Why Google Chrome OS has already won

Today InfoWorld’s Randall Kennedy says that Google’s Chrome OS will fail.

What he is missing is he’s looking at the wrong field.

Google is playing a different game. Google Chrome OS is NOT about killing Microsoft or Apple.

What is it about? Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers.

See, what happens if the world goes to Microsoft’s Silverlight, the way that Seesmic did this week? Google is locked out of such a world.

Google is in a war over developers with Microsoft. Google wants developers to build for the open web. Microsoft wants developers to build for Silverlight. Those messages are VERY clear coming out of both camps now.

But that’s not really the game either, although if it were Google Chrome OS would already be a winner because it reinforces to developers that they better keep developing for the Web using HTML5, even if you follow Loic Le Meur into Microsoft’s camp and build for Silverlight too.

So, what is the game?

Well, it’s a new field altogether. I’m hearing a raft of new, low-cost, devices are coming that you will only need to have on the Web. For instance, I want a cookbook on my kitchen counter that just brings me cool recipes. Right now I use my big Windows 7 computer for that, or my big MacBookPro.

But what if there were a new device that costs less than $100 that JUST does cookbooks and other things I need in the kitchen? I would buy one. A Chrome OS is all that’s needed for such a specialized device.

Where else would I use a low-cost computer? How about the bathroom? Just leave it there. Put a bunch of news sources and magazines on it.

Or, what about my son who is in high school. By the time Chrome OS comes along in big numbers he’ll be in college. Why take a $1,000 computer to class? Couldn’t he do everything he needs to do on a low-cost computer that’s lightweight, replaceable, uses low power, and just uses the web? Absolutely!

See, InfoWorld is making assumptions that the world is going to stay the same. That simply is NOT true.

Now, what will run on these new devices? A heavyweight OS like Windows 7 that takes me 40 seconds to boot up and does a ton of stuff I really don’t need, or a new OS that just has Google Chrome as its centerpiece?

Hey, I just wrote this post on Google Chrome while sitting listening to Marc Benioff at the TechCrunch Real Time Crunchup. I have not seen a single thing demonstrated on stage yet that won’t run on Google Chrome OS.

This is a winner, but on a new field.

Comments

  1. I agree with you. There's no way Google are trying to kill Microsoft or Apple. This is a niche that they can fill. I don't think Chrome OS has 'won', because really, there was nothing to win.

    The closest thing is probably Ubuntu Netbook Remix, but even that is a lot higher-level than this. Google Chrome OS is simple, single-purpose. There's plenty of room for that and it'll be interesting to see if it influences even more people to develop in HTML5+JS.

  2. I think there's another huge potential market in the enterprise. It's been a holy grail of sorts, the stateless, tightly-controlled, thin client. Google could allow companies to host their own data cache 'mini clouds'. I could see lots of people signing up. Would drive adoption of Google Apps and be a major source of revenue for Google down the line.

  3. I agree 100% with you. However…a friend of mine just bought a netbook for $300 (not too much more than the $100 device you referred to) that runs Windows 7 and she's in love with it.

    She doesn't understand that a “netbook” is a netbook, not a small laptop. Yes most things can be done online, but she actually uses it exactly as she would a full sized laptop (iTunes, Photoshop, etc.).

    Again, I think you're dead on, it's just going to be a long road until the average user sees a need for a secondary device. And it's those average users a device needs to push it over the threshhold and out of simple geek-lust.

  4. I agree 100% with you. However…a friend of mine just bought a netbook for $300 (not too much more than the $100 device you referred to) that runs Windows 7 and she's in love with it.

    She doesn't understand that a “netbook” is a netbook, not a small laptop. Yes most things can be done online, but she actually uses it exactly as she would a full sized laptop (iTunes, Photoshop, etc.).

    Again, I think you're dead on, it's just going to be a long road until the average user sees a need for a secondary device. And it's those average users a device needs to push it over the threshhold and out of simple geek-lust.

  5. I also think it's far too soon to know where exactly this tech is going to find it's niche. It does feel like innovators dilemma though, most people poo-pooing it as not good enough but it's going to find low end entry points (like you point to) and then incrementally improve to eclipse the incumbents.

  6. I also think it's far too soon to know where exactly this tech is going to find it's niche. It does feel like innovators dilemma though, most people poo-pooing it as not good enough but it's going to find low end entry points (like you point to) and then incrementally improve to eclipse the incumbents.

