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Gmail Creator Says Chrome OS Is As Good As Dead 349

Posted by samzenpus
from the way-of-the-dodo dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Former Google employee, Gmail creator, and FriendFeed founder Paul Buchheit has come right out and said what many people are thinking (or hoping for). On his FriendFeed page, Buchheit made a post titled 'Prediction: ChromeOS will be killed next year (or "merged" with Android).' In it, he bluntly says that Google's netbook-centric Chrome OS is as good as dead. 'Yeah, I was thinking, "is this too obvious to even state?", but then I see people taking ChromeOS seriously, and Google is even shipping devices for some reason,' Buchheit writes. 'Because ChromeOS has no purpose that isn't better served by Android (perhaps with a few mods to support a non-touch display).'"
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Gmail Creator Says Chrome OS Is As Good As Dead

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  • Nothing new (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:00AM (#34572344)
    They have said that Chromeos and Android would probably converge for a year or so at least.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:23AM (#34572490)

      I think convergence between Android and ChromeOS is the most insignificant part of this.

      The most important thing to note is that people are getting fed up with the so-called "cloud". That approach has been hyped for a few years now, and while many of us realized it's a bad approach from the very start, the rest are finding this out the hard way. After so much failure and hardship, people want nothing to do with it.

      It's basically the same situation that happened with Ruby and Ruby on Rails. They were "new" and "trendy" technologies that got a lot of hype. Smart people saw that Ruby was basically Perl with a slightly more readable (but less powerful) syntax, and that Rails was nothing but yet another web development framework. A lot of non-technical people who just wanted to sell books and host conferences built up a massive hype storm. Given that this foundation was not based on merit of any sort, Ruby and Rails were never able to prove themselves as being solutions to real problems. People soon got fed up with them, and went back to proven technologies.

      People want to use real, locally-running applications that help get work done, where their data can be kept local and safe. They don't want to dick around with half-assed web "apps" that just make life miserable, and makes data retrieval damn near impossible.

      • by icebraining (1313345) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:38AM (#34572598) Homepage

        Who, exacly, is fed up with the "cloud" besides we, the average slashdotters? People are using "cloud" services more and more, like Facebook, Flickr, Gmail, etc. Companies, Universities and even public organizations are moving to Gmail and other Google services (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/three-million-businesses-have-gone.html [blogspot.com]).

        Where are this people moving from the "cloud" to locally based applications and services?

        • Ah, the ever expanding definition of "Cloud computer". FYI, the internet is not the cloud.

          People will be using the "cloud" when these and other companies start hosting on the cloud rather than self-hosting.

          And that won't happen until the cloud actually lives up to what it's advertised as. Google Apps is actually the closest. All of the others, like Amazon (You predefine your server, hard to dynamically grow (automatically)), are just the same of the likes of Rackspace... Virtual hosting.
          • by ByOhTek (1181381)

            I thought "the cloud" was "the cluster", but with a billing model based on disk/cpu[/memory] used in a given timeframe, and these values being easily dynamically allocable during a given time frame.

            • I think it depends on the level of abstraction. EC2 is similar to that, but something like Google Apps (_not_ App Engine) is cloud too, just on a higher level (application instead of disk/cpu/memory).

          • Uh, the link I posted was about 3 million business moving to Google Apps, so I don't see how is my definition any different from yours.

            Or do you mean Google App Engine, which is different from Google Apps? But even if you do, Google Apps runs on the Google cloud like any App Engine application, so I don't see the difference.

            And Amazon EC2 is cloud computing, just at a lower level of abstraction. How could you do auto scaling otherwise?

        • Where are this people moving from the "cloud" to locally based applications and services?

          While I agree with your basic premise that average people aren't sitting around raging about cloud services, I do disagree somewhat with the above. Speaking for myself, I very often choose to use the Amazon or eBay apps on my iPad rather than using the web sites. Let's face it, web sites SUCK compared to traditional applications. We tolerate it because we were drunk with the mass variety of web sites, but when you come right down to usability and responsiveness, HTML (yes, even 5) is a crude, crude, CRUDE tool.

