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Google delays netbook plans for Chrome OS to mid 2011

post #1 of 47
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Google's plan to bring a web-centric, open operating system to netbooks has been delayed until the first half of 2011 as the company continues to work on Chrome OS, originally expected to launch this summer. The OS is held up on a wide variety of problems, from missing hardware support to Android-like fragmentation.

In an announcement earlier today, Google noted that its free Chrome browser, based on the WebKit open source project maintained by Apple, has tripled from 40 million to 120 million users. The Chrome browser is the basis for Google's forthcoming Chrome OS, which pairs the Linux kernel with a web-based app environment.

Google originally intended to ship Chrome OS on both Intel x86 and ARM-based netbooks by the middle of 2010 in a parallel effort to the company's Android operating system, which uses native and Java-like apps rather than being a web-based platform.

Chrome OS imagines an iPad-like future

"Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems," the company blogged last summer.

"We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear computers need to get better. People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up," the company explained.

"They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them. They want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files. Even more importantly, they don't want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates. And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet."

While Google continues to work the bugs out of Chrome OS, Apple has already answered the problems Chrome OS was intended to address with the iPad, a simple new rethinking of the the PC which has vaulted Apple into position as the first place US mobile PC maker and third in mobile PC sales worldwide.

Apple also delivers a range of Mac notebooks from the light MacBook Air to professional MacBook Pros and its desktop line of Mac mini, iMacs and Mac Pros. Unlike the Chrome OS, these machines can run native Mac apps, can host X11 Linux apps, and can even run Windows apps in a virtualization environment.

New beta Chrome OS hardware

In anticipation of the launch of Chrome OS with partners Acer and Samsung next year, Google is making available test hardware for interested users. Noting that "some of the features of Chrome OS require new hardware," Google will offer its Chrome OS testers netbooks with "full-sized keyboards and touch pads, integrated 3G from Verizon, eight hours of battery life and eight days of standby time."

Hinting at new hardware-level security, Google's Chrome Blog also states, "even at this early stage, we feel there is no consumer or business operating system that is more secure" than Chrome OS. Part of that security may also come from the fact that Chrome OS lacks (by design) core support for typical operating services, as well as basic support for hardware, ranging from printing to USB devices.

The company's description of its netbook-like test hardware for Chrome OS also muddles the idea of whether Google plans to take on the iPad with Chrome OS tablets (as many pundits have projected), or whether it still plans to resurrect the netbook, a form factor that was all the rage when the company first announced the Chrome OS as an initiative back in July 2009, before the iPad deflated the netbook as a market segment and began eating into conventional PC sales.

Google may attempt both, allowing its licensees to experiment with a variety of devices to see which can gain traction. Such an effort would likely fractionalize Chrome OS as a platform just as it enters the market in competition against the second generation of iPad. Apple is also working to deliver a new Mac App Store to deliver apps driving sales of the thin, light MacBook Air and its full sized notebooks and desktops.

The difference is that Apple already has a large installed base of Mac users to market apps toward. Chrome OS will only run web apps, and offers no backwards compatibility with Android, or Windows, or even existing Linux apps.



On page 2 of 3: Where's the apps for that? More Android-style fragmentation

Where's the apps for that?

While Apple launched the iPad as both compatible with existing iPhone apps and capable of running a new class of iOS apps optimized to fill its larger screen, Google has struggled with its own strategy for devices outside of the conventional smartphone form factor.

Hardware partners like Samsung have already shipped tabled devices such as the Galaxy Tab using Android, something Google itself recommended against doing before the release of Android OS 3.0 next year. Google also offers no support for Android Market on tablet systems.

Once Android 3.0 ships, it will compete against Chrome OS for attention among device makers. The two options will also compete for attention among developers, who will have to weigh the installed base of each against the likelihood of users buying apps for each platform. Unlike Apple's iPhone, iPad, and upcoming Mac App Stores, Android and Chrome OS use completely different development models. Apple's iOS and Mac OS X use the same Cocoa development model and their apps are built using the same tools and very similar frameworks.

Also, unlike Apple's iOS App Store, where developers are earning direct revenues from the sales of their software, Android apps are slanted towards advertising-supported models. The most successful iOS game, Angry Birds, launched on Android as an ad-only title, with its developer noting that "was the Google way."

More Android-style fragmentation

Significant fragmentation problems also plague Android, not just in hardware and performance differences but also in the different layers of user experiences created by various Android licensees, hardware makers and mobile service providers, ranging from software "look and feel" skins to seemingly random button placement.



Combined with the conflict between Android and Chrome OS, these fragmentation issues (inherent in any broadly-licensed platform) threaten to prevent Google from ever catching up to Apple in the range and quality of apps that are already available for the iOS. Similar fragmentation problems have plagued Sun's JavaME, Microsoft's Windows Mobile, and the three major versions of Symbian in smartphones, and Microsoft's PlaysForSure program among media players.