  7. I also think it's far too soon to know where exactly this tech is going to find it's niche. It does feel like innovators dilemma though, most people poo-pooing it as not good enough but it's going to find low end entry points (like you point to) and then incrementally improve to eclipse the incumbents.

  8. I love Windows 7 too. But what did I put on it first? Google Chrome. Now, why do I need to wait 40 seconds to load up Google Chrome? And, why can't Google push down the netbook price to about $100 instead of $300? When that happens we'll see computers dedicated to single tasks.

    How about a slate that goes on my wall (a picture frame?) Why can't that just call into Flickr?

  9. There is no one ring to rule them all though. There will be circumstancces where a thin clinet/server approach is all that is neeed (insert lots of compelling examples here), yet there will also be the need for a portable with power and local ability to do computery things (insert lots of compelling examples here). Goolge's Chrome OS is a different way (which means geeks who like shiny thigns will like it automatically) but it;'s firmly in camp one. If you need camp one, great, If you need camp two (eg no coverage, no connectivity, on a plane, etc) then you;re stuffed

    Chrome OS is *an* answer, not *the* answer

  10. Best part of Kennedy's post is the comment section: peeps are MAD! I agree with the most common sentiment and the one that you outline here: he's talking about the wrong playing field. His argument is akin to saying “That iPhone thing will never work because you can't hook a printer up to it! And how will you ever run photoshop on it?”

  11. Amen. We'll see increasingly specialized devices, along with a few heavyweight generalized devices like laptop computers. You can already see this with devices like Amazon's Kindle; it doesn't need an app store, because it's just for reading books. Extra complexity would decrease the stability of the platform (who wants a book that pops up status messages in the middle of the page?).

    ChromeOS is perfect for certain classes of user.

  12. sorry robert, i think you have lost touch with mainstream here. there are plenty of places where I need internet connection and can't get it.
    Also where Google OS fails is games. Sure there will be web based games but still there is so much that is still Windows only in the game arena.

    A web only OS has a limeted adoption rate and I think you have lost touch with reality.

  13. Scoble – this isn't just about the OS; it's about another piece in the ecosystem. Add up the apps, the OS, the device, AND the connectivity – then you get the endgame. That's potential for a big revenue stream outside of search advertising.

    I say this as Comcast service has been up and down for the past day in Boston, making cloud pretty much worthless.

  14. I agree that would be an ideal situation, but can you convince someone who doesn't know what an operating system or even a browser is that they need a computer dedicated to each room of their house that performs a single task?

    Also Chrome OS still can't run iTunes or Photoshop, two things she is very passionate about. I'm completely behind it and I'm even more excited to see how they integrate Android into it, I just think the average consumer isn't quite there yet (I mean seriously, why the hell do we have “netbooks” with 250GB hard drives in them in the first place? Sadly, bc of the average consumer)

    1. Why the hell do we have “netbooks” with 250GB hard drives in them in the first place?

      Simple – because Microsoft and various OEMs have what looks like a mutually beneficial cartel in operation, whereby in order to keep Linux from being preloaded on netbooks, Microsoft pays OEMs to install Windows on netbooks instead of Linux. Microsoft has figured out that the only way to beat Linux which is free is to sell at less than zero cost – ie. pay OEMs to sell Windows instead of Linux. This is done by charging a nominal price for Windows on netbooks and with rebates offered to OEMs by Microsoft on other products this amounts to Microsoft paying to keep OEMs from preloading Linux. The problem with predatory pricing schemes like these is that the money for the subsidies to keep Linux from being preloaded has to come from somewhere else. In Microsoft’s case, it comes from the “Microsoft Tax” charged on other higher end PCs and laptops. However in order to do this, Microsoft has to maintain a differential pricing based on hardware spec. Hence Microsoft maintains a market distorting hardware based artificial differential pricing scheme which defines the netbook in terms of various parameters, and the predatory pricing is applied on this basis. The netbooks and nettops with large screens, large hard drives, and slow processors, are the result of market distortion as OEMs (as opposed to customer demand) redefines PCs and laptops to fit into Microsoft’s spec. in order to get into the predatory pricing scheme.

  15. You are playing the old game. People tell me this everytime something new comes along. Remember when people told me Twitter was lame? Now Tweets are inside Salesforce.com and Bing.

    The world changes. These devices will be used in new ways and new places.

  16. Apart from low cost computers, there's also the trend towards low cost software. Cloud apps are smaller and do more specific things (swiss army knife like) compared to a bloated desktop apps. Instead of Photoshop, I'd rather use apps on the cloud that will enhance/frame/add effects to my photos especially when my photos reside in the cloud anyways. With all of our content moving to the cloud(drop box etc.), it could be the end of the desktop in another dozen years.