          Using a local binary app on the iPad is just so much better than using the respective web site. Maybe we'll see better web technology in the future, but it's hard to compete with a locally running application for responsiveness.

          • by stdarg (456557)

            I feel like a lot of the apps could be implemented in html though. All you have to realize is that 100% wide clickable areas (like the lists in an android app) are just fine, even though they look weird on a monitor.

          • by icebraining (1313345) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @10:49AM (#34573350) Homepage

            But you're still relying heavily on cloud based services to host and process the data - the app is just a frontend to a webservice. I don't think it's the language the UI is written or the way you download the code the difference between the "cloud" or locally-running apps.

            In fact, moving towards cloud hosted webservices means you can have multiple UI frontends in any language and for any platform with much less porting effort.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I predict that after people get disillusioned with "the cloud", there'll be a strong push towards moving your data back onto devices you physically own.

          See, I can make predictions, too.

          • I'm not making any predictions, I'm saying people are *already* moving, and posted a link about 3 million companies which have already moved.

        • by c0lo (1497653)

          Who, exacly, is fed up with the "cloud" besides we, the average slashdotters? People are using "cloud" services more and more, like Facebook, Flickr, Gmail, etc. Companies, Universities and even public organizations are moving to Gmail and other Google services (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/three-million-businesses-have-gone.html [blogspot.com]).

          Where are this people moving from the "cloud" to locally based applications and services?

          Meaning... lotsa businesses. You think that those businesses (trying to save a buck by moving into the "cloud") are going to buy new ChromeOS-powered netbooks for their employees to continue working?

          I'm sort-of seeing the netbooks and the "cloud for businesses" as two separated market segments (and the very definition of a market segment says that what happens with the prices/sale-volumes in one won't influence what happens in others: if not so, the market segmentation is faulty).

      • by Stooshie (993666)
        I, for one, welcome our cloud-based overlords!
      • by bberens (965711)
        Meh, most people said similar things about smart phones until Apple came out with a consumer/user friendly iphone. Will Chrome-OS be the iPhone of "cloud computing" systems? IMO probably not, but I wouldn't call the idea dead just yet. I personally don't own a document processor anymore and use Google Apps exclusively. As long as they got the "offline" mode working fine with local synching I think it could be a real winner. Do I want my entire OS to be that way? Not really, but that would fit for all
      • I beg to differ (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 16, 2010 @10:13AM (#34572924)

        People want to use real, locally-running applications that help get work done, where their data can be kept local and safe. They don't want to dick around with half-assed web "apps" that just make life miserable, and makes data retrieval damn near impossible.

        I'm writing this in the safe mode of my windows laptop. Why? Because it crashes constantly. It didn't do that a week ago, it hasn't been physically damaged and it doesn't do that in the safe mode so I doubt that it is a hardware issue. Rather, some process has gone nuts and Windows can't handle it. Perhaps updater to some application I have has corrupted or began interacting poorly with my firewall or whatever... God knows. I, on the other hand, have been trying to stop all unnecessary processes from autostarting and constantly booting between safe mode and normal mode in order to find the culprit... But haven't succeeded yet. It is made more difficult by the fact that there is no way of knowing which processes are essential to the system and which are not.

