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Pixel Picture Clearer? Google Ports Office-Substitute To Chrome OS, Browser 158

Posted by Soulskill
from the suite-port,-man dept.
CWmike writes "Google confirmed on Tuesday that it has ported part of QuickOffice to a technology baked into Chrome OS and the company's Chrome browser. The popular iOS and Android app substitute for Microsoft Office that Google acquired last year will run using 'Native Client,' a technology that lets developers turn applications written in C and C++ — originally intended to run in, say, Windows. With that it will execute entirely within a browser, specifically Google's own Chrome. Google claims that Native Client code runs almost as fast inside the browser as the original did outside. QuickOffice viewers come bundled with the $1,300 Chrome OS-based Chromebook Pixel notebook, and Google will add editing functionality in the next two to three months. Does this all make the Pixel make more sense?"
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Pixel Picture Clearer? Google Ports Office-Substitute To Chrome OS, Browser

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @11:12PM (#43021179)
    No.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Qwavel (733416)

      Agreed, but what does this have to do with the Pixel??

      I can see this as a story about MS vs. Google, or about Google's Native Client technology - which, incidentally, is supported by the Chrome browser. It is not - as this story seems to suggest - limited to ChromeOS or the Pixel.

      • But when you see that Google intends Pixel+ChromeOS to be more than a toy. If Office, why not, say, GIMP or some audio/video editing software? *That* plus the 1TB-for-3-years - suddenly Pixel+ChromeOS makes a little bit more sense, though I still think its overpriced.

    • No.

      Well put. It still makes no sense because with the exception of the screen it's packed with old or unreasonably spec'd hardware at a ridiculously high price compared to an Apple product (that are supposed to be high priced crap by a lot of /. opinion) that runs a full OS, plus a browser, plus a cloud, plus a lot of other things a real computer can do. Then there's an Android based system with a large app base, extensible, cheaper, more storage (32 GB SSD in the Chrome book Pixel?!?! Seriously?!?!). I could

    • Whatever happens to their sales pitch for Google Docs for enterprise?

    • >Google will add editing functionality in the next two to three months

      What? An Office suite without editing functionality on a $1300 device? Computers were more capable in the 70s and 80s.

      Also look at the summary from the story yesterday about HP making Android tablets:
      http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/02/25/2129208/hp-continuing-to-flee-windows-reservation-with-android-tablet?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed [slashdot.org]

      "Hewlett-Packard seems more determined than ever to flee the Windows reservation, unveiling a $170 Android tablet, the HP Slate 7. It runs Google Android 4.1, the first version of the 'Jelly Bean' build, which has been ever so slightly outdated by the recent release of Android 4.2. This isn't the first time in recent memory that HP's opted for a Google product over one offered by longtime partner Microsoft. As it helpfully pointed out in a press release, HP has produced a Chromebook running Google's Chrome OS, a largely cloud-dependent operating system for laptops and notebooks. Built around Google services such as Gmail, Chrome OS also offers access to the Chrome Web Store, an online storefront for apps. If HP and other manufacturers increasingly adopt Google's offerings over Windows, it could cause some consternation among Microsoft executives. Microsoft, of course, is pushing Windows 8, which is meant to run on tablets and traditional PCs with equal facility. If it wants the Windows division to continue as a cash cow, it needs manufacturers to adopt that operating system in massive numbers. Android and Chrome OS could make that strategy a lot more difficult."

      What has Chrome OS got to do with HP making Android tablets that it deserves a

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      I agree, but only because it already made perfect sense. Google is not trying to make a mass market popular device, they are setting a high bar for Chromebooks to change their image from cheap low end device to luxury laptop.

      • That is a fine thing to want to do. The limitations of the device stops it from being luxury; but it is nice to see that screen being used. Maybe others will take note and we can kick start something better.
        • by rhsanborn (773855)

          The limitations of the device stops it from being luxury

          That never stopped Apple. /Cheap_shot

          There are limitations, but there were also limitations between Apple and Windows and Linux in any direction. The important question is, are the limitations important enough. This community is power users. But for average users, a generally web based experience may be fine, nay, better. I can't remember how many times people have lost all the digital photos they ever took because backup (to the cloud) didn't happen by default. With this device its built in, etc.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Google is not trying to make a mass market popular device, they are setting a high bar for Chromebooks to change their image from cheap low end device to luxury laptop.