  17. Google has proven that they are very good at creating the platforms that the world wants in the near future. Chrome is another fine example of that creativity. Just as the iPhone changed the world of mobile applications, Chrome will change the world of portable computing. Great post, Robert!

  18. will still disagree with you…
    There are still places you can't get internet access and need to be able to use your computer. 90% of the clients I work with when I'm onsite I can't plugin and use their network (wireless or wired), still need to take notes/demos/etc.
    When I travel how many devices do I need to carry and also unload at TSA? Right now, one my laptop, my Google OS device will stay at home.
    Not all planes have wireless access in them, so thats a failed location
    Can't tether via my iphone, or if I have a DROID, so in places that don't have web, that's a fail

    So a web only device or a device tightly integrated to the web is still fail. Sorry Robert

  19. Search advertising is still at play here. There's content that's residing on your desktop that Google can't get to currently. Remember Google Desktop? It did not take off. The other way to get their hands on your content is to move you away from the desktop into the cloud. Chrome does that. Now Google can monetize as you access your own content on the cloud.

  20. Jesse, haven't you read about Google NativeClient and O3D? ChromeOS is for real…

    Ref: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-10366903-264….

    “Native Client, or NaCl for short, is an ambitious Google project that, if successful, will help close one gap that separates Web applications from those that run natively on a computer's operating system. That would improve the competitive position of Web applications such as Google Docs compared to Microsoft Office–and thereby boost Google's Chrome OS project in comparison with Windows.”

  21. I think your post here makes some good points. I agree the world will not stay the same, and will change to evolve and support more of these cheap type of netbook devices.

    However, I don’t think its accurate how you compare silverlight vs chrome. silverlight will run inside of google chrome os. Silverlight already works with webkit, mac, and linux to some extent, so before long if there is enough attention, silverlight will play with chrome os, not fight it.

    Having said all that, its basically the same as jolicloud, but re-wrapped in a boring google shell.

    As far as developers go. No, this is not about the developers. Its about cheap, worry free computing. Out of the hundred or so developers I know and work with, 90% of us are having a difficult time warming up to chrome os. Sure, it will succeed, it will prosper, but I think that most of the actual developer crowd is much happier with a mobile phone + laptop where they can do everything they need, vs being forced to use a low power, only internet based and restricted machine that is at the end of the day, really geared for people that do not want any fuss.

  22. I think your post here makes some good points. I agree the world will not stay the same, and will change to evolve and support more of these cheap type of netbook devices.

    However, I don’t think its accurate how you compare silverlight vs chrome. silverlight will run inside of google chrome os. Silverlight already works with webkit, mac, and linux to some extent, so before long if there is enough attention, silverlight will play with chrome os, not fight it.

    Having said all that, its basically the same as jolicloud, but re-wrapped in a boring google shell.

    As far as developers go. No, this is not about the developers. Its about cheap, worry free computing. Out of the hundred or so developers I know and work with, 90% of us are having a difficult time warming up to chrome os. Sure, it will succeed, it will prosper, but I think that most of the actual developer crowd is much happier with a mobile phone + laptop where they can do everything they need, vs being forced to use a low power, only internet based and restricted machine that is at the end of the day, really geared for people that do not want any fuss.

  23. I think your post here makes some good points. I agree the world will not stay the same, and will change to evolve and support more of these cheap type of netbook devices.

    However, I don’t think its accurate how you compare silverlight vs chrome. silverlight will run inside of google chrome os. Silverlight already works with webkit, mac, and linux to some extent, so before long if there is enough attention, silverlight will play with chrome os, not fight it.

    Having said all that, its basically the same as jolicloud, but re-wrapped in a boring google shell.

    As far as developers go. No, this is not about the developers. Its about cheap, worry free computing. Out of the hundred or so developers I know and work with, 90% of us are having a difficult time warming up to chrome os. Sure, it will succeed, it will prosper, but I think that most of the actual developer crowd is much happier with a mobile phone + laptop where they can do everything they need, vs being forced to use a low power, only internet based and restricted machine that is at the end of the day, really geared for people that do not want any fuss.

  24. I think your post here makes some good points. I agree the world will not stay the same, and will change to evolve and support more of these cheap type of netbook devices.