In recognition of this, Microsoft has sought to remake Windows Mobile into a form more similar to Apple's iOS, with a curated, paid app store and strict hardware platform guidelines for licensees in its latest Windows Phone 7 program. Microsofts previous Zune HD platform, struggling under a heavy dose of ad-supported software, has been a notable failure over the last year.

On page 3 of 3: Apps before the OS, Google's new version of open

Apps before the OS

In an effort to make sure there are apps for the Chrome OS when the first netbooks using it launch next year, Google has worked to improve its Chrome browser as the core platform for these web apps. However, the web browser is seen by most users as a way to access apps in a pinch, rather than as delivering an equal experience to native apps running on Windows or Mac OS X.

Users' preference for "real apps" is indicated by the rapid uptake of iPhone and iPad apps, and the very limited role web apps have played on mobile devices. One negative aspect of web apps is related to performance.

To address this, Google has announced Crankshaft, a fast new compilation infrastructure for its V8 JavaScript engine in Chrome, which is intended to speed the performance of web apps by 50 percent and enable them to launch as much as 12 percent faster.

The company also launched its Chrome Web Store (shown below), a new website modeled to look identical to Apple's iTunes App Store. Google plans to use the new market to distribute free and paid apps, extensions and themes for its Chrome browser, and in the future, netbooks running Chrome OS exclusively.



Limited enthusiasm for web apps

This is nearly the opposite of Apple's rollout of the iPhone and iPad. The iPhone hit the market a year before any third party apps were available, but its installed base created a instant market for mobile apps once the store was ready to open. The iPad was also released with only a few apps available at launch (notably including Apple's own iWork suite), but the new device rapidly filled out a large portfolio of optimized software for itself based on its association with the popular iOS platform.

Google is banking that its existing desktop Chrome web browser users will download (and buy) web apps in sufficient volume to support the software demands of a new class of web-only netbook devices next year, a strategy that could backfire if users continue to respond to web apps with the limited enthusiasm seen so far.

In contrast to the blockbuster success of the iPhone and iPad App Stores, Apple's own Safari Extensions program has only seen limited interest, something the company appears to have anticipated given its measured efforts in supporting Extensions in a simple gallery as opposed to a full fledged App Store of its own.

Instead of attempting to sell web apps, Apple is now concentrating on opening a new Mac App Store to deliver native apps for its desktop users with the same kind of simplicity in shopping, installation and updating as introduced by the iPhone and iPad.

Google's new version of open

Apps in the Chrome Web Store are interactive web apps built using HTML5, but are only designed to run within Google's Chrome browser. The open source community was outraged when Apple introduced demonstrations of HTML5 features that assumed the use of its Safari browser, but so far there does not seem to be any issues with Google's construction of a proprietary subset of HTML5 as a platform that only runs on Google's own browser.

Apple was similarly taken to task for releasing its own WebKit as an open fork of KHTML in a way that did not make it easy enough for KHTML developers to rapidly reuse Apple's own code contributions, but Google has so far not been criticized for adding features to Chrome in a way that can't be readily used by other WebKit browsers.

One example is Chrome's novel multiprocess architecture, which isolates web plugins and web site instances in tabs, preventing crashes or security exploits in one tab or plugin from affecting what is happening in the rest of the browser. Google didn't contribute this back to WebKit, so Apple is now working to add its own split process isolation model to WebKit2 in a way all users of WebKit can benefit from.
post #2 of 47
Google wants an OS that totally depends on the Google "cloud." but no one else except total Google fanboys does. heck, they'll even be competing with Android as they attempt to scale it up to tablet size as well.

Meanwhile, Apple at the same time next year will likely be bringing a lot of iOS into the Mac desktop/laptop Lion OS. which is exactly what people do want - a much simpler desktop OS for the 90% of the time they don't need all the complexity of a desktop OS X (or Windows or Linux).

maybe this sounded smart three years ago when Google started on Chrome. iOS was just beginning then. but now it's really dumb.
post #3 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

Google wants an OS that totally depends on the Google "cloud." but no one else except total Google fanboys does ...snip... likely be bringing a lot of iOS into the Mac desktop/laptop Lion OS. which is exactly what people do want

I don't want either one!
post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

Google wants an OS that totally depends on the Google "cloud." but no one else except total Google fanboys does. heck, they'll even be competing with Android as they attempt to scale it up to tablet size as well.

Meanwhile, Apple at the same time next year will likely be bringing a lot of iOS into the Mac desktop/laptop Lion OS. which is exactly what people do want - a much simpler desktop OS for the 90% of the time they don't need all the complexity of a desktop OS X (or Windows or Linux).

maybe this sounded smart three years ago when Google started on Chrome. iOS was just beginning then. but now it's really dumb.

I couldnt disagree more. I can see a use for a simple, browser-based OS for cheap and simple HW, an area that Apple doesnt want to play in.. There are billions of people in developing nations Google could target with type of OS. With HW leases or purchased from ISPs that allow some form of internet access.