        Fail, fail. All they have done is produce an expensive low end device, and what makes it low end is the limited OS, which is especially egregious on a powerful system.

        Google should put its effort into Chrome for Android so they can abandon ChromeOS as what it is, an evolutionary dead end.

    • by Rockoon (1252108)

      Pixel Picture Clearer?

      Still to cloudy to see.

  • Grammurh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @11:15PM (#43021197)

    I had to re-read this summary multiple times to understand it. I'm not saying it needs to be perfect, I know I'm not, but that summary is just terribly written.

  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @11:17PM (#43021207)
    ...ported part of QuickOffice...
    ...add editing functionality in the next two to three months...


    "make more sense?"
    Not yet, but keep going.
    • by cultiv8 (1660093)
      Your smartphone can take a picture, right?
  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @11:18PM (#43021209)

    Google figured out that a computer that runs only cloud based stuff isn't such a good idea. But, since Chrome OS doesn't have native apps, they had to hack those native apps into Chrome, where they run "almost as fast" as they would if they were proper applications under a real OS. As a demonstration of how great this technology is, Google hacked an entire open source office suite into Chrome.

    That certainly does explain why you'd want to buy a Chromebook that costs more than an ultrabook or an Air.

    It almost sounds like Google wrote the summary... except for the use of annoying cliches and the incomplete sentences.

    • Re:Translation (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @11:36PM (#43021303)

      ...except for the use of annoying cliches and the incomplete sentences.

      You're looking at the glass as half empty instead of half full here. it's a start ....

      I know, folks are penny wise and pound foolish with some of the Chrome book .... of course there's a silver lining here - it will make Chrome OS more usable outside of a dumb terminal for the cloud.

      anyway, I'll make like a tree ....

      • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

        by iserlohn (49556) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @04:01AM (#43022333) Homepage

        Actually, it's not just about the software, but the method of delivery of it. Think the App Store/Google Play/Chrome Web Store. With this play, Google is deploying mass-market business applications through a centrally managed repository/marketplace that runs on a portable browser platform. This is Google's vision of the PC, and also the reason why Microsoft has been such a big detractor of Google. If Google can pull this off, Microsoft will go the way of Blackberry.

        • by macs4all (973270)

          Actually, it's not just about the software, but the method of delivery of it. Think the App Store/Google Play/Chrome Web Store. With this play, Google is deploying mass-market business applications through a centrally managed repository/marketplace that runs on a portable browser platform. This is Google's vision of the PC, and also the reason why Microsoft has been such a big detractor of Google. If Google can pull this off, Microsoft will go the way of Blackberry.

          ...and then all our base belong to Google.

      • I know, folks are penny wise and pound foolish with some of the Chrome book .... of course there's a silver lining here - it will make Chrome OS more usable outside of a dumb terminal for the cloud.

        I think Google has slipped up a little here. They were making a compelling argument for Chrome books by offering inexpensive notebooks and selling the power of the Google web infrastructure to provide always up-to-date applications with no need for backups. Of course, this technology is far from being new and it

    • Re:Translation (Score:5, Informative)

      by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @11:54PM (#43021367)

      Google figured out that a computer that runs only cloud based stuff isn't such a good idea. But, since Chrome OS doesn't have native apps, they had to hack those native apps into Chrome, where they run "almost as fast" as they would if they were proper applications under a real OS. As a demonstration of how great this technology is, Google hacked an entire open source office suite into Chrome.

      That certainly does explain why you'd want to buy a Chromebook that costs more than an ultrabook or an Air.

      It almost sounds like Google wrote the summary... except for the use of annoying cliches and the incomplete sentences.

      Quickoffice [wikipedia.org] isn't open source - it's a proprietary IOS and Android app... Google bought the company last year.

      I'd be more impressed if they *did* port Openoffice/Libreoffice to Chrome.

