I was happy to see the news that Google announced the Chrome based OS. Soon after a week of my recent blog on Google and the way it transformed every ones life, i was pretty excited to see this announcement. I am particularly happy that Google is entering into the Operating System market and i believe that they will do justification to what they claim.
For many the announcement has been generating mixed feelings. Many technology enthusiasts (and pro-googlers) feel that this is a great step ahead and some are skeptic about the success of this project.
Simplicity : Google has been leading in the simple, usable and intuitive UI. I hope it continues to do so with the Chrome OS. When i see a simple Google Search and Microsoft’s Bing, that the major difference i see (that Bing has a distraction and Google not).
Open Source : Apache and Eclipse have redefined the view of an open-source software. The common concept of “Collaborate on Platform and Compete on Products” is a great idea. Google Chrome’s source code becoming open source, will open up all the channels to improve, contribute and extend the OS.
Competition to Microsoft ? : I don’t think so. Google has been redefining the way people think of Internet and World Wide Web. Microsoft is the PC Operating System and Corporate IT infrastructure giant. There are lot of articles and blogs about the Google and Microsoft comparison on the Chrome OS and that’s all absurd for me. Comparing Chrome OS and Windows is like comparing apples and apricots. Does it makes sense. ??? Google is the company (in my opinion) trying to make web as a platform and building all it’s applications on web. So, i would see the Chrome OS only as an alternative for the heavy weight Internet users.
Would it be the next Linux ? : (No offense to Linux lovers please) During 1998-2000 time frame i was very excited to know about Linux as an alternative to the existing operating systems. When one compares the time to install a Windows box and Linux box with the same capabilities for a home user, Linux lacked the ease of installation and application support. As a technologist, i took hours to install the Linux and at the end i would abandon it as i don’t find the applications that i want or incompatible drivers. I still remember that installing the CD drivers is a big deal and took hours to find a compatible one. I guess, the story changed a little after the arrival of Redhat, Fedora and Ubuntu distributions. It is still a nightmare for the advanced home users to install and configure a Linux distribution. I really really hope that Chrome OS designers would take care of this issue.
More space on Internet : If Google wants to make the web as the platform, then it may need to increase the email, docs and picture sharing space on the web. Why? It is for the natural reason that if you want to use the web for everything, i don’t want to be restricted by the space in my account. Compared to the 120 to 250 GB of hard disk now-a-days, we are only talking about few gigs of memory on line.
Security and Personalization : As such Google is having problem to fight against the privacy laws regarding the google mail and advertisements. Would it become more controversial with the Chrome OS. If web is the platform and i would use Chrome OS, would my documents be secure ? Would Chrome install/suggest applications/plugins depending on the email, documents or photo content. These are some of the questions that Google for sure has to think about.
ChromeWave : Yes, i think and imagine that the architecture of Chrome OS has the Wave built in. That would be such an awesome thing for the home users and corporates. I could talk, video conference, share documents and pictures with my parents and friends in India seamlessly from the Chrome OS with the Wave capabilities. Corporates can make sure of the ChromeWave to video conferencing, decision making, pair-programming (?), real time collaboration and others. (Note: ChromeWave is my own creation to combine the Chrome and Wave’s capabilities)
So… It is too early to conclude anything about the success or failure of the Chrome OS. Perhaps once the source code is released and the Architecture is known, only can one have valid comments. One thing for sure is that Google is gearing up to take on other areas of the computer and Internet industry. Its the time for everyone to be alert and more innovative in terms of the technology, usability and the perceived benefit they give to the corporate and home user.
Some Interesting Reading…