    However, I don’t think its accurate how you compare silverlight vs chrome. silverlight will run inside of google chrome os. Silverlight already works with webkit, mac, and linux to some extent, so before long if there is enough attention, silverlight will play with chrome os, not fight it.

    Having said all that, its basically the same as jolicloud, but re-wrapped in a boring google shell.

    As far as developers go. No, this is not about the developers. Its about cheap, worry free computing. Out of the hundred or so developers I know and work with, 90% of us are having a difficult time warming up to chrome os. Sure, it will succeed, it will prosper, but I think that most of the actual developer crowd is much happier with a mobile phone + laptop where they can do everything they need, vs being forced to use a low power, only internet based and restricted machine that is at the end of the day, really geared for people that do not want any fuss.

  25. Chrome OS is also about running Web-apps without Internet access, and that is why Scoble is right. Light apps on cheap computers. Windows 7 is great, but MS is loosing the smartphone market, so my guess is that MS will be about PC OS' for companies in 5 years from now.

  26. “Winning” usually means a competition and results; you only talk about concepts that seem cool or compelling to you. After 20 years as an IT consultant, I can tell you hundreds of concrete examples demonstrating that your concepts are wrong, naive, simplistic and not very helpful in the real world. By the way, everywhere I go my MS Smartphone makes Blackberry and iPhone users say, “I wish my phone could do that!” And, also by the way, I’ve had Smartdisplays allowing “specialized” computing in the bath, kitchen, garage and lawnmower for years–all pure Microsoft.

  27. “Winning” usually means a competition and results; you only talk about concepts that seem cool or compelling to you. After 20 years as an IT consultant, I can tell you hundreds of concrete examples demonstrating that your concepts are wrong, naive, simplistic and not very helpful in the real world. By the way, everywhere I go my MS Smartphone makes Blackberry and iPhone users say, “I wish my phone could do that!” And, also by the way, I’ve had Smartdisplays allowing “specialized” computing in the bath, kitchen, garage and lawnmower for years–all pure Microsoft.

  28. “Winning” usually means a competition and results; you only talk about concepts that seem cool or compelling to you. After 20 years as an IT consultant, I can tell you hundreds of concrete examples demonstrating that your concepts are wrong, naive, simplistic and not very helpful in the real world. By the way, everywhere I go my MS Smartphone makes Blackberry and iPhone users say, “I wish my phone could do that!” And, also by the way, I’ve had Smartdisplays allowing “specialized” computing in the bath, kitchen, garage and lawnmower for years–all pure Microsoft.

  29. “Winning” usually means a competition and results; you only talk about concepts that seem cool or compelling to you. After 20 years as an IT consultant, I can tell you hundreds of concrete examples demonstrating that your concepts are wrong, naive, simplistic and not very helpful in the real world. By the way, everywhere I go my MS Smartphone makes Blackberry and iPhone users say, “I wish my phone could do that!” And, also by the way, I’ve had Smartdisplays allowing “specialized” computing in the bath, kitchen, garage and lawnmower for years–all pure Microsoft.

  30. Robert, I am thinking out loud here after chatting with @lkilpatrick, but one challenge to multiple devices making calls for information would be popular access to INEXPENSIVE high speed bandwidth. This is key for large scale adoption, and yet is not the norm throughout the US. Thought this might be a good add to the conversation as well: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/11/google-c

  31. When i read comments on Twitter, Crunch or here, some people are still missing something…

    1.) Google are 2 steps ahead. CloudOSes are for the next coming Computer Century. Its not competing with MS or Apple because is a whole new game.

    2.) Google are not the first on that. Before there was Jolicloud and therefore it was SUN with the JavaStation back in 96 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JavaStation

    3.) CloudComputing is not just about docs or calendars and stuff, they are also for gaming (look at onLive), making music, doing graphics and other stuff. You only get the videostream…. the serverfarm is doing the rest. unlimited power (on your handheld too).

    3.) Google is just interested in bringing people to the web and using the google services, to bring more ads to more users. That is the way they make money. I think they dont want to dominate the OS game with chrome os, they have a big audience and they can promote this way of using a computer and data quicker than anyone else. they also dont want to dominate the browser market with chrome, they just wanted to bring webkit and his html5 capatibilities to windows (thats why they dont focus on a mac version). User data is just needed to bring the right ads to the right people and not the primary target. (user go omg google have all my data … i think they are not really interested in, because it has no value)

    4.) What i learn from that is, Operating Systems AND Computer Systems are obsolete in the near future. you get many benefits from that. more than you loose.

  32. “The Chrome OS is a winner, but on a new field.”