    • Re:Translation (Score:4, Interesting)

      by fermion (181285) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:00AM (#43021393) Homepage Journal
      I would think that it is more an admission that they are not going to be able to get a real office app totally on the cloud, at least not for a profit. I have been really disappointed at the lack of development in Google docs over the past year. They have clearly become bored with the project, and one again gone off on another tangent. That is the thing with Google. No focus, other than collecting user data and selling it, which is fine, but they used to give us good services in return.

      The price point is also confusing. It is $100 more than a MacBook air. I know it comes with an office app, cellular and a touch screen, but OO.org is free, and the Apple office suite is only $60, for all the machines on an account. And a cellular router is only $60, and if you buy it separately you can go with any carrier you want. It is not like this thing is a tablet and you will walking around with it. OTOH, it only comes with 32GB, while that air comes with 128GB. Of course you get 1TB online for 3 years, but we all know how reliable Google is at responding to end user problems. In any case it is a $150 value.

      • by macs4all (973270)

        I have been really disappointed at the lack of development in Google docs over the past year. They have clearly become bored with the project, and one again gone off on another tangent. That is the thing with Google. No focus, other than collecting user data and selling it, which is fine, but they used to give us good services in return.

        Exactly.

        Google has a very distressing habit of going all-out on a Project, then, even if it is even moderately successful, suddenly saying "Well, we're done with this. Thanks for playing!" Everyone does this to some extent; but Google is even worse about it than Microsoft (I think).

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Next maybe they'll admit that possibly it's not a good idea to run your office suite in your browser at all. They could provide some sort of launcher or task manager or start menu to let you start the web browser and/or the office suite, and let you switch between them!

    • by dbIII (701233)
      So you mean the network isn't the computer? How do you Gage that?
      For those that missed the feeble joke the "new" cloud thing was pushed hard by John Gage at Sun around a decade or more ago. The difference now is we've got more bandwidth, better CGI scripts (by whatever name), and the ability to drag in more content from other places than just images hosted elsewhere. I'm not sure what we've got in the way of client side scripting in any better considering all the java problems and active-x being an almos
      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        A good summary, but you're forgetting one thing: we've also got a MUCH better reason to get everyone back to the thin client (although let's try and make those expensive thin clients) and server paradigm: targeted advertising.

    • Re:Translation (Score:4, Informative)

      by Qwavel (733416) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @12:13AM (#43021451)

      Your 'translation' is wrong on every point.
      - Native Client apps are cloud apps - they just use a different client technology.
      - Second Chrome OS (and Chrome) does have native apps - via NaCl - and has for a while. This isn't new at all.
      - This isn't hacked into Chrome - it's not part of Chrome at all.
      - There is no way that anyone at Google would want to write such a misleading and confusing summary.

      This is just a new cloud app, that runs on an existing client technology that's been built-into Chrome and Chrome OS for a while.

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Let's see. I wrote my "translation" based on the summary and the article. True, those things are known to be incorrect sometimes. So let's examine your claims (which in another post you claim should be modded up because they are factually correct).

        - Native Client apps are cloud apps - they just use a different client technology.
        - Second Chrome OS (and Chrome) does have native apps - via NaCl - and has for a while. This isn't new at all.

        Okay, first, what exactly do you think NaCl stands for (in Google wor

    • Perhaps (and I could be wrong here) another reason to buy this Pixel is that it's got decent hardware but isn't going to be troubled by secure-boot and things like that so you can install your own OS on it if you get tired of chrome-OS.
      • by unrtst (777550)

        Perhaps (and I could be wrong here) another reason to buy this Pixel is that it's got decent hardware but isn't going to be troubled by secure-boot and things like that so you can install your own OS on it if you get tired of chrome-OS.

