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Why Google Needs To Pull the Plug On Chrome OS 266

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the pull-tha-stringzz dept.
judeancodersfront writes "It's time for Google to realize that it is way too early to be pushing an OS that only provides a browser. If Chrome OS fails on netbooks it will just make OEMs even more hesitant to use a Linux-based OS instead of Windows. Google should instead build upon its already successful Android platform and provide a system that offers local applications."
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Why Google Needs To Pull the Plug On Chrome OS

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  • Linux (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:30AM (#32169004)

    And if you are doing a strictly web browser like computer and don't want to use Windows, why not just build a netbook or computer with pre-installed Linux?

    The most frustrating part about Linux to end users is installing it and making sure everything works and that the hardware is supported and configured properly. Computer manufacturers are more than capable of doing that for the end user, and let the end user just boot up the computer. Linux even allows you to customize it perfectly and there are already various distros designed just to be simple and provide browser and such. This also has the advantage of having even some local file storage and not being tied to any single company like Google. You can also customize the OS to receive automatic updates just like Chrome OS and make it so that the casual user doesn't need to do or worry about anything.

    That is meant strictly for people who might enjoy the simplicity of Chrome OS and just having a browser. Personally I want my desktop apps and games to work.

    -sopssa

    • by Bakkster (1529253)

      And if you are doing a strictly web browser like computer and don't want to use Windows, why not just build a netbook or computer with pre-installed Linux?

      In theory, to save all those processor cycles draining your battery, instead putting them on the cloud.

      In practice, I think you're mostly right. Although, if they can make Linux user (as in, grandma) friendly by removing the need to update via rpm and such (because your software is on the cloud, of course) they might be able to make it work. But it's going to take a lot to convince people to switch from the familiar Windows to an OS that requires an internet connection on your netbook.

  • This guy makes a lot of assumptions.

    Though it looks like Chrome will have a basic media player the dependence on the internet for applications will be too limiting for the typical user.

    So you're telling me that you know for sure I won't be able to bring up Google Docs and access my Google docs when I have no internet connection? Because right now I can do that in the Chrome Browser with Google Gears and they are working on HTML5 which is supposed to natively support this "offline" functionality. But what you're telling me is that they plan on dropping this paradigm?

    No local printing

    All I've heard is that Google Cloud Print and the proxy service for your printer plans to be bundled with Chrome OS. I've not heard whether it's opt-in, opt-out, mandatory or if -- shock of all shocks -- they figure out a way to make it work like Google Gears.

    That’s some advanced technoshit when I have to contact a server in California if I want to print a bbq recipe from a printer that is 2 feet away from me.

    Google Cloud Print aims to make printing from any online device to any printer available. Apart from what you so eloquently claim, they did not set bricking your printer as a goal. Nor did they express a desire to inhibit your ability to print on your printer from your local machine directly. If Google Cloud Print is not opt-in on Chrome OS, I will be just as critical as you but there's no indication one way or the other yet.

    Every consumer OS has a browser. Selling an OS based on the fact that it has a browser is like selling a car based on the doors. Consumers will be confused when they are told that Chrome OS is just a browser. Just a browser?

    And let the terrible analogies flow. Wrap your mind around this: what if the consumer just wants a netbook to surf the internet and do word processing? Like me and my netbook.

    Why can’t I access local files? This netbook actually does less than my cell phone?

    Is it that you can't access local files or that you can't discern between work that's being stored and cached locally versus being out on the cloud? One may claim that this simplifies the user experience. Who cares where it is? I can access it.

    A DS even lets you play local MP3 files.

    You just blew my mind. I've had a Nintendo DS for several years without this ability ... in fact, I don't even thing there's a way to store data of that size on my DS. What on earth are you talking about?

    The $300-$400 price point

    Seriously? People belly-up to pay top dollar for quality and components that come with an Apple Product and then you quibble when Google offers something at a similar price with possibly better quality and components?

    Android

    While Android could run on netbooks, all the development I've done for it is through Google developed Java libraries. It's a trimmed down version of Linux so much so that I'm not sure the full functionality of Linux could be harnessed. I personally don't think the advantages that these modifications hold for handhelds would translate well to netbooks.

    Jerkface Playhouse indeed.

    • by Raxxon (6291) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:41AM (#32169166)

      You just blew my mind. I've had a Nintendo DS for several years without this ability ... in fact, I don't even thing there's a way to store data of that size on my DS. What on earth are you talking about?

      Using one of the 3rd party cards you can store data on a MicroSD/MicroSDHC and play it back. However this is a device that's normally used for "other" things than playing music... and may/may not be legal where you are. wink,wink nudge,nudge

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sockatume (732728)

        And the DSi has a full-sized SD card slot. However my understanding is that it only supports AAC, not MP3, due to licencing.

