interested in them and not lose attention of the tech industry to Facebook, Twitter.

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      1. I totally agree Om,
        after reading few articles about the new Chrome OS, it seem like an PR answer to Ms Gazelle that got some hype yesterday for no real reason either. even though at least they had a paper associated with Gazelle.

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      2. Google’s announcement also validates Microsoft’s long standing position that the browser should be part of the OS.

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      3. Om,
        Why would shipping the new OS in 2010 make it a joke ?
        I don’t think google is announcing it to keep people interested.
        They wrote in their blog on why their products are different w.r.t to competition.
        In the past they announced new products such as picasa, gmail , Chrome and Android.
        And they were successful with their products.

        You have to take a serious look at the porting of Android on netbooks.
        This will be a big deal, and will prompt APPLE, PALM …. the likes to think in the same direction.

        Poor Microsoft has to work hard now. Bing anyone ?

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  9. For a while now I’ve heard chatter about Android running Netbooks and other lightweight PCs. Some developers think it’s a good idea, some say not so much. I’m not sure, though, why Google decided to bring this out as a Chrome-branded product and not put it firmly in the Android camp.

    As for the idea of doing everything in the cloud, it seems like yet another very logical step in that direction.

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