By being browser-based, doesnt mean that users are SOL is they dont have internet access. There are several offline DB storage options that Google has are part of HTML5. Google even jumped on this years ago with Google Gears. These types of systems could be loaded with a completely localized version of Google Docs that could print to a printer without ever needing to connect to the internet and do it for a fraction of what a PC cost today.
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post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While Google continues to work the bugs out of Chrome OS, Apple has already answered the problems Chrome OS was intended to address with the iPad, a simple new rethinking of the the PC which has vaulted Apple into position as the first place US mobile PC maker and third in mobile PC sales worldwide.

Chrome OS devices and iPads aren't really that comparable, since Chrome OS provides a WIMP desktop UI experience (with keyboard, mouse, etc.) and the iPad provides a fully touch-driven experience. Each has its advantages.
For instance, I wouldn't mind doing heavy word processing on a hard keyboard on a Chrome OS device, but would not do so on an iPad.

Quote:
Apple also delivers a range of Mac notebooks from the light MacBook Air to professional MacBook Pros and its desktop line of Mac mini, iMacs and Mac Pros. Unlike the Chrome OS, these machines can run native Mac apps, can host X11 Linux apps, and can even run Windows apps in a virtualization environment.

Apple's implementation of X is a pain in the ass. I wouldn't advertise it

Quote:
While Apple launched the iPad as both compatible with existing iPhone apps and capable of running a new class of iOS apps optimized to fill its larger screen, Google has struggled with its own strategy for devices outside of the conventional smartphone form factor.

As far as I know, Google has NO public strategy. In fact, Google outright has said that Android 2.2 isn't for tablets. Not their fault if dumbass hardware companies slap Android on top of shitty tablet hardware; Google can't stop them.

Quote:
Significant fragmentation problems also plague Android, not just in hardware and performance differences but also in the different layers of user experiences created by various Android licensees, hardware makers and mobile service providers, ranging from software "look and feel" skins to seemingly random button placement. Combined with the conflict between Android and Chrome OS, these fragmentation issues (inherent in any broadly-licensed platform) threaten to prevent Google from ever catching up to Apple in the range and quality of apps that are already available for the iOS.

Ok, this is ridiculous.

First, fragmentation isn't "inherent in any broadly licensed platform." If you buy a Windows box at a store (or build a windows box at home for that matter), it will run any Windows applications for which it has the minimum hardware necessary. Just like with OSX apps
Sure, Windows doesn't play as nicely with various hardware drivers as does OS X, but characterizing Windows as "fragmented" (as this article does implicitly) is flat out ridiculous

Also, the buttons? Really? How does the placement of buttons substantively affect the usability or app compatibility of any given handset? Migrating between handsets, sure, but on a single handset?

And lastly, all of the differences you list here are examples of inconsistence experiences between handsets. If you actually want to talk about fragmentation, talk about how shitty handset manufacturers (AHEM SAMSUNG) aren't updating their phones. THAT's the issue
Remember, there is value in the Android ecosystem for the differences in experience. I can get a phone with some OEM's dumb skin on top of it, or I don't have to. I can buy a phone with a keyboard, or one without. I can buy a phone on any network. Etc.

Quote:
In an effort to make sure there are apps for the Chrome OS when the first netbooks using it launch next year, Google has worked to improve its Chrome browser as the core platform for these web apps. However, the web browser is seen by most users as a way to access apps in a pinch, rather than as delivering an equal experience to native apps running on Windows or Mac OS X.

Here, the connotation of using apps in a web browser is clearly negative.

Yet two pages before, you compared Chrome OS to the iPad, whose value derives from quickly accessing apps in a pinch. Consistency please

Quote:
One example is Chrome's novel multiprocess architecture, which isolates web plugins and web site instances in tabs, preventing crashes or security exploits in one tab or plugin from affecting what is happening in the rest of the browser. Google didn't contribute this back to WebKit, so Apple is now working to add its own split process isolation model to WebKit2 in a way all users of WebKit can benefit from.


This statement is ridiculous

I can build a browser around the WebKit codebase that uses multiprocess rendering. Or I can build a browser that does not. There's a large and (what I thought was) an obvious difference between a browser and the rendering engine it uses.

Don't bitch Google out for not giving away its investment in Chrome for free. I certainly don't see Apple doing so for the proprietary bits of Safari.



Sorry, but I expect better from Apple Insider
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by pwj View Post

Chrome OS devices and iPads aren't really that comparable, since Chrome OS provides a WIMP desktop UI experience (with keyboard, mouse, etc.) and the iPad provides a fully touch-driven experience. Each has its advantages.
For instance, I wouldn't mind doing heavy word processing on a hard keyboard on a Chrome OS device, but would not do so on an iPad.



Apple's implementation of X is a pain in the ass. I wouldn't advertise it



As far as I know, Google has NO public strategy. In fact, Google outright has said that Android 2.2 isn't for tablets. Not their fault if dumbass hardware companies slap Android on top of shitty tablet hardware; Google can't stop them.