        • by Raxxon (6291)

          Yeah, I haven't played with a DSi myself, but my understanding was that it was "locked down" as a music player.. wasn't sure if it was format limited or some goofball interface to obfuscate the data on the device so that it had to be played their way (see: iPod)

      • by CODiNE (27417)

        Using one of the 3rd party cards you can store data on a MicroSD/MicroSDHC and play it back. However this is a device that's normally used for "other" things than playing music... and may/may not be legal where you are. wink,wink nudge,nudge

        Nintendo officially [nintendo.com] supports playing music from an SD card.

    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @11:08AM (#32169536) Homepage

      Jerkface Playhouse indeed.

      Well, I for one like this new egalitarian Slashdot that will publish any random moonbat's frothy diatribe purely in order to troll us into dissecting it.

      We bite every time, but isn't that how we like it? Be honest now, would you really want to read a cogently argued article that garnered nothing but "Yup" and "Seems right" responses?

      • Agreed. This is troll bait.
      • by nomadic (141991)
        Well, I for one like this new egalitarian Slashdot that will publish any random moonbat's frothy diatribe purely in order to troll us into dissecting it.

        New?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by balbus000 (1793324)

        Be honest now, would you really want to read a cogently argued article that garnered nothing but "Yup" and "Seems right" responses?

        Yup.

      • by c (8461)

        > ... would you really want to read a cogently argued article
        > that garnered nothing but "Yup" and "Seems right" responses?

        After 20 years on the 'net, I'd be curious to see something like that just for the novelty value.

        c.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rogerborg (306625)
          >> ... would you really want to read a cogently argued article
          >> that garnered nothing but "Yup" and "Seems right" responses?

          >After 20 years on the 'net, I'd be curious to see something like that just for the novelty value.

          Pfft, surely you remember nodding along to the McCahill comp.infosystems.gopher post shredded that upstart Berners-Lee and his unpronouncable "Haitch Tee Tee Pee" nonsense?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      I still think ChromeOS needs to disappear, but I have to admit you've brought up good counter arguments. I'll still have to agree with the original point that its going to cause consumer confusion and frustration. I also realize that I'm not a normal user and probably want too many things that just aren't on the web yet ... unless someone can find me a full CAD/CAM/CNC controller solution done in HTML5 (Obviously not the target market) then I could switch my shop computer to ChromeOS and be happy.

      I realiz

      • by cynyr (703126)
        I'm not so sure, do facebook, farmville, youtube, hulu, and flash games work? if so thats about enough for a "couch tablet" getting the price down around 200-300 may be the problem though, considering you can buy whole computers for that price, but they sit on a desk, and don't have batteries.
      • No, confusion is NOT the goal. The goal is to use centrist/cloud-based apps. That's what Schmidt is all about. Sun, Novell, and what part of doing it on the data center did you not understand?

        Chrome does what it's supposed to. If you want local processing, you're using something else. Each and every distribution of Linux has its place, even if that place is the dustbin.

    • by raodin (708903)
      Regarding the Nintendo DS comment, he is referring to the DSi here, not the plain DS or DS lite. The DSi has an SD slot that can be used for photos or music, although I don't believe mp3 is a supported format.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      While Android could run on netbooks, all the development I've done for it is through Google developed Java libraries. It's a trimmed down version of Linux so much so that I'm not sure the full functionality of Linux could be harnessed. I personally don't think the advantages that these modifications hold for handhelds would translate well to netbooks.

      I think it would be a lot smarter for Google to bring out tablets/netbooks with Android than with just Chrome OS. They can sell people apps for it out of the store, which is a huge win! And it's based on Linux, so users can have their full environment. Which brings me to actually addressing your point; the Android NDK permits you to build software in the usual Linux environment, there's libc and a handful of other libraries, and you need to build anything you need; additionally, only the libaries provided i

    • by iamhassi (659463)
      "A DS even lets you play local MP3 files.....You just blew my mind. I've had a Nintendo DS for several years without this ability ... in fact, I don't even thing there's a way to store data of that size on my DS. What on earth are you talking about?"

      I was so going to moderate you up until I read that. The Nintendo MP3 Player [wikipedia.org] has been out for 4 years. Games 'n' Music [wikipedia.org] is (or was) available at Walmart [walmart.com] and still available online [codejunkies.com].

      "Seriously? People belly-up to pay top dollar for quality and components th
    • by DdJ (10790)

      You just blew my mind. I've had a Nintendo DS for several years without this ability ... in fact, I don't even thing there's a way to store data of that size on my DS. What on earth are you talking about?

      They may be talking about the DSi, which has an SD card slot and a media player. You just load the files up on the SD card and pop it in and you can play them, it's very easy and pretty nice.

