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Google's Chrome OS assailed by needless, dangerous by critics

post #1 of 133
Thread Starter 
A former Google employee predicted that the company's web-based Chrome OS for netbooks would be canceled next year while GNU founder Richard Stallman warned of its dangerous potential for users.

The apparent success of Android isn't spilling over into Google's parallel Chrome OS project. The official launch of the new operating system has already slipped into the middle of next year, but now critics of all stripes are calling into question whether it's even a good idea.

Tale of Two OSs

Earlier today, Gmail creator Paul Buchheit, who has since left Google for Facebook before founding FriendFeed, predicted via Twitter: "ChromeOS will be killed next year (or merged with Android)."

According to a report by TechCrunch, Buchheit further clarified his thoughts later by adding, "Chrome OS has no purpose that isnt better served by Android (perhaps with a few mods to support a non-touch display). [...] I was thinking, 'is this too obvious to even state?', but then I see people taking Chrome OS seriously, and Google is even shipping devices for some reason."

That report also noted that Google's chief architect of Chrome OS, Matthew Papakipos, "left Google over the Summer for a job at Facebook, Paul Buchheits most recent former employer."

In November, a report by Tom Krazit of CNET examined the duality of Google's OS approach, noting that while Google's chief of Android development Andy Rubin originally said that device makers "need different technology for different products," founder Sergey Brin has more recently has stated that "Android and Chrome will likely converge over time."

While both Android and the Chrome OS are built on top of the Linux kernel, neither exposes much if any of the typical Linux user environment. Android is essentially a modified version of JavaME, while Chrome OS uses HTML5 to build its apps.

Google employees have previously stated that the company sees web apps as the future, making it more likely that Android would merge into Chrome OS, rather than Chrome OS being incorporated a part of the existing Android.

Putting two and two together

Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer has taken potshots at Google's dual OS strategy, telling his audience of Windows developers in January, "I don't know if they can't make up their mind or what the problem is over there, but the last time I checked, you don't need two client operating systems [Android and Chrome OS]. It's good to have one."

Ironically, Microsoft itself offers dual operating systems, with Windows 7 targeted at conventional computers and netbooks, while its media players and smartphones run a completely different Windows CE kernel and use their own unique development frameworks. Microsoft also spent most of the 90s trying to harmonize its DOS-based Windows with its new Windows NT operating system, a project that took far longer to complete than originally anticipated.

In contrast, Apple uses a single core OS and a unified set of development tools across its entire lineup, from the iPhone and iPod touch to the iPad and Apple TV and its Mac OS X computers. A decade ago, however, Apple was torn between its old Classic Mac OS and the new NeXTSTEP OS it had acquired from Steve Jobs' NeXT. It struggled for more than half a decade to merge the two.

The"careless" cloud

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, GNU founder Richard Stallman has derided Chrome OS as an attempt to "push people into careless computing," according to a report by The Guardian.

Stallman orchestrated the Free Software movement, which promotes a specific type of freedom in software: the ability of users to modify their own software as they see fit, rather than being stuck with commercial, proprietary software they can't modify. Stallman's GNU software makes up the upper portion of most Linux distributions and portions are incorporated into Apple's Mac OS X.

The problem Stallman outlines for Chrome OS isn't proprietary software (Chrome OS is an open source project), but rather the fact that Google is using it to create a new kind of cloud-based computing environment where most of users' data is stored on Google's servers.

"Two years ago," the report stated, "Stallman, a computing veteran who is a strong advocate of free software via his Free Software Foundation, warned that making extensive use of cloud computing was 'worse than stupidity' because it meant a loss of control of data." By hosting all their data on the cloud, users would be ceding control of their information to other parties, giving up legal rights in the process, Stallman warned.

"In essence, Chrome OS is the GNU/Linux operating system," Stallman stated. "However, it is delivered without the usual applications, and rigged up to impede and discourage installing applications. I'd say the problem is in the nature of the job Chrome OS is designed to do. Namely, encourage you to keep your data elsewhere, and do your computing elsewhere, instead of doing it in your own computer."

Stallman added, "I think that marketers like 'cloud computing' because it is devoid of substantive meaning. [] Perhaps the term 'careless computing' would suit it better."

The cloudy future

Apple's current answer to cloud computing, MobileMe, has largely served as an optional way for users to backup, sync, and publish information that lives on the users' local computer. Chrome OS takes this a set further in moving most of the users' data online, shifting the personal computer into a web terminal that accesses information stored almost entirely in the cloud.