Ok, this is ridiculous.

First, fragmentation isn't "inherent in any broadly licensed platform." If you buy a Windows box at a store (or build a windows box at home for that matter), it will run any Windows applications for which it has the minimum hardware necessary. Just like with OSX apps
Sure, Windows doesn't play as nicely with various hardware drivers as does OS X, but characterizing Windows as "fragmented" (as this article does implicitly) is flat out ridiculous

Also, the buttons? Really? How does the placement of buttons substantively affect the usability or app compatibility of any given handset? Migrating between handsets, sure, but on a single handset?

And lastly, all of the differences you list here are examples of inconsistence experiences between handsets. If you actually want to talk about fragmentation, talk about how shitty handset manufacturers (AHEM SAMSUNG) aren't updating their phones. THAT's the issue
Remember, there is value in the Android ecosystem for the differences in experience. I can get a phone with some OEM's dumb skin on top of it, or I don't have to. I can buy a phone with a keyboard, or one without. I can buy a phone on any network. Etc.



Here, the connotation of using apps in a web browser is clearly negative.

Yet two pages before, you compared Chrome OS to the iPad, whose value derives from quickly accessing apps in a pinch. Consistency please




This statement is ridiculous

I can build a browser around the WebKit codebase that uses multiprocess rendering. Or I can build a browser that does not. There's a large and (what I thought was) an obvious difference between a browser and the rendering engine it uses.

Don't bitch Google out for not giving away its investment in Chrome for free. I certainly don't see Apple doing so for the proprietary bits of Safari.



Sorry, but I expect better from Apple Insider


I agree with you man this article is full of MAC/IOS crap, writer should not be biased if Apple really want to market their products they can but should not write crap against completions, i think competition is always healthy for better & improved product.
post #7 of 47
"Android-like fragmentation"?

What is the author smoking to come up with yarn? There is no evidence at all to suggest such a thing. There is a single Chrome notebook model at this point! Does the author understand that Chrome is distinctly different from Android? That two stores can coexist because one is for the web on laptops and one is for smartphones?

Sheesh!
Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

Ste...
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post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I couldnt disagree more. I can see a use for a simple, browser-based OS for cheap and simple HW, an area that Apple doesnt want to play in.. There are billions of people in developing nations Google could target with type of OS. With HW leases or purchased from ISPs that allow some form of internet access.

By being browser-based, doesnt mean that users are SOL is they dont have internet access. There are several offline DB storage options that Google has are part of HTML5. Google even jumped on this years ago with Google Gears. These types of systems could be loaded with a completely localized version of Google Docs that could print to a printer without ever needing to connect to the internet and do it for a fraction of what a PC cost today.

The key factor here being inexpensive hardware: something I'm not sure Google can accomplish--especially with internet access being bundled with each netbook.
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post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While Google continues to work the bugs out of Chrome OS, Apple has already answered the problems Chrome OS was intended to address with the iPad

LOL - damn straight! While Google has been pontificating and talking it up, Apple shipped.

Ooops! Inconvenient truth indeed.

When Chrome does ship, it will be fun watching those who criticized iPhone v1 for it's web-only app approach but now that Google is doing it will claim it's the best thing since sliced bread
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I couldnt disagree more. I can see a use for a simple, browser-based OS for cheap and simple HW, an area that Apple doesnt want to play in.. There are billions of people in developing nations Google could target with type of OS. With HW leases or purchased from ISPs that allow some form of internet access.

A free 3GS next year? What would a dumb box with Chrome realistically offer over a 3GS - even if it is two years old?

Quote:
By being browser-based, doesnt mean that users are SOL is they dont have internet access. There are several offline DB storage options that Google has are part of HTML5. Google even jumped on this years ago with Google Gears. These types of systems could be loaded with a completely localized version of Google Docs that could print to a printer without ever needing to connect to the internet and do it for a fraction of what a PC cost today.

Crap, if you are going to go through those hoops you might as well stick with a real mobile OS like the iOS or even Android.

Chrome - solving a problem that doesn't exist brilliantly!

Er, at least it will when it ships (!!)
post #11 of 47
The truth is Google will win the tablet battle too, like they have won the mobile battle. Android has kicked iPhones butt. And the Google Tabs will take over too. Hey Jobs "ANDROID" lol, that word scares him.
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

A free 3GS next year? What would a dumb box with Chrome realistically offer over a 3GS - even if it is two years old?

Crap, if you are going to go through those hoops you might as well stick with a real mobile OS like the iOS or even Android.

Chrome - solving a problem that doesn't exist brilliantly!

Er, at least it will when it ships (!!)

You lost me, Doc. I’m not talking about a smartphone OS, i’m not even talking about an OS that would be mobile in any way for most users. I’m talking about a resource-easy browser-based OS that would allow people around the world to have access to data on an unprecedented level. OLPC is okay, but there is a relatively high cost for the device compared to what I think Chrome OS can offer the people of these countries.