      (But maybe that's not what they're talking about, since that plays AAC, not MP3. I load mine up with music from the

    • The newest DS, the XL has a standard SD card slot, for playing music from. Why you would want to do that I am not sure, as there are cheaper and superior players around but it can be done.

      This Jerkface Playhouse guy is just windows noob upset that the world he knows a tiny bit of is collapsing around him. People like that react with fear and hostility to anything new.

      I have no idea if ChromeOS will be anything more then a thought experiment, but stranger things have happened. Right now Android is outselli

    • More seriously, opinionated article is substantially underinformed and, I think, substantially underestimates what Google means by "browser based". (Whether or not you like Google's thin-client 2.0 all-your-data-are-belong-to-us strategy, you should never underestimate its sophistication).

      First, and foremost, "browser based" is not going to imply "brick unless internet connected". Google built Gears before the HTML5 local data persistence stuff was available, and has been quite clear that they will be im
    • by CODiNE (27417)

      A DS even lets you play local MP3 files.

      You just blew my mind. I've had a Nintendo DS for several years without this ability ... in fact, I don't even thing there's a way to store data of that size on my DS. What on earth are you talking about?

      It's been around since 2006 man... ANCIENT HISTORY [nintendo.com].

  • I Disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:33AM (#32169056)
    The only way we're going to get simple web "appliances" is if someone with muscle and money starts pushing them now.

    Google has the resources and the "good name" (at least for now) to make this happen. Simple, safe & secure web appliances will make the basics of e-mail, web surfing and reading common format documents cheap and easy for everyone (this includes the poorer countries of the world). Document & content creation are down the road, but for right now let's get this moving in the right direction.
    • Re:I Disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:52AM (#32169320) Homepage Journal

      We have them.
      They are called Android, WebOS, and iPhone phones. And now the iPad.

      Plus it is just a terrible idea that is crippled from the start.
      Lets take two device.
      1. Chrome OS
      and
      2. Android.

      From the end user point of view what can Chrome do that Android can not?
      I am sure that the Web Apps that run on Chrome OS will work just as well on the Android browser. Unless Google cripples Android which I do not see.
      So the Android smartbook can run all the apps that Chrome OS will
      So 1 point for each Chrome and Android.
      What about all the Android apps that are available on the market place? Well Chrome will not run them but Android will.
      So 1 point for Android and zero for Chrome OS.

      Now from a developers point of view.
      If they want to make a web app do they target Chrome OS or Android? Well no need to choose. Both work just fine. So here is a tie.
      Now suppose the developer doesn't want to run a server? He just wants to write an app. Chrome OS is out of luck but Android is just fine. Plus one for android.
      Suppose the developer wants to sell the app and not depend on advertising? Well the develper could offer subscriptions on line but it is so much easier to just sell the app. another for android.

      Suppose the developer wants the app to only work on a lan that doesn't have an internet connection? You may be able to do something with Gears but again an app is just a clean simple solution.

      A browser only OS is a limited OS.
      Any gains in ease of use will be very limited compared to what we have already gotten with smart phones.

      Chrome OS is a case of philosophy over functionality and to be honest IMHO greed. Google thinks it can make more money off of ads than it has off of apps IMHO.

      • by bhtooefr (649901)

        The thing about Chrome OS is that it has a UI more suited towards mouse+keyboard, whereas Android's UI is more suited towards fingers.

        Also, Android uses a lot more code that runs in Dalvik, so Chrome may perform (significantly, in some cases) better.

        Otherwise, yes, Android wins.

      • by WiseWeasel (92224)

        ChromeOS will never get far enough in the marketplace for developers to even consider targeting it, so it's null set all around. Consumers will obviously pick the Android tablet/netbook/whatever that can play native games over the ChromeOS one that can only play crappy Flash games. ChromeOS widely misses the mark with consumers in the first place, so it's got absolutely no chance with developers.

        • ChromeOS runs X11 on top of a Linux kernel. That means that pretty much any existing *NIX code can run on it. Android runs a Linux kernel, but with a custom display system, so code needs to be ported or written explicitly for the platform.
          • by WiseWeasel (92224)

            Ubuntu also runs the Chrome browser, if that's what you're looking for. At that point, you're talking about zero official application framework support, and all unsupported (by Google) Qt and GTK stuff. What's the point?

          • by LWATCDR (28044)

            Chrome OS doesn't allow native apps.
            That is the point.

      • Re:I Disagree (Score:4, Insightful)

        by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @11:43AM (#32170066)

        From the end user point of view what can Chrome do that Android can not?

        What can an Android device do that a PC can't? You're asking the wrong questions.

        A device that has no storage, no potential infections, no installable software ... nothing but a UI and an internet connection. It's the "toaster" of computers. The easier and safer you make them the more they will end up in every room of every home.

