Thursday, November 26, 2009
Google Chrome OS
Recently Google made the announcement that their new operating system wouldn't be available for a year, which doesn't surprise me at all. Operating systems aren't simple, and Google is often concerned with getting it right. I spend a little time reviewing the new information they provided and researching the system they're proposing and was disappointed, however.
The cloud has a lead lining.
If you view Netbooks as a toy, then I can see why this OS is appealing. If everything you do is on the internet without exception, then yes, this OS is for you. Google has done some pretty impressive things in the past, and I expect this OS to be equally impressive.
Then there's the flipside. If you don't view Netbooks as a toy, rather as a tool (last one I looked at had a dual core CPU, 160GB HDD - great for most utilitarian work and business), then the Cloud is NOT where you should be. Take my example: At any given time I'm writing two books, at least one of which is due for publication, have a dozen or so image, music or video files that I had to PAY to acquire the rights to, and I have other intellectual property that I don't want to see pirated because my personal income would suffer. Now, I'm not saying the cloud would be easily crackable, but it's possible.
More importantly, look at that file list and imagine if the power went out for 2.5 days like it did a few years ago. My Netbook and anything else using the Chrome OS would be absolutely useless. I don't care how fast it is, if it doesn't get you anywhere, there's no point in having it.
I'm disappointed. Since I wasn't following this story too closely because I knew an actual release was very far away, I was hoping that Google would actually take a real bite out of Microsoft with some practical software that didn't assume that Netbooks are toys. Toys don't have dual core processors and 160GB hard drives. I don't write entire novels on toys, my Netbook is an important piece of hardware.
In my opinion, the Chrome OS, as it's presented, is a toy. Meant for use by people who mostly use the Internet for play. Business or creativity doesn't stop when the power goes out or the Internet goes down, so neither should your computer.
Try harder, Google.