PS: Yes, this problem does exist in a very real and very profound way for most of the world’s population.
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post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

"Android-like fragmentation"?

What is the author smoking to come up with yarn? There is no evidence at all to suggest such a thing. There is a single Chrome notebook model at this point! Does the author understand that Chrome is distinctly different from Android? That two stores can coexist because one is for the web on laptops and one is for smartphones?

Sheesh!

If you have ever done mobile development you know fragmentation is very real, even apple can not avoid it. It is just much less severe than android due to limited number of devices and the intrinsic object-c binding. Android suffers much worse problems here, different screen sizes, keyboard layouts, device capabilities, and some very manufacture specific "enhancements". That said, it is still much better than J2me.
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

The key factor here being inexpensive hardware: something I'm not sure Google can accomplish--especially with internet access being bundled with each netbook.

That was exactly the battle cry for Nc championed by Eric S, and it failed miserably. The truce is chrome does nothing a net book can not do, and it is not cheaper. On the other end net book can do a lot the chrome can not do.
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You lost me, Doc. Im not talking about a smartphone OS, im not even talking about an OS that would be mobile in any way for most users. Im talking about a resource-easy browser-based OS that would allow people around the world to have access to data on an unprecedented level. OLPC is okay, but there is a relatively high cost for the device compared to what I think Chrome OS can offer the people of these countries.

But why? What advantage does chrome have over iOS?

Ease of use? Not when it has to be augmented to work off line.

Cost? That is where I am going with the old 3GS remark. When Apple can probably beat the cost of a netbook with a 3GS, what exactly does a netbook running Chrome bring to the table?

Quote:
PS: Yes, this problem does exist in a very real and very profound way for most of the worlds population.

OK, but I still say iOS (or Android) is far more valuable than Chrome, and that I think Apple can match anything in the Android ecosystem when it comes to price. Indeed, if the iPad is any indication Apple is so far besting everyone when it comes to economies of production for tablets.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

"Android-like fragmentation"?

What is the author smoking to come up with yarn? There is no evidence at all to suggest such a thing. There is a single Chrome notebook model at this point! Does the author understand that Chrome is distinctly different from Android? That two stores can coexist because one is for the web on laptops and one is for smartphones?

Sheesh!

It still would be better to have the two work together, but you are right, one is a "netbook" or whatever platform. The tablet form factor may not be chrome ever.
post #17 of 47
Quote:
One example is Chrome's novel multiprocess architecture, which isolates web plugins and web site instances in tabs, preventing crashes or security exploits in one tab or plugin from affecting what is happening in the rest of the browser. Google didn't contribute this back to WebKit, so Apple is now working to add its own split process isolation model to WebKit2 in a way all users of WebKit can benefit from.

Well why should the HTML render code feature this when it should be more upstream so to speak? I don't expect all of Safari's features to be open source (and it isn't).

Besides, if you want it, there is the Chromium source which is what Chrome is based on, AND is open source.
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

PS: Yes, this problem does exist in a very real and very profound way for most of the world’s population.

first-world business models - ad revenue, paid apps, credit cards, broadband wifi access, etc. - do not work in the second and third world where most of that world population still live. Chrome OS is a first world product. (so are all the other new OS's.)

someday some company in India or China or Indonesia or Brazil may very well make and sell a knock-off Chrome OS tablet for $25, and people will pirate the paid apps and find free/purloined wifi when they can. (just like actually, a majority of the second/third world's PC's probably run on pirate Windows software on very cheap hardware now.)

yes, actually i think that is a good thing if it is either that or nothing for them. but i don't think that is why Google is creating Chrome OS or the market it intends for it.
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

But why? What advantage does chrome have over iOS?

Ease of use? Not when it has to be augmented to work off line.

Cost? That is where I am going with the old 3GS remark. When Apple can probably beat the cost of a netbook with a 3GS, what exactly does a netbook running Chrome bring to the table?

OK, but I still say iOS (or Android) is far more valuable than Chrome, and that I think Apple can match anything in the Android ecosystem when it comes to price. Indeed, if the iPad is any indication Apple is so far besting everyone when it comes to economies of production for tablets.

1) Apple doesnt license iOS.

2) iOS and Android are not desktop OSes.

3) iOS and Android doesnt run on x86 hardware.

4) Im still not seeing what the iPhone 3GS has to do with my comment about a low cost desktop OS for developing nations. Chrome OS doesnt have the resource requirements of Windows, which is now the most common desktop OS is developing nations.
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post #20 of 47
I have a work Macbook Pro, but all the apps I use are now web based (all hosted on our own servers). All I need is a web browser; having the rest of OS-X running seems like a waste. I do think ChromeOS is still a little ahead of its time for most people; but we are rapidly moving towards a future where we spend all out time in a browser at which point why include all the other stuff an OS comes with?
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) Apple doesnt license iOS.