        They are not replacements for Android devices, iPads, etc ... nor replacements for full blown computers. Ask a parent if they want their 6 y/o using a controllable "dumb" internet terminal appliance or anything else and they'll tell you "safe and dumb as possible".

    • by fermion (181285)
      It will come down to the cost of the netbook, and the ease of use. Unix on the netbook was not a great success because MS was easily able to come in and subsidize. In addition, the cost on always on internet access on those netbooks was not negligible. WiFi is still often something that can be a profit center, and 3G and 4G is $50 a month. Someone who is buying a netbook because it is cheap is not necessarily happy with the 'hidden' costs.

      So here is the thing. A netbook can work today because of WiFi

  • Nah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:34AM (#32169080)

    Google has built an empire on having the balls to do stuff that the industry thinks it's "way too early" to do.

    The only thing that makes it too early is that no one has done it right yet.

    Google already provides web versions of office apps, RSS readers/players, photo management, email (naturally), and a ton of other things. From my understanding, online MP3 and eBook repositories are in the works that would allow you to stream that content from centralized storage.

    Essentially, they're preparing to position this thing so that 99% of what people need to do on a computer will be available on this, and since it's all web-based, you effectively get roaming desktop on any ChromeOS terminal you sit down to.

    Besides, I'm willing to bet that while Google themselves won't be making them, they will quite likely setup some ability to install 3rd party applications.

    • innovation, which is in fact nothing more than doing the "wrong" thing at the "wrong" time in a way that soon comes to be lauded as "right" in retrospect.

      • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

        innovation, which is in fact nothing more than doing the "wrong" thing at the "wrong" time in a way that soon comes to be lauded as "revolutionary" in retrospect.

        There, fixed that for ya.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968)

      Google has built an empire on having the balls to do stuff that the industry thinks it's "way too early" to do.

      Google already provides web versions of office apps, RSS readers/players, photo management, email (naturally), and a ton of other things. From my understanding, online MP3 and eBook repositories are in the works that would allow you to stream that content from centralized storage.

      Search and webmail are making Google money, and they entered those markets long after other companies had mature products already serving those needs. It looks to me like Google's success is about improving on mature markets. None of its brand new ideas has been a business success. I'm not asserting that ChromeOS won't be successful, but I think that your particular argument is almost the exact opposite of the truth.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by imgod2u (812837)

        His point was that Google has built an empire, not necessarily made money. One of the things about Google's business model is that any additional use of the internet is better for them -- whether or not they make money directly.

        Yes, youtube is just a giant money sink. But think of how many more people use the internet on how many more devices (phones, tablets, netbooks, etc.) because of it. Now think of when all those people need to find something related to a video they saw.

        The basic ad-for-money model onl

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      So tell me.
      Why is an OS that you can only use web applications on better than one that you can use web applications on and native apps on?
      Any increase in ease of use over say an Android or WebOS smartphone would be marginal at best.
      A lack of native apps and local storage would mean that the user really would need to pay for an mobile data plan in addition to the cost of their cell phone which is not cheap.
      Roaming data charges overseas are very expensive...
      I see no advantage in these limitations do you?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MBGMorden (803437)

        We've yet to see whether 3rd party native apps are allowed yet or not (my bet is that they will), but you're forgetting the advantage here: the entire desktop is setup with web-usage in mind.

        I wouldn't be surprised if even 3rd party executables were distributed in a byte-code style fashion and could download and run on any system you logged on from.

        Having a single sign on, to any ChromeOS system, where all my apps, all my bookmarks, all my media, and everything was available anywhere with a net connection,

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Except for the complete impossibility of having to deal with viruses. Ever. There literally can be no native stored code, and if somehow the running code does get infected, it's wiped on each reboot. For the user that wants those increase of ease over Android (which are significant when comparing mouse, flash, keyboard, etc) and over Desktops/Laptops (Chrome OS can boot by the time you open your laptop, meaning MUCH longer battery life by just keeping it off), not having to deal with virus's (at least, n
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by HateBreeder (656491)

        Why is an OS that you can only use web applications on better than one that you can use web applications on and native apps on?

        I think apple answered that one for you:

        because the vast majority of the consumers are absolute retards who want LESS flexibility and more simplicity. as sad as it is, for a lot of people the less choice you give them the happier they are.

    • Re:Nah (Score:4, Interesting)

      by L3370 (1421413) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @11:08AM (#32169526)
      I would argue that Google takes risks on innovation not because they "have the balls," but because they MUST do so to survive.

      Right now advertising makes up over 90 percent of all their profit. Being an innovative tech company, they understand that someone will eventually find a way to beat Google in the advertising business..or at least strongly compete. They need to take huge risks in order to find their next profit stream. If they cannot do this soon they will be taken dismantled by their competitors.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        Actually, I think Google is much smarter than the average company. Most companies tend to invest in something then struggle to find how to make money on it. Google does exactly the opposite, it's taking a profitable business model and tries to expand the scope. The more you use online services, and in particular Google services or Google-owned sites like YouTube, the more Google learns about you. That's what Google really sells, being able to target a market and hit it.