        No. It DOES have secure boot on it. It's got a dev mode and a 3rd BIOS slot that boots an more standard bios image (I probably could have phrased that better), but you will still be troubled by secure boot, assuming you find it troubling in the first place. If you choose to use it this way, you're stuck in developer mode, which means it will take 30 seconds longer than usual to load every time you start it, because the boot sequence feels the need to take that time to remind you that you’re in Develop

        • Actually you can press Ctrl-D to avoid having to wait the extra 30 seconds once you are in developer mode according to the informative link. When are we going to get Chrome(books|boxes) along with Google Play Music and some decent movies of which some have appeared to have been removed on Google Play in Canada? What are the issues? High bandwidth cost with the cell phone providers? Recalcitrance by the content providers? Why not a Wifi version?
      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        It seems you're wrong. The Pixel looks like it's less locked down than previous ChromeBooks so you can run Linux on it (although it's easiest to run particular blessed distros) but if you want something else you're out of luck. Or you can get some decent hardware for a similar price from Apple and run OS X, Linux, Windows, BSD or whatever else, or from any of a number of other laptop manufacturers and run any of those except OS X.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      I think you're mixing openoffice with quickoffice.
      openoffice port would have been impressive(and useful).

      quickoffice on the other hand is a document READER application for which google paid an ungodly sum of money for after quickoffices money pipe from Nokia was cut short after nokia finally after 3 years of "really soon now" got their act together and helped MS do the port to symbian for MS's own office tools(which was kinda late anyhow, since symbian at that point was on it's way out - but the point is qu

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        No, I think I was thinking of Star Office (which apparently turned semi-proprietary again when Oracle took over). There are so many X Office suites... somebody should think of another naming scheme.

        Quick Office... is that the crappy smartphone reader software?

        If the native code thing is so great I wonder why Google didn't port something more substantial. Possibly because it's difficult and slow?

    • by shitzu (931108)

      As a demonstration of how great this technology is, Google hacked an entire open source office suite into Chrome.

      Quickoffice is open source?

    • by polyp2000 (444682)

      "almost as fast" as they would if they were proper applications under a real OS

      Just like Windows then...

    • Or, to put it shorter, Google discovered that users are skeptical to this JavaScript cloud-based stuff, so the invented ActiveX. You know, since that was such a brilliant idea. Sheesh!
  • by gadzook33 (740455) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @11:27PM (#43021263)
    While I think anyone has to be impressed by how extensible the browser and HTML has been and how far it's all been able to go, are we going to at some point face the fact that we're using the browser for something it was never intended for? We want a browser experience that feels like a native app, but we shun things like flash and silverlight (and even java!). Don't we need to eventually concede the possibility that something like Silverlight wouldn't be that bad? If it weren't for the MS tie-in, and it was truly an open standard, wouldn't it make more sense than trying to string together HTML and JavaScript in clever ways to accomplish the same thing?
    • by LordLucless (582312) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @11:53PM (#43021365)

      If it weren't for the MS tie-in, and it was truly an open standard, wouldn't it make more sense than trying to string together HTML and JavaScript in clever ways to accomplish the same thing?

      Why is "stringing together HTML and Javascript" a bad way of doing things? Really, for these UI-type things, most development models involve you creating "things", stringing them together with "actions" and (possibly) changing the way they look with a "skin". Why is using HTML to define the things, javscript to define the actions, and CSS to describe the skin, a bad idea? Is there a different language for one of those functions that you think is more appropriate to that particular domain for some reason?

      In short HTML+JS+CSS are rapidly (relatively speaking) converging on the capabilities of Flash/Silverlight - and bringing some of their historical strengths (accessibility, separation of content and style, human-readable data formats, open standards, etc) to the table as well. I mean, doesn't Flash even now use a Javascript dialect for its scripting capabilities?

      • If it weren't for the MS tie-in, and it was truly an open standard, wouldn't it make more sense than trying to string together HTML and JavaScript in clever ways to accomplish the same thing?

        Why is "stringing together HTML and Javascript" a bad way of doing things? Really, for these UI-type things, most development models involve you creating "things", stringing them together with "actions" and (possibly) changing the way they look with a "skin". Why is using HTML to define the things, javscript to define the actions, and CSS to describe the skin, a bad idea? Is there a different language for one of those functions that you think is more appropriate to that particular domain for some reason?