2) iOS and Android are not desktop OSes.

3) iOS and Android doesnt run on x86 hardware.

4) Im still not seeing what the iPhone 3GS has to do with my comment about a low cost desktop OS for developing nations. Chrome OS doesnt have the resource requirements of Windows, which is now the most common desktop OS is developing nations.

Why do you think that developing nations want desktop machines or machines running x86? A device like the iPod Touch or iPad makes far more sense. Much simpler, much greater power efficiency.

Again I come back to - what does Chrome offer that's so compelling?
post #22 of 47
Google makes money off advertising. There is no free lunch. I don't want my documents sharing screen space with a bunch of banner ads based on the key words appearing in my document.

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post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

I have a work Macbook Pro, but all the apps I use are now web based (all hosted on our own servers). All I need is a web browser; having the rest of OS-X running seems like a waste.

Your in a minority.

Quote:
I do think ChromeOS is still a little ahead of its time for most people; but we are rapidly moving towards a future where we spend all out time in a browser at which point why include all the other stuff an OS comes with?

Never gonna happen. The web will never supplant applications directly running on top of hardware. Yes, the web can do lots of things, but for all that it is, it's still just the modern equivalent of a 3270 terminal.

All the reasons people criticized the web only strategy of the first iPhone still apply - or are those criticisms moot simply because Chrome is from Google?
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Why do you think that developing nations want desktop machines or machines running x86? A device like the iPod Touch or iPad makes far more sense. Much simpler, much greater power efficiency.

Again I come back to - what does Chrome offer that's so compelling?

It’s not about “want” it’s about was it feasible. I want a Bugatti Veyron and a G6 but I’m not getting either. If you look at what the average family in a world can afford to spend on a “computer” a $500 iPad isn’t even an option. It’s also not designed to be a household’s sole computing device as noted by the initial tethering to a PC running iTunes.

I, as an affluent American, think the iPad is an inexpensive device, but it’s several times more the cost than PCs costs people in much of the world. I’ve seen this first hand!

Chrome OS, on the other hand, has the potential to be run on very inexpensive, low-power HW and yet still offer people a great resource for education that was never possible with the few used and outdated books many schools of the world have.

PS: I’ve stated what Chrome OS has to offer at every turn. if you can’t see how a free OS on cheap HW people can put together themselves could be a benefit to developing nations over a $500+ iPad (plus a PC) I don’t know what to tell you.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

I have a work Macbook Pro, but all the apps I use are now web based (all hosted on our own servers). All I need is a web browser; having the rest of OS-X running seems like a waste. I do think ChromeOS is still a little ahead of its time for most people; but we are rapidly moving towards a future where we spend all out time in a browser at which point why include all the other stuff an OS comes with?

Screw that! I want local apps, local content; you can keep your 404 NOT FOUND error. I want a reliable user experience. Until the Web works right 100% of the time and never goes down (gives tumblr the evil eye), no "server is not responding" (WikiLeaks), no "server is overcapacity" (Twitter, AT&T iPhone upgrade eligibility check), or server unreachable (AppleInsider), you can keep your web based app future, Andy!

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The open source community was outraged when Apple introduced demonstrations of HTML5 features that assumed the use of its Safari browser, but so far there does not seem to be any issues with Google's construction of a proprietary subset of HTML5 as a platform that only runs on Google's own browser.



Just goes to show that the open source community is nothing but a bunch of complete and utter hypocrites.

Yeah - Google is "open", and Apple is "closed". Right.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I couldnt disagree more. I can see a use for a simple, browser-based OS for cheap and simple HW, an area that Apple doesnt want to play in.. There are billions of people in developing nations Google could target with type of OS. With HW leases or purchased from ISPs that allow some form of internet access.

By being browser-based, doesnt mean that users are SOL is they dont have internet access. There are several offline DB storage options that Google has are part of HTML5. Google even jumped on this years ago with Google Gears. These types of systems could be loaded with a completely localized version of Google Docs that could print to a printer without ever needing to connect to the internet and do it for a fraction of what a PC cost today.



If they are cheap, will access the web in a reasonable manner, and are cheap, I think that they have a place in a lot of places in a lot of homes.
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Screw that! I want local apps, local content; you can keep your 404 NOT FOUND error. I want a reliable user experience. Until the Web works right 100% of the time and never goes down (gives tumblr the evil eye), no "server is not responding" (WikiLeaks), no "server is overcapacity" (Twitter, AT&T iPhone upgrade eligibility check), or server unreachable (AppleInsider), you can keep your web based app future, Andy!