        For anyone who has worked with marketi

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by steelfood (895457)

      Besides which, Google's main source of revenue is advertisement. These are all side projects. They're meant to cause a stir in the relevant software industry, drum up some good PR, but the truth is, Google can sit on them for years and wait for them to mature into competitive products.

      I suspect some of these projects are there just provide incentive for the competition to continue to advance and progress. If Google's version catches on, it's great, but it doesn't have to. And sometime, somewhere down the li

    • by WiseWeasel (92224)

      Or, you could have that roaming webtop() on your Android device and be able to use native apps such as ported C/C++/OpenGL commercial game titles, or leverage locally stored media for playback. No sane consumer is going to pick the needlessly limited device. ChromeOS should be merged into Android for the foreseeable future. They can always strip it back out again if the market is ready at some point.

    • Google makes money through advertisements. Their entire reason for trying to create a web based OS is not because they feel HTML + Javascript + CSS is a better way to go than the other languages. They're doing it because they want to hit you with ads from the second you turn on the computer to the second you power it down.

      Check email? Ads.
      Use spreadsheet? Ads.
      Use photo editor? Ads.
      Search local filesystem? Ads.
      Play solitare? Ads.

      Sure, they're willing to give away software for free. If giving it away

  • by wesw02 (846056) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:35AM (#32169088)
    I agree with the assumption that failure of Chrome OS could be harmful to the general comfort of using Linux-Based OS's however I think substituting Android is almost as bad of an idea. Don't get me wrong, I love android, I own two android phones and have developed a few apps for the platform. I just think you should use the right tool for the right job and putting Android on netbooks doesn't fit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I feel like I'm iGodwin'ing this discussion, but it's going to happen eventually. Isn't Android on a netbook essentially the (apparently successful) idea behind the iPad? You and I may decry its applicability, but the gadget-crazed masses seem to love it. A smart-phone OS essentially delivers a web browser and just a little something extra through installation of programmable apps. This is apparently all people want from a 'netbook'. I think* Android would actually be better than iPhone OS in this regar
  • Apple section (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:37AM (#32169114) Homepage

    According to the apple section, "Netbooks are irrelevant because they are dead!!!111"

    I personally thought netbooks would have hit the mark better than they did. I should have stocked up on them whilst they were dirt cheap, low powered, and came with linux.

  • Linux? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:41AM (#32169168)

    If Chrome OS fails on netbooks it will just make OEMs even more hesitant to use a Linux-based OS instead of Windows.

    Hesitant to use a Linux-based OS? Doubtful. If Chrome OS fails, OEMs might be hesitant to use a Google-developed OS on future products but I don't think it'll impact their view of Linux-based OSes one bit. Either they're open to them or they aren't - the success or failure of Chrome won't change that. What will change is their opinion on Google's offerings. Google should hold off to make sure their foray into the OS market doesn't die before they get a chance to succeed. Unlike the web, you can't release a beta OS into the market and fix it until it works. Consumers who are buying products won't wait around for you to get it right. On the web, sure - knock yourself out. Take a few years to polish the product until you're happy and content to remove the beta tag. On people's computers, either a person is enough of a tinkerer that they'll play with their OS more than Google will or they just want their computer to work and will expect the OS to be finished (as much as can be reasonably expected) from the get-go.

    Chrome will have no impact, positive nor negative, upon anyone's opinion of Linux-based OSes. It will only impact people's opinions on Google's OS offerings.

    • The iPad is proving that people are willing to buy a limited device that doesn't run Windows and has set functionality. While on paper, I would personally prefer something like Android with an app store and additional functionality, I think there is a niche for a dedicated device.

      How many of us have friends and family members who basically live out of their browser, and don't really use any other apps? How many of these friends and family members complain about updates, security, anti-virus, spyware, etc?

      Th

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dbcad7 (771464)

      Chrome will have no impact, positive nor negative, upon anyone's opinion of Linux-based OSes

      Exactly.. Why everyone went all hilly and nilly analyzing Android and Apple OS's without addressing the main (I'll call it a point) of the article, is one of those things that make me ponder a society based on learning everything they need know from TV commercials.

  • by ciaohound (118419) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:42AM (#32169186)

    Selling an OS based on the fact that it has a browser is like selling a car based on the doors.

    Obviously he hasn't considered the Mercedes AMG gullwing. [google.com]

  • Google Native Client (Score:3, Informative)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:50AM (#32169294) Homepage Journal

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Native_Client [wikipedia.org]

    Read up on Google Native Client. Then consider they have a very secure, simple, fast OS that runs on minimal hardware. The OS is treated almost like firmware. Think about what these things have in common with each other.