        In short HTML+JS+CSS are rapidly (relatively speaking) converging on the capabilities of Flash/Silverlight - and bringing some of their historical strengths (accessibility, separation of content and style, human-readable data formats, open standards, etc) to the table as well. I mean, doesn't Flash even now use a Javascript dialect for its scripting capabilities?

        I have used 'Office' apps written in HTML+Javascript as well as poor-mans Visio substitutes written in Flash and while they were useful for casual note taking they quickly reached their limits once I wanted to do a bit more like add references, automatically indexed figures and captions, figure and tables indexes, tables of content, etc. With drawing programs written in Flash it was pretty much the same story plus only begin able to export your drawings in some strange Flash format or JPG/PNG/etc. wasn't ex

    • The problems with HTML/web arise because it is stateless, browsers differ in their implementation, and the only language available on the front end is js, which is not terrible, but not beautiful either, and content is not always separated from code.

      The many advantages of HTML/web come from the fact that it is stateless, most operations are idempotent and cachable, URIs can be shared, and that it's so simple even humans can create it by hand (and getting simpler with html5), readers get to control presentat

      • by gadzook33 (740455)
        I agree that statelessness is almost always a desirable trait. However, it's not a trait that is unique to HTML. When you include the back end in this and consider RIA type applications, it becomes even murkier. You're going to be hard pressed to make the argument that gmail exhibits idempotency. At the same time, it's a rather useful tool!
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Don't we need to eventually concede the possibility that something like Silverlight wouldn't be that bad? If it weren't for the MS tie-in, and it was truly an open standard, wouldn't it make more sense than trying to string together HTML and JavaScript in clever ways to accomplish the same thing?

      No, and maybe, in that order. Nothing wrong with Javascript, you're going to need a programming language no matter what your solution looks like and you'll wind up with the same security issues no matter what. And HTML is designed for displaying text and works fine for displaying graphics, so if what you need to do is display some text and graphics, why shouldn't you use HTML?

    • While I think anyone has to be impressed by how extensible the browser and HTML has been and how far it's all been able to go, are we going to at some point face the fact that we're using the browser for something it was never intended for?

      No, because what browsers are intended for has changed.

      We want a browser experience that feels like a native app, but we shun things like flash and silverlight (and even java!).

      This is simply equivocation: the "we" isn't the same group in both parts of this sentence? The

  • Or is meant to be a cloud computer, or is not (and it have too little hard disk to not be). There are things that have sense to run locally (i.e. some games), but for Google strategy the only fitting office alternative is a local version of google docs (for editing offline), not another different office suite, with different formats, different functionality, and not meant to be edited online.
  • by imsabbel (611519) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @11:41PM (#43021327)

    Hurray to Google for re-inventing ActiveX. May they have just as much success as Microsoft with it.

    • by Qwavel (733416)

      Native client is open-source; activeX was not. That has very real implications: though I doubt we'll see MS adopt, there is a very real possibility that Firefox and Opera could.

      Look at SPDY for comparison. Google added it to Chrome, now Amazon, Opera, Firefox, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are all using it.

      • What do you mean by "ActiveX was not open source"? ActiveX is a protocol, a specification - a bunch of ABIs (COM) and APIs [microsoft.com]. IE is closed-source, yes, but you can definitely have another browser support ActiveX controls (in fact, Mozilla was halfway there with XPCOM, and someone actually wrote a plugin for it that lets it host ActiveX controls). For that matter, ActiveX was never IE-specific - any Windows app can host a control, and many apps do, both those from Microsoft and third-party ones. It does not re

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          What do you mean by "ActiveX was not open source"? ActiveX is a protocol, a specification - a bunch of ABIs (COM) and APIs.

          Yes, and none of the relevant code was Open-Sourced. I suspect that's what they meant when they said that. You know, what they said.

          The real problem is that ActiveX controls are inherently non-portable, because the API is Windows-centric - for example, it deals in things like Win32 device context and window handles.

          The problem isn't that they're non-portable, the problem is that the Windows API stinks on ice for every reason.

      • by BZ (40346)

        NaCl is open source but tied to totally undocumented Chrome internals via Pepper, which makes it pretty hard to adopt without adopting Chrome wholesale.