        I, for one, would love to use "half-assed web apps" instead of going through the hell that is managing all the applications on your computer. You can say "Haha, it sounds like you suck" or "Haha, Windows sucks". Well, perhaps. Let's assume that I, a third year software engineering student, don't have the basic skills required to maintain the computer. Or that the world's most used OS is a horrible piece of crap. Even if either of those is true, it's also a symptom of the underlying problem: Computers have became so complex that even if it is possible to understand everything that you desktop is doing at any given time, it's a shitload of work and there are very few people who really do understand that all (No, I don't believe that all Linux users do, even if they technically could). That being the case, there are rather obvious benefits for Joe Average (or even tech savvier people) for not having to deal with it. Oh, just think of the web apps: Little more than a group of bookmarks. No registry entries, no hidden processes... What you see is what you get. The things can be clearly divided to two categories: Simple things on your end, and the the cloud, details of which won't bother you. (IE: The original meaning of the cloud)

        Sure, there are some problems but I don't know if they're all that serious. At least not for everyone. It's a rare condition that I don't have internet access. It's a lot more common condition that I have other minor computer woes. The problems with the cloud are different than the ones without it, but it's a stretch to call them greater and a massive stretch to say that people specifically want the old/current way. Also, your point about difficult data retrieval baffles me... I would say 9 times out of ten, the data in the datacenters, is better backed up, is less likely to get lost/stolen/etc. If you refer to a situation where you permanently deleted something and a regular hard drive would still let you recover it but you can't do it through the cloud apps... That's a feature that hasn't been implemented in cloud apps but not an inherent problem with the cloud.

      • its just a matter of reliability and speed. there is going to be a time when internet will be completely ubiquitous, high speed all over, and have an insignificant downtime percentage. as we move toward that ideal state, web apps will continue to inch toward 'good enough' for most people. the fact is that people won't need this powerful machines, they just need fast, always-there network access. what is it that you think can't be done over the internet? and please don't list research and other fringe cases.

      • How can people be fed up with 'the cloud' when most people don't even know what it is? You really think those MS commercials are enough to make people understand what the cloud does?

        Like most techies you're completely focusing on the wrong thing. Most people don't care about clouds, rails, ruby, or any other tool. They care about solved problems. They care about storing their pictures in a way that they can access them from anywhere and never lose them. If it's the cloud and RoR that makes this happen

    • Random question:
      What's the abbreviation for Google Chrome? There's IE and FF and SM and O10, but I'm typing on the non-google chromium right now, and can't think of a convenient abbreviation. Cr2O3 is the chemical formula but unwieldy. Maybe CrO or CR.

      • What's the abbreviation for Google Chrome?

        Maybe I'm oversimplifying the problem, but GC seems to jump out...

        • >>>GC seems to jump out...

          And of course Mozilla Firefox would be MF or Mo-Fo. Thanks! :-D I'll stick with CR for chromium (not google)(spits).

    • What a way to start the morning then with a crazy sensationalist headline. A guy that used to work at Google tweeted that in his opinion it's silly for Google to be working on 2 OSs. But then the anonymous reader that submitted this turns this into some kind of doomsday prediction from the Google Gods or whatever.

      (The bold text is the AC putting words into Paul Buchheit's mouth)

      Former Google employee, Gmail creator, and FriendFeed founder Paul Buchheit has come right out and said what many people are thi

  • by Tx (96709)

    With ChromeOS, us First Post trolls will always win!

  • My prediction (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:10AM (#34572396)

    Whatever the heck ChromeOS is (never heard of it), I can tell you one thing for sure: this guy Paul Buchheit might be right, but he sounds more like he has an axe to grind with the ChromeOS team than anything else.

    • by diegocg (1680514)

      ChromeOS is basically a Linux distro that only has a browser. The Chrome browser is the desktop shell, it can't be minimized and it has a small systray with battery and network icons instead of maximize/minimize buttons. And that's it (really).

      I agree with the guy from TFA, ChromeOS is not interesting because...well, the average Linux distro can also browse the web and nobody is adopting it massively because of that. IMO ChromeOS is only getting attention because people believes that everything that comes f

      • IMO ChromeOS is only getting attention because people believes that everything that comes from Google is cool. But when I tried [hexxeh.net] ChromeOS, I experience the same sensation I had when I tried Wave.

        Same here. I even compiled it after trying the hexxeh binary in the hope that hexxeh had somehow disable the cool part of chromeos.