    Let me know when you figure it out.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      So we're going to run native x86 code on x86 using software based fault detection ...

      Given that hardware based detection is hard enough to do right and still most OSes fuck it up from time to time, what on the Earth makes you think that going back to Windows 2/3.x style code is a good idea?

      You can call it firmware, software, or magic, doesn't change the fact that its still a severely limited OS. Calling it some other name doesn't actually change anything but the name you call it.

  • Why? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Java Pimp (98454)

    It's time for Google to realize that it is way too early to be pushing an OS that only provides a browser.

    Why? Emacs did it for text editing...

  • by lophophore (4087) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:54AM (#32169336) Homepage

    I think I will take my advice on Linux and Netbooks from an "independent .Net developer".

    NOT.

    Why was this "news" even posted? Slashdot editor fail.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew (866215)

      The best Slashdot article within the past week was someone stating that since Netbook sales exploded, but then the growth curve slowed down in June of 2009, it was all because of the iPad, which was announced in January of 2010.

      Netbooks were clearly dead as a doornail, despite not only still selling, but continuing to GROW in year-over-year sales.

      The logic of that article still hurts my brain.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      I think the "fail" part may be redundant.

      *ducks*

    • And yet, most Linux users on Slashdot expect folks to take advice on Windows and PCs from UNIX/Linux developer types...

      You were possibly joking, but just because someone is a .NET dev doesn't mean he's stupid. It doesn't even mean he doesn't use Linux. It just means he makes his money doing .NET stuff...

      • by lophophore (4087)

        I wasn't joking.

        Somebody who calls them self an "independent .Net developer" is pretty firmly in the Microsoft camp. You are right, of course -- that doesn't mean he's stupid. There are some pretty smart .Net programmers who use Linux (Miguel de Icaza, for instance...)

        However, my opinion is that many .Net programmers have drank so much of the Microsoft kool-aid that I'll not take my Linux advice from them -- nor should Google.

        The particularly appalling part of this is that this ridiculous piece from some

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @10:56AM (#32169354) Homepage

    > Google should instead build upon its already successful Android platform
    > and provide a system that offers local applications.

    Google doesn't want anyone to run local applications.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by walterbyrd (182728)

      Google would support local applications so that people who are off-line, a fair percentage of their, time can still use google products.

      If google apps offered no off-line capability at all, a lot of people would completely ignore google.

      I think that may be the basic logic behind google gears.

  • It seems to me that Chrome's *success* would have a marginal negative impact on Linux.

    It's *failure* has significance for general acceptance of Google's model.

    It's *existence* does a lot for the notion that Windows is not the only choice out there.

    Open Source does well in a marketplace where there is the perception of choice.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Outside of the browser type stuff, there would be more people switching to other OS's myself included; if developers for games wrote stuff in more then just the DX API, or there was native support for DX in 'nix.

  • Too early? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by drumcat (1659893)
    Wait, I'm to believe that a large company that is based around a user living in their browser should actually care what OEMs think? So you're telling me that Google should actually stop developing a competitive operating system because *this guy* thinks that they'd be better suited to wait 5-10 years to do something? Let's stop innovating because a nay-sayer thinks it may harm their prospects. BRILLIANT!
  • Yeah, those Google guys have a reputation for not knowing what they are up to~

    Unless you are away of Google internal goal or design, maybe you should stop using them to generate hits? you making yourself look foolish.

  • XWindow may have a place somewhere, but it seems to be poor fit for net devices.

    Let's be honest, XWindow's performance is just bloody awful. It's slow, it pixelates, it's a difficult platform for software development.

    The early 1980s architecture is not well suited to today's demands. And I doubt XWindow can be improved enough to make it worthwhile.

    • What a load of crap (Score:3, Informative)

      by Viol8 (599362)

      "Let's be honest, XWindow's performance is just bloody awful. It's slow,"

      Is it? I can run a full screen video no problems on my laptop, I can play 3D games and so forth. How exactly is it slow?

      "it's a difficult platform for software development."

      Really? I've written apps in Xlib and I never had any issues. And there are plenty of higher level libraries if you want to
      develop GUI apps. The way Xwin deals with visuals and colour is a bit archaic , but aside from that it works pretty well IMO.
      Even properly scal

      • Is it? I can run a full screen video no problems on my laptop, I can play 3D games and so forth. How exactly is it slow?

        That ... doesn't really mean much.

        I am able to use a word processor on a 286 AND on my current quad core system. I guess the speeds are the same.

        Just because you can do something functionally on your current hardware does not mean the software is well written. Horridly typical example: I can make Windows secure. That doesn't mean it's secure by design. I can make Linux unsecure. I guess Linux is a horrible operating system!