Note that web apps is synonomous with browser-based apps in most cases, and with HTML5 they can natively be local apps without ever needing an internet connection.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #29 of 47
classic desktop applications do/store everything local. pure "cloud" apps do the opposite except for local scripts and plugins running inside the browser. what has made iOS apps, and now Android, so successful is that they mix and match both web/local components flexibly, depending on what they are focused on, to give users the best of both worlds. the user doesn't bother to think about what is web and what is local. it "just works."

it's the focus on specific topics, making that info/activity as easy as possible and satisfying for the user, that makes this new era of apps so potent, so popular, and spreading so rapidly - a true "disruption" in modern computing practice.

but insisting that everything must run inside a browser is too ideological and runs counter to this pragmatic and very adaptable approach that puts user experience first above all other considerations. sure, i suppose there are Chrome OS workarounds for everything somehow, but why should the whole digital world re-organize itself for Google's particular idea? especially now that it has just discovered these last three years the "amazing" (as Jobs would say) advantages of the iOS/Android approach to apps?

which is why i wrote earlier, Chrome OS might have been a good idea three years ago before this app revolution. but now it is a dead end branch of the digital evolutionary tree.

the real "holy grail" as many note, that Chrome OS aspires to, is a drop dead simple OS with as few settings and as little maintenance as possible - none at all would be perfect - but that also hosts such new era hybrid apps, including more complex ones like the iWork apps. and the iPad almost does this, except you still need to plug it into some computer that you must also maintain for setup and updates (i wonder if Apple will ever cut that umbilical cord?). Android goes even further, needing no computer - but you need a telco middleman instead (that's worse!).

what i can speculate Apple might do to get to this Holy Grail first is add an "iOS mode" to OS X Lion for Mac desktops/laptops - it would optionally boot/switch instantly into iOS (like a User) and work just like an iPad, running iOS apps, with the Magic Trackpad/Magic Mouse for UI. after filling in your necessary basic info in that Apple first run start up screen, you would never, ever have to run it in OS X mode if you never wanted to, and Software Update would automatically update both iOS apps and OS X applications in the background with just one click (as the new OS X Application Store will enable in a few weeks).

heck, this makes as much sense as enabling Mac OS to run Windows with Boot Camp in Leopard did three short years ago - more! - and technically can't be as hard as that was. for myself, i'd normally use iOS and just switch into OS X for "power computing" for working with editing video and photos and hobby applications stuff. Chrome OS could never do this.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Screw that! I want local apps, local content; you can keep your 404 NOT FOUND error. I want a reliable user experience. Until the Web works right 100% of the time and never goes down (gives tumblr the evil eye), no "server is not responding" (WikiLeaks), no "server is overcapacity" (Twitter, AT&T iPhone upgrade eligibility check), or server unreachable (AppleInsider), you can keep your web based app future, Andy!

The tools I use are already online so it doesn't matter if I have OS-X or ChromeOS. Even if I had local apps all the data is online. Having a traditional desktop OS provides me with no benefits as I am not using the extra capability.
post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Your in a minority.

It is a minority that is getting rapidly bigger. Actually there are lots of business users who just use web based apps. When I go see my bank manager everything is now a web form. Why does he have a PC with all its hidden costs when all he needs is a browser?

I don't think everyone should switch. Photoshop is not going to run in a browser; however, most users don't run Photoshop and there are probably a lot of users, especially within companies who don't need the additional benefits of a traditional OS.

Quote:
All the reasons people criticized the web only strategy of the first iPhone still apply - or are those criticisms moot simply because Chrome is from Google?

The mobile web has become a lot more reliable and a lot faster since the original iPhone.
post #32 of 47
They can do all the cranking they want, Javascript will never be as fast as C. And to those who say "It's fast enough," - what about battery life, what about mobile gaming (a surprisingly big market)?
post #33 of 47
Quote:
"The attack of WikiLeaks also ought to be a wake-up call for anyone who has rosy fantasies about whose side cloud computing providers are on. These are firms like Google, Flickr, Facebook, Myspace and Amazon which host your blog or store your data on their servers somewhere on the internet, or which enable you to rent "virtual" computers again located somewhere on the net. The terms and conditions under which they provide both "free" and paid-for services will always give them grounds for dropping your content if they deem it in their interests to do so. The moral is that you should not put your faith in cloud computing one day it will rain on your parade."

from http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ive-with-leaks
post #34 of 47
I could see why Chrome OS would be a good idea.

- I'm assuming this would be cheap such as $100 to $300 per laptop.

- This is "perfect for my mom". She can't virus it or break it. She doesn't have an mp3 or movie collection on her computer and never will. iPad would be great, but then I still need to get a keyboard so she can type email.

- On everywhere again means my mom doesn't have to figure out how someone else's wireless works.

- Practically nothing to support on it.

- If you want to give a workforce laptops so they can use your website. This is great. They can't mess them up and even if they did you could probably wipe it and refresh it from the BIOS or something.
post #35 of 47
Poor old Google... it had the same insight that Apple did (that today's computers are overkill for 80% of people) but they didn't think big enough in solving it. Their solution did not include a hardware component.

Their solution will work, and they should continue with it, but because of the iPad it has lost a certain coolness...
post #36 of 47
Very biased article.