        Worse yet, NaCl is tied to particular hardware, which means that if it gets traction on the web the bar for a new hardware platform would become very high (think "ARM would not have been viable if this had happened 15 years ago" high). PNaCl, if/when it starts working would help with that problem, but not the Pepper dependency.

    • Actually, it's more like everything old is still old.

      Given that Native Client has been around for five years now, don't you think you've had enough time to learn that it's NOT like ActiveX?. Try Googling Native Client vs ActiveX to get yourself started.

      • by terjeber (856226)

        Native Client is a security disaster waiting to happen. Java (as in applets) is more secure than NaCl, since it offers run-time privilege checking while NaCl only supports static checking. At its base it is exactly like ActiveX in the later years (when MS added static checking) - in other words, something IT professionals should ban on their networks.

        If you have to have applications, write Java applets or Silverlight stuff. Both work. Both are significantly safer than NaCl, and both are used very little. Ap

    • It was ActiveX that almost single handedly drove users away from Internet Explorer. ActiveX was a massive security problem from day one and was always an incredibly easy venue for malicious code.

      It's not clear to me whether this ability to execute code is intended solely for Chrome OS, or whether it is intended for all versions of the Chrome browser. If the intent is the latter, this has a good chance of driving users en masse away from Chrome as Google's security nightmare is probably just beginning.

      • It's not clear to me whether this ability to execute code is intended solely for Chrome OS, or whether it is intended for all versions of the Chrome browser.

        Native Client has been in all versions of Chrome (well, except Chrome for iOS) and enabled-by-default for apps from the Chrome Web Store since Chrome 14; there are a number of apps that leverage it in the store.

        If the intent is the latter, this has a good chance of driving users en masse away from Chrome as Google's security nightmare is probably just

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @02:01AM (#43022023) Journal

      The big difference between ActiveX and NaCl is that the latter has a sandbox - a very smart one, actually, which lets it run native code directly while remaining secure.

      The other big difference is that they are also tackling the architecture portability issue by the PNaCl project (basically downloading LLVM bitcode and compiling it for the current architecture).

      So, yes, this is like ActiveX - but done right. All the perf of native code with none of the security issues.

      I really, really hope it catches on - especially PNaCl. If it does, we can finally ditch JS as the web client language, and move on to something more decent (and better yet, you and me can make different choices about the languages that we want to use).

      • by coder111 (912060) <coder.rrmail@com> on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @07:04AM (#43022843)
        I'd love to have programming-language agnostic scripting on a broser- PNaCl looks quite interesting. However, application development on the browser can only advance as quickly as IE features advance. IE still has huge marketshare, so if your website (web-app to be more precise) doesn't run on IE, you are excluding a huge customer base. This is all changing quickly with tablets and mobiles (which mostly run webkit) but IE is still very big. This will put pressure on Microsoft, and hopefully these features will get incorporated into IE sooner or later.

        In my opinion the whole application on a browser thing happened because MS has (had?) a monopoly on desktop. So if you wanted to develop something cross-platform that has a UI, you had following options:

        * Do it in a cross platform language that has UI programming. The only one I know is Java. 10 years ago, computers were much slower, and Java on desktop was quite worse than it is right now, so this would result in sub-par applications.

        * Do it in C/C++ and use a cross-platform tookit. The only ones worth talking about are wxWidgets and Qt, and again, 10 years ago they weren't mature. On top of that you need to deal with tons of "backend" programming hassles, as windows is not really posix compatible. Again, cross-plaform toolkits like Qt or wxWidgets help here, but only some.

        * Use some kind of thin client technology and do all the heavy lifting on the server. This basically evolved into a web server + a browser as a thin client. And until AJAX, your applications could not offer much interactivity.

        All thigs considered, for many things browser-as-a-thin-client model makes a lot of sense. You always get the latest version immediately, you don't need to install anything (installing/removing/updating software is a huge hassle on windows. I'm appalled windows still doesn't have any package management and repositories). You get decent security- you can trust a web page will not screw up your computer (well, except some exploits in the browswer, but that's nothing compared to installing and running a native app from untrusted source).