      • I have set up many systems that dual boot windows and linux, in my experience, the GUI on the linux side is always much slower.

        I found this post on the ubuntu forums, it explains some of the fundamental problems with the X11 architecture. It also cites a white paper which provide more detail.

        404error wrote on the 13 Feb 09 at 01:52
        I think that there has been a knee-jerk reaction to the original suggestion that is not necessarily founded on solid reasoning. Such a reaction is understandable, as a large, reasonably-functional piece of software should not simply be discarded without very strong motivation. And while the original post was well-intentioned, I do believe it could provide stronger arguments. While I have only modest experience programming directly in X11, I will do my best to explain why I also feel X11 should be replaced. If anyone has evidence that contradicts the following opinions, I would be most interested.

        To go directly to the point, I think that the "linux desktop" needs a small, fast, fully-featured graphical backend. This backend should provide basic drawing primitives, input device event handling, network transparency, but should not involve itself with higher-level graphical interface design (like buttons and menus). So far, I suspect that most of the above posters would agree with this notion. Here is where we diverge: I do not think that X11 is small, fast, or fully-featured. And I think that there are fundamental aspects of the X11 protocol which will prevent any implementation from working well.

        The first fundamental problem is that X11 is implemented using an asynchronous model. In other words, to raise a window one cannot simply call XMapWindow to map a window. One must call XMapWindow, which will transmit that command to the server, then one waits for the server to respond with a MapNotify event, and then one can proceed. When running over a network this potentially allows the client to send off multiple commands before waiting for the response to a single command, allowing improved performance. But when run on the local machine, this requires a great deal of round-trip communication that produces latency that causes many users to perceive X11 programs as "slow." This problem has been reduced somewhat through the use of shared memory, but still hinders performance. The asynchronous model was an excellent decision for the 1980s when most programs ran over the network. But in the current day, the backend is optimized for a use-case that is rarely used.

        Beyond performance issues, the asynchronous model is also the root cause of much of the flickering that occurs on the desktop. As widgets are moved around, the asynchronous model causes repaints to occur while the windows are still in flux resulting in flickering. The developers at QT have effectively already abandoned X11 (or at least a good part of the design) by moving all of the event handling into the QT library to circumvent this flickering (see http://labs.trolltech.com/blogs/2007/08/09/qt-invaded-by-aliens-the-end-of-all- [trolltech.com] flicker).

        A second fundamental problem with X11 is the absence of resolution independence. X11 describes all coordinates using integers that represent pixel positions. As screen sizes change and pixels become smaller (or less likely larger), then the display begins to appear pixelated. In a resolution independent scheme, all coordinates are described using floating-point values so that display is rendered correctly regardless of the screen size. Again, going with integers positions was an excellent design decision for the 1980s but is no longer an effective design. In the 1980s many of machines shipped without a math co-processor, so that floating-point operations were much much slower than integer operations and the quality of the graphical output was arguably less important. Today, virtually any modern processor has a math co-processor that can perform multiple floating-point operations per clock cycle. The difference in performance that would result from the use of integers rather than floating-point values is gone, the only thing that remains is the pixelation.

        The last main problem with X11 is the profound lack of functionality. Some of the above posters have claimed that now that X11 has compositing it has pretty much everything quartz has. To be blunt, this is very very far from the truth. Competing graphical backends (e.g., Quartz) provide much stronger support for anti-aliased drawing (not just text but lines and polygons), gradients, transforms, shadows, patterns, transparency, font selection, color spaces, and data output (to screen, PDF, or Postscript). Modern linux programs compensate for the inadequacies of the X11 protocol by performing this rendering within the toolkit. GTK uses cairo for rendering while QT uses their own engine. This works but not particularly well. Implementing such functionality in the toolkit requires a fair amount of server-client communication and makes poor use of 2D hardware acceleration. Both carry performance

        There are a number of other issues that are fundamental to the X11 protocol, which cannot simply be fixed by "enhancing" the current work. Without belaboring the point I'll simply cite a paper on the topic: http://www.std.org/~msm/common/WhyX.pdf [std.org]

        I would also like to respond to some of the points made above regarding the feasibility of such a project. Some of the posts suggest that this would require a huge amount of work because so many programs use X11. I'm not sure these fears are well-founded as actually very very few programs directly use X11. Most programs are written using GTK, QT, wxWidgets, FLTK, or some other higher-level toolkit. All of these toolkits already support multiple backends, and so support for the new graphical backend would likely just require modification of a few libraries and those miscellaneous programs that require direct use of X11 (window managers, login managers, etc). Backwards compatibility is not as hard as it would seem either. One would simply have to produce a driver for Xorg that would paint onto a drawable of the new backend rather than to the screen itself. If I'm not mistaken, this is how Apple implemented X11 without expending too much effort. The task of implementing the new backend itself is non-trivial but far from impossible. Open-source code for rendering is already available and most of the video drivers could be re-used. This is not a certainly not a one-man project, but it is achievable.

