Google remakes its web-based Chrome OS to look more like Windows

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


Google's experiment to replace Microsoft Windows on low end PCs and netbooks with its own web browser-based Chrome OS has failed, resulting in an effort to make the product look more like a conventional desktop.



First outlined in July 2009, Google's Chrome OS was supposed to improve upon the PC experience by replacing the complexity of Windows with a simple, stripped down version of Linux hosting a web based environment modeled upon the Chrome browser, running HTML5 web apps.



"People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up," Google stated at the time. "They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them."



Google also said Chrome OS would be "going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates."



In November of 2009. the company outlined more details about Chrome OS, which at the time largely targeted Windows netbooks. Just months later, however, Apple launched its own alternative to the low end PC: iPad.



No love for Chrome OS



While Apple had trouble producing enough iPads to meet demand, Google has seen limited interest in Chrome OS at all, despite creating its own Cr-48 prototype hardware for developers and licensing the design of "Chromebooks" running the new system to PC makers such as Acer and Samsung.



By the end of 2010, Gmail creator Paul Buchheit, who had since left Google for Facebook, predicted "ChromeOS will be killed next year (or “merged” with Android)," while open source evangelist Richard Stallman complained ChromeOS was an attempt to "push people into careless computing."



While Apple's iPad seemed to obliterate the demand for netbooks, it also stoked entirely new markets for tablet computing in education, marketing, government, healthcare and a variety of specialized markets ranging from airline flight bags to point of sale devices. Chrome OS hasn't blazed any sort of trails however.



While Chrome OS-based netbooks running both Intel x86 and ARM chips were supposed to ship by the middle of 2010, Google postponed its launch plans to the middle of 2011.



New polish for old Chrome



In May of 2011, Google floated plans for subscription-based "Chromebook" hardware that could be rented for $20 per month for students or $28 for business users.



In August of last year, Gartner indicated that all alternative PC platforms running Linux would remain niche operating systems with less than 2 percent market share. The company said it did not expect Google's Chrome OS or Android, nor HP's Palm webOS, to gain any significant market share in the next few years, citing application compatibility issues.



In an apparent new bid to salvage Chrome OS, Google is now revamping the system to look more familiar to Windows users, with a Windows 7 Start-like app launcher and taskbar, and a new "flexible windowing system" called Aura that provides "rich visuals, large-scale animated transitions and effects that can be produced only with the assistance of hardware acceleration."











Chrome OS vs Android vs Windows 8



In addition to being blindsided by iPad, Chrome OS has also fought with Android for attention from developers interested in Google's future plans. Throughout last year, Google focused on tablet form factor products with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, a product that largely overlapped upon the target audience of Chrome OS.



Android 3.0 Honeycomb ultimately didn't have much impact upon the tablet market, and was forced to compete against earlier, incompatible versions of Android used by low end tablet products from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.



Going forward, Google now faces entrenched competition from Apple's rapidly evolving iPad and its iOS ecosystem, with the $399 iPad 2 and the new Retina Display iPad starting at $499.



The company will also battle Microsoft for the attention of PC makers trying to enter the tablet market later this year, as Windows 8 ships in a version that can run on more efficient ARM-based devices.



Google has launched a series of web-based products that it ultimately canceled, including Google Answers, Buzz, Catalog, Checkout, Dodgeball, Froogle, Jaiku, Knol, Labs, Lively, Notebook, SearchWiki, Wave, and 411.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    BREAKING: Microsoft sues for GUI plagiarism!



    And that's Launchpad, for frick's sake. Screw you, Google. Screw you even more. Even MICROSOFT did their own thing this time around. SCREW. YOU.
  • Reply 2 of 61
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,415member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In an apparent new bid to salvage Chrome OS, Google is now revamping the system to look more familiar to Windows users, with a Windows 7 Start-like app launcher and taskbar, and a new "flexible windowing system" called Aura that provides "rich visuals, large-scale animated transitions and effects that can be produced only with the assistance of hardware acceleration."