Microsoft has hinted at having a similar cloud-centric plan for its upcoming Windows 8. Apple's future plans for Mac OS X Lion revolve around local apps the user can buy online and download to use locally, much like the iOS.

post #2 of 133
It is CARELESS computing for sure. The BIG brother can get your info easier without a court order. Why will anyone want to keep their personal information on any server.

With Chrome OS and other cloud-based computing, everything you do is out of your control. I will not attempt it, even if they pay me to use it. It is a disastrous proposition.

You are forewarned!
post #3 of 133
Does anyone really care what Steve Baldmer has to say any more?
post #4 of 133
Microsoft should be scared. Chrome OS offers a lightweight OS for Atom-based and other slower machines that Windows OS (desktop) can't match while also being easy to use, which no version of common Linux-builds on a netbook can match. I can see Chrome OS quickly capturing a great deal of MS' Windows business in a very short time.
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post #5 of 133
I think that the Chrome OS as a true OS in which a person would only work is a failed idea. We need local storage for privacy and convenience, and I personally wouldn't trust all my data or information to the cloud, anyone's cloud, be it Apple, Google, or Microsoft. The cloud is good for a few things, but seriously, I worry that we would be trusting it too much. We get all this fun for free now, but just think where it is going. (Like, the pay for web apps in Chrome Web Store? That's just the beginning!) I don't really like where its all headed.

However, a quick booting OS that can boot within seconds that only gives you the web, I think is a great idea. I don't want to be waiting for a full OS, with all of its services to load up just to check something online, (Yes yes, we all know of the MacBook Air) or even to have a full OS to do just that. If they can get it so standard computers/netbooks/notebooks can boot to a web browser in under 10 seconds, then I am game. For some, buying a whole new computer/tablet would be out of the question, so bringing added usability to our existing computers would be fantastic!

All that said, AI, just exactly how much do you hate anything non-Apple? If you haven't noticed already, articles in this kind of tone make for some testy forums. Granted, it gets you hits... mine included.
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post #6 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by booradley View Post

Has anyone ever really cared what Steve Baldmer has to say?

Fixed!!
post #7 of 133
I have high hopes for the future of Chrome OS. In my life (climbing guide and carpenter) the ability to access data over the network is crucial. I think that data should be stored on a local server/desktop that runs OSX, linux, or windows. The potential has been demonstrated by CITRIX and the playing field is wide open.

Android seems to be a quick response to IOS, I could see Chrome benefiting from that technology to bring a more mobile Chrome OS.
post #8 of 133
Clearly a hybrid would be the best solution. I have to agree with Paul Buchheit that Chrome OS does seem pointless.
post #9 of 133
Chrome would alienate Android developers-- would you ever trust Google again? It seems more likely that a Salesforce would want to tackle that project...
post #10 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer has taken potshots at Google's dual OS strategy, telling his audience of Windows developers in January, "I don't know if they can't make up their mind or what the problem is over there, but the last time I checked, you don't need two client operating systems [Android and Chrome OS]. It's good to have one."

Now Google knows that its two OS strategy will definitely work.
na na na na na...
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na na na na na...
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post #11 of 133
Chrome OS is probably going to die. It may be nice but stuff like splashtop already exist and is just about instant on as you can get on x86 machines.

If they are going to do something, do it right. ARM tablets are only getting better, and the ipad shows that its new line of thinking is how computers should work.
post #12 of 133

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 5/4/12 at 1:09pm
post #13 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by booradley View Post

Does anyone really care what Steve Balmer has to say any more?

Does anyone care what Richard Stallman has to say anymore either?
post #14 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Clearly a hybrid would be the best solution. I have to agree with Paul Buchheit that Chrome OS does seem pointless.

Yeah, Chrome is about "doing everything in the browser" based on the assumption that this would be easier for most people, but not only has that assumption never been proven, people are already moving away from the browser because it's considered too difficult for most people.

This is something that rarely filters through the mind of a techie (like most who visit this forum), but the best thing about the rise of the new mobile platform is that it's bringing in a whole lot of new users that found "traditional" computing (including web browsers), too complicated and confusing.

Chrome OS is just not a good OS for anyone but a fairly technical user. And it simply won't get any market share beyond those users. iOS on the other hand is exactly what Chrome promised it would be from the outset. A new, simple, always "on" OS that any idiot can use with a lot of the back end in the cloud. Chrome has no purpose now.
post #15 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

"assailed by needless"?