        To conclude, I think what I want is what the same as what many of the above posts also want. I want a small, fast, fully-functional, network-transparent graphical backend that implements only rendering routines and not high-level interface. I want something that can compete with Quartz. I just don't think X11 is it or ever will be it.

        http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/16346/ [ubuntu.com]

    • by MrHanky (141717)

      You don't know what you're talking about.

      What is it about people who don't know what they're talking about, that makes them talk about X11?

  • um What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @11:07AM (#32169510) Journal

    If Chrome OS fails on netbooks it will just make OEMs even more hesitant to use a Linux-based OS instead of Windows.

    OEMs are not hesitant to use a Linux-based OS on netbooks. They started off with it. The problem was that most of the target market wanted Windows. Those customers were not comfortable with the various Linux distributions being used and they couldn't run the applications they wanted. OEMs are out to make money. Windows may cut into the per unit margin, but if they sell enough units then the OEMs make up the difference in volume.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sockatume (732728)

      To continue your thought, if discomfort with the interface was the issue with Linux netbooks, then it's actually an argument in favour of Chrome OS. If it's web-based, then the "apps" and interface are already second nature to the user.

  • by adeft (1805910)
    Why does this person care what OS OEMs ship with? This is slashdot we build our own computers or at least run whatever software we want on them.
  • "Because it might hinder linux" is a pretty stupid reason for dumping the chrome OS. I don't know if you realize this or not, but the reasons for not using linux aren't limited to it not being available or known to the masses. At this point most people know what it is, and many people have tried it. I had it on my netbook pre-installed, and I installed windows 7 instead. Why? It saves me a lot of time and effort to run windows over linux. I find applications I need more quickly, never have installation issu
  • Think that Google needs to figure out why their browser constantly times out when my other two browsers don't. It's one of the reasons I would never try to use Chrome OS because if their timeout algorithm is the same as the one in the browser, such an OS could never function from my house. I realize I may have a latent connection or some other issue with my network, but for crying out loud, every OTHER time I try to browse with Chrome it says "Oops! I can't find that."

    I NEVER have this problem with IE or

    • by rreyelts (470154)

      I'm pretty sure you're running into a problem with Chrome's DNS pre-fetching interacting badly with your OS/network. You can disable it by clearing "Use DNS pre-fetching to improve page load performance" under Options->Under the Hood.

      It's bad that this feature is enabled out of this box when it results in a failure mode for some people, particularly since Chrome is still by far the fastest browser I've used even when DNS pre-fetching is disabled.

      (Disclaimer: I'm a Google employee, but I am not speaki

  • Consider that the only thing the user is intended to have access to is the browser. That doesn't mean it's the only thing running on the box. What's stopping google from making Chrome OS contain a LAMP stack, or similar, and writing more complex applications that won't fit entirely in the browser. Hmm, my sources say nothing. I've been dabbling in drupal off an on with the intent of using it as the basis for various applications which would run in a browser (obviously) on a machine which basically just runs Chromium with some nice plugins. Kind of waiting for D7 so I can get proper sqlite support so I don't need an RDBMS. The machine would also contain, among other pieces of software designed to operate in the background, UMN mapserver. If I write some simple daemon to make GPS location available to the browser then it's easy enough to use the browser for mapping (if not navigation, yet.) Google could do the same sort of thing, except probably a lot more gracefully...

  • Apple builds a crippled device (iPad) and sell 1M of them in one month.
    Why Google isn't allowed to do it too?
    Because it "would just make OEMs even more hesitant to use a Linux-based OS instead of Windows" should it fail?
    Just hope then that the "Year of Linux Netbook" isn't after the "Year of the Linux Desktop"...

  • by buback (144189) on Tuesday May 11, 2010 @11:39AM (#32170010)

    I don't know who this guy is. He might be some teenager sitting in his parents basement. There's no explanation in the post why i should care what this guy thinks. And it is just one guy; it's not like this is a link to an article about how "some study finds devs hate Chrome OS." It's just a blog post.

    Why is this on Slashdot?

  • The larger issue of network reliability is a bit Off Topic, but it is still relevant if you are going to prepare a scenario for your company to handle your customers in the best possible manner for the coming 20 years. This is even more true if you are Google. Naseem Taleb has written about such things in The Black Swan.

    Is your device completely worthless if the internet goes down, and you can't retrieve ANY data? We have had good times for electronic network reliability for 40 years, BUT...

    We have had n

  • Is there some time-line of future events that I don't know about?

    If so, please show me. I'd like to use it for gambling purposes.

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