        Looking back I always think if this could have been done better. HTML+JS is quite nasty from an application development point of view. First of all, JS works differently on different browsers, and these differences are hardly documented. Things like GWT or jQuery help, but the problem is still there. Again, Microsoft and IE screw things up badly for everyone time and time again. Another two things- running inside a browser you don't have propper networking support and access to local storage. Both are required for complex interactive applications. HTML5 is an attempt to improve both, but it remains to be seen how successful it is. HTML/CSS layout is hard. There are still few to none WYSIWYG tools to drag and drop UI elements and construct a web-app in this way. And web-apps have a different look & feel than native apps- you still need to think in terms of URLs, "back" buttons, tabs, browser menus, etc. And not all hotkeys work either.

        In general, I think a browser using HTML/JS/HTTP is a bad to mediocre thin client for applications. The only reason its so widely used is because it comes preinstalled on all new computers/tablets/mobiles shipped. If Microsoft wasn't a monopoly, it would have been possible to ship some other better thin-client with all the machines sold, and we would not have to deal with all this mess. I would probably prefer to have a browser just for reading PAGES, and a dedicated thin client for running remote apps. Hopefully things will get better with HTML5, and Microsoft has less influence on internet standards these days...

        Sorry for the long rant,
        --Coder
      • All the perf of native code with none of the security issues

        I have a perpetual motion machine and am seeking investors. I take it you'll be subscribing?

        • Why don't you go and read the original paper [chromium.org] on NaCl? I know it's considered a novel concept on Slashdot, and somewhat faux pas (you are the 4th person to reply to my comment who apparently didn't do it), but still, try it. I promise I won't tell anyone.

          As a side note, no perfect security was claimed here - only that security challenges specific running to native code are handled by NaCl sandbox, making it as safe as, say, JavaScript.

        • by coder111 (912060)
          It's not as bad as you think. From a machine point of view, if the code is compiled or not doesn't make much difference. Let's say you have to execute code in a sandbox. Which would be more secure?

          * Interpreted source code.
          * Interpreted source code with a JIT compiler that produces native implementations of hotspots.
          * Interpreted intermediate representation of source code
          * Bytecode that's executed in a virtual machine
          * Native code that's executed in a sandbox

          In all these cases, you are running untr
  • No it does not (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Taantric (2587965)
    Still just the world's most expensive web browser. What a useless device. Someone at Google made a boo-boo.
  • If all you wanted in the first place was an Internet-dependent dumb terminal, errrr "cloud device", it already made sense. If you want more than that, it will never make sense for that price. Sounds like Google fan boys are suffering from the same madness they claim Apple fan boys have.
  • It's still an overpriced thin client with a nice screen.

  • I'm curious to know how Windows 8 will run on this thing. W8 is supposed to be designed to run well on a wide variety of pixel densities. This thing's got a ton of pixels and a touchscreen. Should me a match made in heaven. It's a bit low on RAM and storage but it's enough to install and run the OS and a full suite of productivity apps.

  • I've already said it when Google launched Chrome: they are trying to tie the users in. Sooner or later, they're going to offer a product that is exclusively available in Chrome. They're going to do better gaming in Chrome (Javascript is too slow; think how nice Farmville can look!). That time seems to have come. And once accepted, there's no way back, and the masses will be logged into their google account forever.

    • by csumpi (2258986)
      But... Chrome is the best browser. At least best for me, it's fast, allows me to block ads and other crap through extensions, web pages render as expected and it doesn't crash ever. So if it will display Office documents in the browser, it will just be better. Maybe the point here is to make Chrome better?
  • OK, so their plan is to replace the OS with a really inefficient OS? What could possibly go wrong?!
  • So I want a laptop with a REALLY nice REALLY high res display, a great keyboard and trackpad. The touchscreen shit I don't really care about. Other than a Macbook Pro 13" retina for $200 more, what are my options other than the Pixel? Everyone seems to hate the Pixel, so what are my options? It seemed like throwing Ubuntu on the Pixel made the most sense to me.

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