Seriously. [shakes head] I can tell a DED article just by the drama of the title. Important points to be sure but "assailed"? Maybe I should just be glad he's not typing in all caps.
post #16 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

"assailed by needless"?

I have read this title numerous times yet am still unable to make sense of it - does it actually make sense???
Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
by Popular Mechanics
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Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
by Popular Mechanics
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post #17 of 133
I travel the country. I have many computers, laptops and desktops. I have a smart phone. I have an iPad. MobileMe has lots of problems (lots of them) but it will get there like anything. And the fact I can sync my data to "the cloud" and get to it from anywhere is what cloud is all about. Your data can be encrypted. And unless you give out your key, DES is not going to be unencrypted. We are still at the very early stages of this cloud concept. I've been in the IT industry since the late 70's (ouch) and any technology worth its salt, is always improved over time. With the possible exception of Windows.
post #18 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm49uk View Post

I have read this title numerous times yet am still unable to make sense of it - does it actually make sense???

It makes sense if you change it to read "assailed as needless"
post #19 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post

I travel the country. I have many computers, laptops and desktops. I have a smart phone. I have an iPad. MobileMe has lots of problems (lots of them) but it will get there like anything. And the fact I can sync my data to "the cloud" and get to it from anywhere is what cloud is all about. Your data can be encrypted. And unless you give out your key, DES is not going to be unencrypted. We are still at the very early stages of this cloud concept. I've been in the IT industry since the late 70's (ouch) and any technology worth its salt, is always improved over time. With the possible exception of Windows.

I hope you meant AES not DES (which is incredibly insecure)....
Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
by Popular Mechanics
Reply
Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
by Popular Mechanics
Reply
post #20 of 133
Chrome OS hat it's users which just don't need more than it has to offer... so i'm pretty sure it will take a nice 20% bite out of the windows market within 12-24 months after release.
Unless there is a similar offer from anyone... so far there is none.

Anyways... funny you guys would misuse Stallman to make a point since Apple represents pretty much the opposite of Stallmans beliefs.
post #21 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Goodman View Post

It makes sense if you change it to read "assailed as needless"

Not sure it does even then.....
Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
by Popular Mechanics
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Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
by Popular Mechanics
Reply
post #22 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm49uk View Post

I have read this title numerous times yet am still unable to make sense of it - does it actually make sense???

The critics are needless and dangerous?
post #23 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm49uk View Post

I hope you meant AES not DES (which is incredibly insecure)....

Old habits die hard. Like typing too fast.
post #24 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yeah, Chrome is about "doing everything in the browser" based on the assumption that this would be easier for most people, but not only has that assumption never been proven, people are already moving away from the browser because it's considered too difficult for most people.

This is something that rarely filters through the mind of a techie (like most who visit this forum), but the best thing about the rise of the new mobile platform is that it's bringing in a whole lot of new users that found "traditional" computing (including web browsers), too complicated and confusing.

Chrome OS is just not a good OS for anyone but a fairly technical user. And it simply won't get any market share beyond those users. iOS on the other hand is exactly what Chrome promised it would be from the outset. A new, simple, always "on" OS that any idiot can use with a lot of the back end in the cloud. Chrome has no purpose now.

Not too sure I'd agree. Compared to iOS and Android it seems redundant, but this thing is looking to eventually displace Windows. On multi-vendor hardware at an affordable price, I don't see many reasons for Chrome not to do well. They'll roll it out on Netbooks at first, but down the line we'll be seeing it on full fledged desktop computers.

Contrary to your point, I reckon that Chrome will be for the least technical users, as just about everyone knows how to use a web browser. I'd argue that the browser is probably the most familiar application for most users so making an OS based on it doesn't seem a bad idea by any stretch. Even Thurrott is concerned, perhaps not a great example as he's as out of touch as you can get.

A shame Google didn't actually introduce any paradigm shift in terms of how we interact with the thing though, except for removing the caps lock.

Another thing, which I think you hinted at, is that Google should be mindful of the move towards apps instead of the web, which kinda flies in the face of that search thing they have going on.
post #25 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

The critics are needless and dangerous?

Nearest guess yet I reckon! :-)
Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
by Popular Mechanics
Reply
Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
by Popular Mechanics
Reply
post #26 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Microsoft should be scared. Chrome OS offers a lightweight OS for Atom-based and other slower machines that Windows OS (desktop) can't match while also being easy to use, which no version of common Linux-builds on a netbook can match. I can see Chrome OS quickly capturing a great deal of MS' Windows business in a very short time.