    The blogger that made that post has now removed the article, no reason given.
  • Reply 3 of 61
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,304member
    If you can't innovate, duplicate!!



    That's downright embarrassing. Rip-off Window's look and feel, and while they're at it, snub OSX too by mimicking launchpad.



    Cue the iHaters, trolls, and whiners trying to spin this that Windows/OSX does not corner the market on placement of icons, etc...
  • Reply 4 of 61
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,778member
    Well that makes it clear who they know their target audience is!
  • Reply 5 of 61
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,415member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    If you can't innovate, duplicate!!



    That's downright embarrassing. Rip-off Window's look and feel, and while they're at it, snub OSX too by mimicking launchpad.



    Cue the iHaters, trolls, and whiners trying to spin this that Windows/OSX does not corner the market on placement of icons, etc...



    Where do those images come from? I haven't found if they're really what the Aura interface is going to look like or not. They might be real but a source link would be nice.
  • Reply 6 of 61
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    I am surprised people actually take Google seriously as a desktop, smartphone or tablet alternative. They are much too inexperienced in this area.
  • Reply 7 of 61
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drblank View Post


    I am surprised people actually take Google seriously as a desktop, smartphone or tablet alternative. They are much too inexperienced in this area.



    Same was said about Apple in 2007, remember.
  • Reply 8 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Same was said about Apple in 2007, remember.



    And Apple proved everyone wrong. Google has yet to prove anyone wrong. Show me the people saying that web search would never take off, or that people would never need more than 100 MB for their webmail inbox. Search and Gmail are the only two products that have ever done well, even remotely. Until Google starts really showing people they have the chops for more than those two fields, then there's just no faith to be had.
  • Reply 9 of 61
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I wouldn't call their Chrome OS efforts dubious in any way. There are certain things that we, as humans, require for things to work properly. Take doors, for example, they are taller than we are so we don't have to duck. That's obvious right? Take an extreme example, what if doors were the dimensions they are now but on their side? That's just ridiculous, right? Well that's putting system icons on the edge and in the corner are. You don't want them in the middle of the page you're working on.



    Then there culture requirements. These things can alter dramatically over time but it's usually hard to alter a popular and well known paradigm that is in existence with a single action. Google tried this with their previous Chrome OS designs. They made the browser windows always on, and in that window were apps just as they are now as icons. Even people on tech forums couldn't see past the browser as the OS instead of an OS based on WebKit (just like WebOS et al.).



    All they've done is meld the foundation browser window into the background but getting rid of the border and URL/Search bar and added some menu icons to the bottom. This is the paradigm. There is nothing stopping Google, Gnome, KDe, etc. from using this model, but most importantly it's the model that is most understood.



    What might be ironic is that Windows 7 and earlier user might understand and like Chrome OS the first time they use than the first time they use Windows 8 which has removed the Start Button and common method for accessing programs.
  • Reply 10 of 61
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post


    And Apple proved everyone wrong. Google has yet to prove anyone wrong. Show me the people saying that web search would never take off, or that people would never need more than 100 MB for their webmail inbox.



    Valid points.



    Quote:

    Search and Gmail are the only two products that have ever done well, even remotely.



    Self-driving cars. And no one knows a thing about them.



    Google needs to quit doing absolutely everything else? and focus on the self-driving cars. Who knows how much money is wasted by them driving around every street in the world taking pictures from all angles, compositing them, erasing people's faces, and then connecting them to their actually useful maps and compositing them. WHO KNOWS.



    Put all that money (and all their other crap/gimmick projects) into self-driving cars. Get it perfect. Then sell the tech to every single car manufacturer on the planet.



    They'll actually make money for a change instead of sinking hundreds of billions into YouTube, Motorola, Android, et cetera.
  • Reply 11 of 61
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post


    And Apple proved everyone wrong. Google has yet to prove anyone wrong. Show me the people saying that web search would never take off, or that people would never need more than 100 MB for their webmail inbox. Search and Gmail are the only two products that have ever done well, even remotely. Until Google starts really showing people they have the chops for more than those two fields, then there's just no faith to be had.