        I really like all of google's products and really wish I could afford an android phone, but the chromeos is very disapointing.

        I prefer jolicloud if I need to live in a cloud.

        That said, I can see this being useful in setting where everything is internet based apps (like a library or kiosk.) I imagine the hardware requirements would be real low.

    • If you have never heard of it, what good is your prediction? Personally I think he's right, but I dont see any axe grinding -- He, like many, believes Android to be far superior to ChromeOS, which it really is. Google was recently put on the spot for why they are developing two different operating systems, and to have a former Google employee speaking frankly about which he thinks is better doesn't seem much like axe grinding. Anyways, if you have never heard of a product, next time maybe you should, you

      • by bberens (965711)
        Meh, when the iPhone 1 came out there were plenty of devices which were technically superior. I doubt Google can pull it off on consumer devices because that's not their forte, but anything is possible.
    • You don't come here often, do you? "chromeos site:slashdot.org" -> 709 results.

  • by gilesjuk (604902) <.giles.jones. .at. .zen.co.uk.> on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:10AM (#34572400)

    The problem with ChromeOS is it is trying to solve a problem them doesn't exist. Why upload data into the cloud if you don't need to share it or have access to it on the move?
    You don't want to need to upload all your data to the cloud before you can do anything with it.

    Cloud computing makes sense for people who want to rent computer processing power on an adhoc basis to solve computational problems.

    Computing needs to gradually move to new technologies, it rarely makes huge leaps. ChromeOS would be better being a full Linux desktop for now with cloud services instead of being fully cloud based.

    • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:16AM (#34572442)

      Why upload data into the cloud if you don't need to share it or have access to it on the move?

      1) so you can look hip and tell your friends you work "in the cloud"
      2) because you generously want to share all your data with Google, so they can turn around and sell it for beaucoup bucks to marketers and get rich on your back

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by contrapunctus (907549)
        3) so you never have to worry about backing up data
        • by Zocalo (252965) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:34AM (#34572580) Homepage
          Meh. REAL men these days just upload a torrent of their encrypted data to the Pirate Bay with the description "WikiLeaks insurance file" and wait for a few other people to start seeding.
        • Personally I think the backup thing is a red herring in the consumer market. How hard is it to plug a USB hard drive in and use Time Machine/Windows Backup? It's a little more complicated in Linux, but not much and anyone with the technical chops to get Linux working in the first place can almost certainly handle it. Since Windows 7 (maybe Vista? I dunno, never used Vista seriously) and OSX 10.5 backups on the two major consumer OSes are incredibly easy. Granted, if you are hit by some major natural di

          • by Pharmboy (216950)

            It's a little more complicated in Linux

            On the server side, I would argue that Linux it is easier. I'm not an "expert" although I have used Linux for years, and I remote backup data with a script that simply tars, gzips, and sftp's the data securely using 'expect'. Including rotating a couple dozen backups, it is a few dozen lines of script, and since it is sftp, it is encrypted on the journey. Not for rookies, granted, but it is simple and easy and doesn't require THAT much to figure out and doesn't req

      • 3) So you can trust other people with managing your backups.
        4) So when the government or a corporation decides you are in violation of the law or ToS, they can take you offline and deny you access to your own data without due process.

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:27AM (#34572508)

      Even if it were a problem, it's a problem they've solved on all the other OSes, because you can access the same Google apps on those. Investing in a ChromeOS machine provides you a set of advantages that are all present on lots of other machines, with none of those machines' other benefits. It'll have to sell on simplicity itself and a low device cost if it's to really work as a product.

      • with none of those machines' other benefits

        Also with none of those machines' drawbacks. You don't have to worry about compatibility issues, memory issues, hard drive space, hard drive crashes, backups, etc...