Chrome OS is going to fail, as it should. People talk about how closed iOS is, but it really isn't. With Chrome, you can't install anything. You have to use what are essentially web pages to do your work. Sure, you can hack it, but you can hack iOS as well.

I still don't trust cloud computing. Not only do they have your data, and only their word that they aren't peeking into it, and somehow benefiting from it in some way, but they can know exactly what you're doing on those pages, even including what formula in a spreadsheet you're using. That's something even Stallman hasn't mentioned as far as I know.

I don't use MobileMe, but I have no interest in using online backups either. That's just dangerous. Storage is pretty cheap these days. If people are really nuts, drop a HDD in a safe deposit box in your bank. I really don't trust Google. I think they are the most dangerous company on the planet today. They have shown no respect for privacy whatsoever.
post #27 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Chrome OS is going to fail, as it should. People talk about how closed iOS is, but it really isn't. With Chrome, you can't install anything. You have to use what are essentially web pages to do your work. Sure, you can hack it, but you can hack iOS as well.

I still don't trust cloud computing. Not only do they have your data, and only their word that they aren't peeking into it, and somehow benefiting from it in some way, but they can know exactly what you're doing on those pages, even including what formula in a spreadsheet you're using. That's something even Stallman hasn't mentioned as far as I know.

I don't use MobileMe, but I have no interest in using online backups either. That's just dangerous. Storage is pretty cheap these days. If people are really nuts, drop a HDD in a safe deposit box in your bank. I really don't trust Google. I think they are the most dangerous company on the planet today. They have shown no respect for privacy whatsoever.

Those are concerns that can be summed up with basic feelings people have had about computers for as long as Ive been alive.

The fact is people already use the internet is ways that maintain their data in form or another. contacts, email, IMs, file sharing, web searches. Then you have open WiFi hotspots and internet purchases. All Chrome OS is doing is making the slow crappy HW in netbooks (for now) be a usable system for satellite computing.

I dont see how this cant work.
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post #28 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

I think that the Chrome OS as a true OS in which a person would only work is a failed idea. We need local storage for privacy and convenience, and I personally wouldn't trust all my data or information to the cloud, anyone's cloud, be it Apple, Google, or Microsoft. The cloud is good for a few things, but seriously, I worry that we would be trusting it too much. We get all this fun for free now, but just think where it is going. (Like, the pay for web apps in Chrome Web Store? That's just the beginning!) I don't really like where its all headed.

However, a quick booting OS that can boot within seconds that only gives you the web, I think is a great idea. I don't want to be waiting for a full OS, with all of its services to load up just to check something online, (Yes yes, we all know of the MacBook Air) or even to have a full OS to do just that. If they can get it so standard computers/netbooks/notebooks can boot to a web browser in under 10 seconds, then I am game. For some, buying a whole new computer/tablet would be out of the question, so bringing added usability to our existing computers would be fantastic!

All that said, AI, just exactly how much do you hate anything non-Apple? If you haven't noticed already, articles in this kind of tone make for some testy forums. Granted, it gets you hits... mine included.

Do you know how many articles in business websites have already said the same thing that's been said here? Even worse? This is moderate by comparison.

Do you trust a company whose CEO said that they would know more about you than you did yourself, and that they would make decisions for you before you knew you wanted to make them? And how about him saying to people who weren't happy about having their homes on the Internet in Street View, that they could always move afterwards?

Does that turn you on? It turns me off! So I think this article could have been a lot stronger. How much of that data you will be trusting with them will they be using for their "dream"?

Can you imagine the furor if Jobs had said anything like this? Google is getting a pass because they convince people that they're nice guys, which they aren't.
post #29 of 133
Cloud is good for collaboration and possibly backup, but I still prefer to keep most of my data locally, where I can quickly know that data is stolen and do something about it (remote wipe etc) rather then waiting for google to admit a breach. Chrome os will not be used for business purposes.
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post #30 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Does anyone care what Richard Stallman has to say anymore either?

He's a wild man, but he's got it right here. If anything, he's missed things.
post #31 of 133
Chrome OS just gained 10 points with Stallman bashing it.
post #32 of 133
A hybrid of both local and cloud based computing combining the best features of each concept would always be the best solution IMO. Both local and cloud have advantages and disadvantages so why not use both?
I feel a Cloud style OS would be deliberately disabling a computing device for ideological reasons rather than practical.
Can we really make a device much cheaper using a Cloud OS ? The processor is gonna have to pack some punch to run HTML5 anywhere near the speed of a Cocoa app. And a cocoa app is already very well equipped to store data in and retrieve content from the cloud. I just don't see any potential advantage.