Firstly, Google have tightened up the hardware requirements for new Android releases. Not that having slightly different button placement matters on a phone that is a highly individual possession that someone has for a long time - a total non-issue. Other Android fragmentation issues also seem to be more based in the realms of FUD than reality, the odd developer whining about having to do a little more work to support a few more resolutions.

The requirements for ChromeOS will be far tighter. It's designed for keyboard use, so comparing to the iPad is disingenuous. Android will have a suitable tablet version soon anyway.

The company who should be worrying is Microsoft - at least when Google Docs gets better. I also presume that locally installable applications will be happening (not HTML5 apps either, they're a given) for games, etc, that require more performance.

There are some pro-Apple facts though - their platform is more mature, their tablet platform is a year ahead already, the ecosystem is massive, the development tools are better and more mature, etc, etc. But that doesn't mean that Google won't get there in the end.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

They can do all the cranking they want, Javascript will never be as fast as C. And to those who say "It's fast enough," - what about battery life, what about mobile gaming (a surprisingly big market)?

Many games have been scriptable for a long time, indeed their game logic is implemented in a language like Python or Lua running on an interpreter within the game engine. Javascript won't be an issue here.

So the back-end - the rendering. Web GL exists, hardware accelerated. That that takes care of the performance issues with the visualisation.

So that leaves the actual engine and interpreter itself. Google's Javascript interpreter is already pretty fast, let's not worry about it. So the engine then ... this could be an issue.

But I reckon that Google will eventually allow native applications - once they've got the tools in place and the support in the OS. It could be that the OS is x86 only, but potentially if it runs on ARM as well it could allow for very cheap netbooks and laptops.
post #38 of 47
Holy FUD!

And what's with the comparison to the iPad? The consumer market isn't the only one that matters.

Read up on some of the partners Google's working with to get this thing off the ground. I doubt the US DoD or American Airlines are lightweights with technology. There's certainly a market for a connected thin client....the network computer of the old days. That's the market Chrome is aimed at. Android is the competitor to iOS. Chrome is a different paradigm altogether.

A lot of this FUD sounds eerily reminiscent of people saying nobody would buy an iPad just because it was a giant iPod.
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You lost me, Doc. Im not talking about a smartphone OS, im not even talking about an OS that would be mobile in any way for most users. Im talking about a resource-easy browser-based OS that would allow people around the world to have access to data on an unprecedented level. OLPC is okay, but there is a relatively high cost for the device compared to what I think Chrome OS can offer the people of these countries.

PS: Yes, this problem does exist in a very real and very profound way for most of the worlds population.

+1 for thinking with your head instead of your inner fanboy like the opposite party in this discussion.

Not everything Google does, is about taking on Apple.

This is one example. I think this is Google's way of taking on Microsoft and its Windows monopoly....particularly in the developing world. iOS is entirely inadequate for that task. And Apple really does not care about you unless you're in the 1/5th of the human population that can afford their products. The US centric view in these parts is just ridiculous sometimes. Everybody here acts like everyone in the world can afford an iPad, and iPhone, a Macbook and a USD 100 per month phone bill.

I fully agree with you that this thing could best OLPC. And actually could get quite the traction in the developing world where internet and mobile data are suprisingly (relatively) cheaper and hardware and software (particularly the Microsoft kind) are very expensive. I will bet good money that this will take off in places like India almost immediately, particularly if Google follows up with Indian hardware partners like they are doing for Android (with a stated goal of getting the price of mid-range Android phones to under $200 - the judged threshold of the Indian lower middle class to upgrade to smartphones).

And this is all aside from the corporate market. I really do think that the NC was ahead of its time. Just like the Newton to the iPad. I would much rather be working on a fast (yet cheaper) Chrome machine at work then a Windows machine. And there's scant few companies that are going to go out and buy $1000 Macs for all their employees. We'll see if it pans out. But I do think there's real potential for this thing in corporate markets.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Why do you think that developing nations want desktop machines or machines running x86? A device like the iPod Touch or iPad makes far more sense. Much simpler, much greater power efficiency.

Again I come back to - what does Chrome offer that's so compelling?

I am starting to wonder if you've ever set foot outside the United States. Have you?

Just go to a cheap cyber-cafe in Mumbai. The nice ones catering to Westerners might have Macs. The cheap ones catering to locals might still be running Pentium 1s with a pirated version of Windows 95. And do their users care? No they don't. They are there to access the internet.

iPod Touchs and iPads are great devices. But they are absolutely unaffordable for 4/5ths of the world's population and do not have the functionality (a kid's going to write his essay on an iPod Touch?) or ruggedness required to survive out of delicate First World homes and businesses. Are you seriously going to suggest that a slum dweller in Mumbai or Calcutta should have an iPad as family computer over their netbook (a not uncommon situation today)?

Once in a while, do make an effort to think of the other 80% of the world that doesn't live your extravagant, pampered Western lifestyle....and I say that as a pampered Westerner.
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