        It'll have to sell on simplicity itself and a low device cost if it's to really work as a product

        Uhh, that's exactly what they're doing. You plug it in, turn it on, it boots up instantly, and you go. And since it doesn't rely on all the extra hardware garbage that encumbers other computers, it's
        • by Sockatume (732728)

          I'm sure the market's there, I'm just not sure that the people who would benefit from this device understand the cloud computing metaphor, and I worry that they won't be able to put a big enough price gap between ChromeOS and Windows 7 Starter netbooks.

    • by AHuxley (892839) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:34AM (#34572578) Homepage Journal
      The problem with ChromeOS is it is trying to solve a problem them doesn't exist.
      The problem that exists is your Mac, Windows or Linux box gives you the ability to 'change' to some clean state when you quit your browser.
      Google wants to track you from power up to shutdown and Chrome is the first good attempt in that direction.
      ChromeOS is like a browser that never gets its cookies cleaned and reverts to a cookie safe hardware state on booting.
      A huge leap in tracking your habits.
    • by slim (1652)

      The problem with ChromeOS is it is trying to solve a problem them doesn't exist.

      The problem that exists is that a fat OS with local apps is a bugger to maintain and keep up to date. Conceptually at least, the beauty of something like Chrome is that the footprint of what needs to ever be updated can be much, much smaller -- and hence, hopefully, need updating less frequently. Everything else is maintained remotely, so the user doesn't have to worry about it.

      Application software upgrades "just happen" without the user having to do anything. (How many times have you performed a GMail upgr

    • Why upload data into the cloud if you don't need to share it or have access to it on the move?

      So perhaps the target market for ChromeOS devices, when they actually hit the market, will be people who need to share data and have access to it on the move?

      I'd see it as a product for the corporate market, where keeping central control of all your users data, banishing CDs and memory sticks and preventing the serfs from installing games and fart apps on their devices would be a selling point. Someone leaves their ChromePad on a train? No worries - just lock their account and check the log to see if anyb

  • ...maybe no. Surely the point is that Chrome OS allows Google and other devs to push the boundaries of what functionality can be contained within a web browser i.e. Chrome. If they can demonstrate that hey, you can do facetube/music/pics etc quite happily within a browser then a Google user could get a very similar experience across multiple devices with the same access to their data.
    I'd see the natural home of Chrome OS as more on embedded devices - TVs, etc - rather than anything else.
    • by dzfoo (772245)

      >> Surely the point is that Chrome OS allows Google and other devs to push the boundaries of what functionality can be contained within a web browser i.e. Chrome.

      But is that a real problem? If the same functionality already exists in native applications on various platforms, is it really novel and does it matter that it can be "contained within a web browser"?

      >> If they can demonstrate that hey, you can do facetube/music/pics etc quite happily within a browser then a Google user could get a ver

  • With the ARM notebooks coming, and the fact that it' is rumored to support virtual machines, the cloud, and many other features, ChromeOS is far from dead. As soon as the ARM based notebooks are powerful enough, and the cost is in the $200-300 range, I'll buy one.

    And I predict many others will buy it as well. Saying ChromeOS is dead is like saying Kindle is dead because of the Ipad.

    • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt.gmail@com> on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:22AM (#34572488) Homepage

      Virtual Machines? I think you're thinking of "Chromoting" which I believe is a remote desktop-type feature.

      I tried an HTML5 VNC client and it was as slow as molasses, though that's not a surprise because even on desktops I have found VNC to be slow. Hopefully Chrome Remoting will offer better performance.

      • Virtual Machines? I think you're thinking of "Chromoting" which I believe is a remote desktop-type feature.

        "Chromoting" is not a word and should never become a word.

        What the GP was thinking of was using a network device running a thin client. While I don't agree with consumers willfully moving their personal data to the cloud, I can see a very good case for it in enterprise computing using a private "cloud".

        Of course I remember the days when we casually talked about running our multiuser OS on one or mor

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:29AM (#34572526) Homepage Journal

      With the ARM notebooks coming, and the fact that it' is rumored to support virtual machines, the cloud, and many other features, ChromeOS is far from dead. As soon as the ARM based notebooks are powerful enough, and the cost is in the $200-300 range, I'll buy one.