And doesn't the speed of light pose response problems? No fixing that one sonny jim.
post #33 of 133
I have to say I really can't see mass adoption of Chrome OS even if it ever actually makes it to market. Trying to convince non-tech-minded consumers to forgo local software and storage and live their IT lives inside a suped-up browser is going to be a task even the most conniving of high street electronics salesmen is going to struggle with.

I just think this is a matter of reading trends. Processors, memory, solid state storage etc. are advancing faster than the average web connection speeds for users. That means all the advantages of Chrome OS are going to fade as standard computers boot faster and faster and get cheaper and cheaper. A light version of Chrome OS might have made sense in 2005, but not in 2010 and certainly not in 2015.

Add to that the spectre of the tablet with its instant-on, ready to go browser and snuggle-up-in-a-chair-and-browse appeal and I just think Chrome OS is going to have only niche appeal. It should be scrapped, but whether it will be or not is another matter.
post #34 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I really don't trust Google. I think they are the most dangerous company on the planet today. They have shown no respect for privacy whatsoever.

You have hit the nail on the head!
Google's total disregard for user rights is the real and unmentioned reason why Chrome (and other things should absolutely be killed (not even allowed to die a slow death)
It will only happen if people realize free isn't without a price.
post #35 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Those are concerns that can be summed up with basic feelings people have had about computers for as long as I’ve been alive.

The fact is people already use the internet is ways that maintain their data in form or another. contacts, email, IMs, file sharing, web searches. Then you have open WiFi hotspots and internet purchases. All Chrome OS is doing is making the slow crappy HW in netbooks (for now) be a usable system for satellite computing.

I don’t see how this can’t work.

They're making you store your stuff on THEIR servers. They can track everything you do. Along with the other things I mentioned in other posts, I don't think Google is trustworthy. Along with their "mistakenly" stealing people's passwords and other personal info while doing Steetview and other mapping fieldwork, and not deleting that info when told to by some governments, shows the danger here. Why would their software capture that info in the first place? It all seems fishy. As has been pointed out on some other sites, Chrome browser can do the same thing this does, while giving other options. This OS seems designed for the sole purpose of eliminating those options.
post #36 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by booradley View Post

Does anyone really care what Steve Baldmer has to say any more?

Who?
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
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post #37 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yeah, Chrome is about "doing everything in the browser" based on the assumption that this would be easier for most people, but not only has that assumption never been proven, people are already moving away from the browser because it's considered too difficult for most people.

This is something that rarely filters through the mind of a techie (like most who visit this forum), but the best thing about the rise of the new mobile platform is that it's bringing in a whole lot of new users that found "traditional" computing (including web browsers), too complicated and confusing.

Chrome OS is just not a good OS for anyone but a fairly technical user. And it simply won't get any market share beyond those users. iOS on the other hand is exactly what Chrome promised it would be from the outset. A new, simple, always "on" OS that any idiot can use with a lot of the back end in the cloud. Chrome has no purpose now.

If "web app" is a workable idea, Apple would have had great success with its original "web apps" approach in the original iPhone back in 2007. The huge success and popularity of the App Store has proven that people don't like to connect to the internet to do every trivial stuff esp. when the internet is still significantly terribly slower than the access speed of the slowest hard drive. A web browser is good for the browsing the web, and that's it.
post #38 of 133
Why does AppleInsider continue to give this raging Apple fanboy the space to write his rants? We know what he's going to say: If it's not an Apple product, it sucks. It's laughable. Please, stop posting this nonsense from Mr. Dilger.
post #39 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Android is essentially a modified version of JavaME

I registered just to say that the only thing in common Android has with JavaME is that they run on mobile devices. Then all similarities end. And OSX is essentially a modified version of Windows
post #40 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Microsoft should be scared. Chrome OS offers a lightweight OS for Atom-based and other slower machines that Windows OS (desktop) can't match while also being easy to use, which no version of common Linux-builds on a netbook can match. I can see Chrome OS quickly capturing a great deal of MS' Windows business in a very short time.

You mean the Chrome os that doesn't exist? You're usually more lucid than this ^


By the way, it's a horrible idea to use any of Googles products or services. Similar could probably be said about both apple and microsoft, but they're better at hiding it so far.
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