    Web browsing and email make up the bulk of what people who buy cheap computers do with them. This isn't a OS X v Chrome OS comparison, it's a cheap ass computer running the Windows Home Basic v an even cheaper ass computer running Chrome OS.



    I don't know of any of the Chrome OS-based device getting the crapware that comes on cheap Windows machines. This could mean a faster performing system for less money than you can get a Windows system.
  • Reply 12 of 61
    msimpsonmsimpson Posts: 452member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Well that makes it clear who they know their target audience is!



    Google's target is the wall. As in "throw shit on it and see what sticks".
  • Reply 13 of 61
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,415member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Web browsing and email make up the bulk of what people who buy cheap computers do with them. This isn't a OS X v Chrome OS comparison, it's a cheap ass computer running the Windows Home Basic v an even cheaper ass computer running Chrome OS.



    I don't know of any of the Chrome OS-based device getting the crapware that comes on cheap Windows machines. This could mean a faster performing system for less money than you can get a Windows system.



    Talking browsers, Google rolled out a new feature for Chrome that really does look useful

    http://chrome.blogspot.com/2012/04/a...verywhere.html
  • Reply 14 of 61
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Talking browsers, Google rolled out a new feature for Chrome that really does look useful

    http://chrome.blogspot.com/2012/04/a...verywhere.html



    Mountain Lion's Safari has that. Wouldn't that make it a WebKit thing?
  • Reply 15 of 61
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,415member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Mountain Lion's Safari has that. Wouldn't that make it a WebKit thing?



    Could be. I never saw anything on the feature in Chrome until about 15 minutes ago.
  • Reply 16 of 61
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,253member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    BREAKING: Microsoft sues for GUI plagiarism!



    And that's Launchpad, for frick's sake. Screw you, Google. Screw you even more. Even MICROSOFT did their own thing this time around. SCREW. YOU.



    Whoah!
  • Reply 17 of 61
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,229member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post


    And Apple proved everyone wrong. Google has yet to prove anyone wrong. Show me the people saying that web search would never take off, or that people would never need more than 100 MB for their webmail inbox. Search and Gmail are the only two products that have ever done well, even remotely. Until Google starts really showing people they have the chops for more than those two fields, then there's just no faith to be had.



    I concur with this entirely. I would also say Maps is also pretty excellent and Reader is... well... functional.



    The problem with Google is they are not using this new platform as an opportunity to do away with antiquated interface elements like the windows start menu. Selling out now for market share is going to bite them in the butt down the road. Pandering to corporate users in the now and forgetting to plan for the future is, and will be, the downfall of Microsoft.



    Apple used the iPad to take out flash. Going forward no company that wants their website to be relevant to the future can rely on flash. Steve did for philosophical reasons (because lack of timely updates/support from Adobe was harming the Apple brand, as well as the privacy horrors of flash cookies) but it?s a boon for the human race.
  • Reply 18 of 61
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,778member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msimpson View Post


    Google's target is the wall. As in "throw shit on it and see what sticks".



    I meant PC users but same thing perhaps ..
  • Reply 19 of 61
    Breaking news: Google responds to MS' allegation of GUI plagiarism. "The GUI has been around since..since..since.." well, Google said it will think of something and come back with an appropriate response. Stay tuned.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    BREAKING: Microsoft sues for GUI plagiarism!



    And that's Launchpad, for frick's sake. Screw you, Google. Screw you even more. Even MICROSOFT did their own thing this time around. SCREW. YOU.



  • Reply 20 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msimpson View Post


    Google's target is the wall. As in "throw shit on it and see what sticks".



    Exactly! I couldn't have said it better myself. Until Google has a little focus and a few long term goals and visions they'll continue to create, destroy, copy, fail, and rinse and repeat! Google needs a visionary, Apple had a visionary that instilled his vision not only within the organization, but within his customers. Everyone knew what Steve was about and everyone knows what he expects.



    This is coming from a long time Android / Google user.
Sign In or Register to comment.