      Please explain why you would want an ARM net/notebook running ChromeOS over an ARM net/notebook running Android and able to do everything ChromeOS can do and then some.

    • by mrjatsun (543322)

      I would much rather have a Ubuntu based ARM netbook than a ChromeOS one. Just because an ARM netbook may be interesting.. Doesn't mean ChromeOS is.

  • by Third Position (1725934) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @09:19AM (#34572460)

    Based on my experience, Chrome is a solution in search of a problem. I've had it running in a VM on my laptop. Seriously, if you're going to be springing for a low end notebook anyway, there's not much of a cost advantage to buying a ChromeOS machine and one that can run a full-featured OS. This might have made sense a few years ago when prices were higher, but a quick look around tells me I can get a refurbed notebook for around $200 that'll run Windows or Linux adequately to do anything Chrome does, and quite a bit more besides.

    As a business tool, it's all but useless. Google provides no mechanism for installing even standard Linux VPN software which most companies provide for their remote employees. Or any other software, for that matter. Also, no company with a brain in their head is going to allow employees to be storing internal data on another company's servers. This might be a little more useful if a company could customize it to use internal servers rather than Google's, but as far as I've been able to tell, that option just doesn't exist.

    As a striped down Linux distro, it isn't bad, but the lack of a mechanism for loading 3rd party software negates even that benefit. So you have to ask - who would use this, and why? There isn't even a cost advantage for the software. You can download a standard Linux distro that has all the features of Chrome, and a wealth of standard productivity tools to boot for the same price as Chrome - free.

    • by timepilot (116247)

      People keep saying this kind of thing. I remember predictions of the failure of the ipod too. And Ken Olsen from DEC said in 1977 "there is no reason for any individual to have a computer at his home."

      Smart companies are going to dig into this kind of r&d to help meet the needs that we can't predict from where we are. If all a company does is make things that are obviously necessary or immediate successes, then we don't really make much progress.

    • This might be a little more useful if a company could customize it to use internal servers rather than Google's, but as far as I've been able to tell, that option just doesn't exist.

      Ever heard of Google Apps? [google.com]

      • Addendum: I'm pretty sure there are packages that allow you to use your own servers, though everything I see there implies it's on Google's servers. :/
    • by DrXym (126579)
      While I consider ChromeOS to be pretty redundant as a separate entity to Android it did have support to write native code, or at least apps which thought they were running natively. The native client SDK contains a toolchain to compile C/C++ apps into LLVM bytecode. That might be sufficient to write a user land combination VPN / web proxy / SOCKS server that the browser & apps could be configured to use. Chrome is also a browser so corporates could point it at any web applications they used internally o
  • He's right. But Google haven't spent 2 years and millions of dollars in a dead project just for fun.

    Chrome was announced 2 years ago, when the tablet market was just a speculation, even the iPad was just a rumor at that time. But now, after millions iPads sold and the rise of competitor's tablets struggling for this new market, the netbooks -- the real Chrome OS target -- became irrelevant, or predicted to be dead in a 2-3 years from now.

    The advent of the tablets killed the netbooks. So there will be no pla

    • by Toe, The (545098)

      But for what it is worth, iPads are still crushing the competition, even in corporate IT [slashdot.org].

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      The advent of the tablets killed the netbooks.

      So with hundreds of millions of netbooks around the world and a few million iPads, and that means the netbook market is dead? Wow.

      I'd certainly say it's probably saturated at this point, but netbooks have big advantages over tablets (most obviously a keyboard), as well as some disadvantages. I can't see myself replacing my netbook with a tablet any time soon.

  • ChromeOS if far from dead, but probably a bit ahead of its time. Soon everything will be in the cloud. Already services like Spotify and Netflix are taking over from DVD's and MP3's and as soon as web applications get a bit better we will be using those in the cloud as well. Just imagine no more updates you log on and you will always be using the latest version. The chromeOS will be very light and less prone to bugs and the days of having to spend time to fix your system will be over giving you more time to
  • ChromeOS is Google's Kin. It might have seemed like a good idea on its own, but it's sharing the nest with a more viable and more successful sibling. It should have died a long time ago or become part of whatever tablet / netbook profile Google are coming up with for Android. I can't think of many reasons that the chrome app couldn't be running over Android when all is said and down and the Native Client (which is LLVM + APIs) could come too and would probably complement the existing Dalvik framework.
  • That ChromeOS is not necessarily going on to the brightest of futures; but that it serves a number of valuable purposes to Google:

    1. Serious 'dogfooding': Google's business is pushing 'web' and 'webapps' and whatnot, both to sell adsense impressions and to steal MS's lunch money to keep them from subsidizing their search arm until it becomes a real threat. Building an OS around this exclusively allows them to bundle in a few neat features(widespread single sign on without a corporate IT team, some intere
  • by limaxray (1292094) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @10:30AM (#34573116) Homepage
    ChromeOS isn't targeted to the average /.er - it's targeted to the average computer user. You know, the ones that call you to come fix their computer because they click yes to every question that pops up while surfing the interwebs? Most people really only need the internet and have no use for native apps - or at least really shouldn't be installing native apps. Honestly, I would recommend a product like ChromeOS to at least 3/4 of the non-techy people I know as I don't think a full-blown OS suits their use case well.

    Secondly, saying ChromeOS and Android fit the same market is really, really dumb and misses the point completely. One is intended for the touchscreen only, while the other is geared for the traditional mouse and keyboard. These are significantly different UI approaches, targeting significantly different markets, and require more than just simple patching and hacking to go from one to the other. Even patching the OS's UI elements leaves all of the 3rd party applications with a disarray of usability between types of UI. Just look at Windows on the tablet as an example.

    It's strange that no one seems to complain about Apple using iOS on its mobile devices, while using OS X on its computers, or that Microsoft uses Windows 7 on the computer and Windows Phone 7 on mobile devices. Instead, this is clearly the preferred approach. Yeah, Google is going the opposite direction, but I think it still applies - you are going between two radically different use cases and trying to go with a one-size-fits-all approach usually yields a one-size-sucks-for-all result. Granted, I'm sure we'll see a gradual merging of the code bases between ChromeOS and Android, but for either to remain a usable product, they need to be tailored for their specific uses.
  • by tgibbs (83782) on Thursday December 16, 2010 @11:41AM (#34574104)

    So another article on Slashdot from techies confidently asserting that a new product will be a failure. Considering the record of similar attacks on iPod, iPhone, and iPad, this strikes me as the best evidence that it will succeed. Of course, the open system purists are inevitably up in arms over anything that is not general purpose or completely open to customization, and seem innately unable to comprehend just how small is the market segment for which this is a significant consideration.

    So let's look at why it might succeed:

    1. Cheap. It should work very well on very low end processors that chug when loaded down with a general purpose OS trying to multitask multiple applications. Power applications will run in the cloud. This could well become the dominant platform for the 3rd world as internet connectivity continues to rise.

    2. Secure. I commonly have people coming to me complaining about their computer being "slow," and when I look it over, I find that it has been colonized by viruses and spyware. There is a large group of people who just want to browse the web, and don't feel like they should need to be computer security experts to keep their systems running smoothly. These may also be favored by businesses that don't want to deal with the potential security leaks due to people installing unapproved software on their PCs

    3. Uniform. Every ChromeOS platform will be running essentially the same software, based upon the same browser. A company that delivers services through this platform will be relieved of a lot of support headaches arising from differences in user hardware or the presence of "nonstandard" software (see 2)

HELP!!!! I'm being held prisoner in /usr/games/lib!

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