    Yes, if we invent a new game to suit Chrome, it'll probably win the game. In the real world Chrome is not the new OS of choice for business or private users. Chrome OS is an interesting product, academically and technically, but let's not get carried-away on the “wow everything Google does is amazing” bandwagon. Google is a trendy brand. Everything they do is automatically newsworthy. But the news agenda is fickle.

    Let’s dare to speak our minds despite the contemporary mass-hysteria that surrounds Google and its influential community of loyal fans. Google is overrated. Google did lead the way with search engines for the web. They've been dining out on that ever since, while dabbling in new products (typically acquired from third-parties and re-packaged) and using the vast revenues from their semi-monopoly in search to push these additional products harder and more cleverly than many other products in the history of business. Unlike their key rivals, Google hasn’t created its own programming languages with which to use their products.

  33. “The Chrome OS is a winner, but on a new field.”

    Yes, if we invent a new game to suit Chrome, it'll probably win the game. In the real world Chrome is not the new OS of choice for business or private users. Chrome OS is an interesting product, academically and technically, but let's not get carried-away on the “wow everything Google does is amazing” bandwagon. Google is a trendy brand. Everything they do is automatically newsworthy. But the news agenda is fickle.

    Let’s dare to speak our minds despite the contemporary mass-hysteria that surrounds Google and its influential community of loyal fans. Google is overrated. Google did lead the way with search engines for the web. They've been dining out on that ever since, while dabbling in new products (typically acquired from third-parties and re-packaged) and using the vast revenues from their semi-monopoly in search to push these additional products harder and more cleverly than many other products in the history of business. Unlike their key rivals, Google hasn’t created its own programming languages with which to use their products.

  34. I want to love the idea of Chrome OS. I really, really do. But storing every single thing in the cloud is not something I feel comfortable with. Not in the sense of “Oh no Google has all my data, oooooh, ooga booga booga!” Not that at all. It's all of the OTHER applications being maintained by companies who aren't Google.

    For example, I do screenwriting with Zhura, which is basically Google Docs for scripts, but I regularly download .txt versions of everything I write to use as backups. That's because there's always a chance that Zhura might Ma.gnolia on me and all of my hard work would be gone forever. (I really should back up all my Google docs locally too, but Google has many more billions of dollars of backup infrastructure, so it's less likely that they'll lose everything)

    There's a big issue I have with how they addressed this at the Chrome OS announcement, when someone asked about it: “Is giving your data to the cloud really more dangerous than putting it on a computer which could get lost or break?” Well, yes, because if all my data disappears because I lose my laptop, that's my fault. If it disappears because someone makes a mistake in the server room, that's another feeling entirely.

  35. But this is an old game. Chrome OS is nothing new. There have been plenty of web only devices around – Arrington's new device is one example. The question is, will HTML5 provide enough of a user experience to make people not miss their desktop apps? This is obviously not the case right now with the iPhone and Android devices. App-Stores are king.

    Does removing capabilities really make this a new proposition? Would an Android device running WebKit or a custom Chrome build really run and boot *that* much slower? Is boot time that important anyway?

    Weren't we have this same conversation over 10 years ago about Larry Ellison's 'Thin Computing'?
    In reality, in a web-app only world, device manufacturers would license their own OS and brand it themselves. Why bother with ChromeOS when any open source browser would work just as well. So, even in a cloud only world, I still don't see Chrome OS being successful.

    1. Yep.. boot time is not really important. I think I have rebooted my Windows 7 machine some time in the last week. I always just power-off and when I turn it on.. I see the login screen in 3 sec flat.

    2. Yep.. boot time is not really important. I think I have rebooted my Windows 7 machine some time in the last week. I always just power-off and when I turn it on.. I see the login screen in 3 sec flat.

    3. Yep.. boot time is not really important. I think I have rebooted my Windows 7 machine some time in the last week. I always just power-off and when I turn it on.. I see the login screen in 3 sec flat.

    4. Yep.. boot time is not really important. I think I have rebooted my Windows 7 machine some time in the last week. I always just power-off and when I turn it on.. I see the login screen in 3 sec flat.

  36. “Google are 2 steps ahead. CloudOSes are for the next coming Computer Century. Its not competing with MS or Apple because is a whole new game.”

    This is the sort of belief system we're up against, with Google.

    If you agree with thqt quote, you might want to look-up Windows Azure, or MS Office Web Apps, or any other example from Microsoft's impressive offering for the Cloud. In fact, MS beat Google to it, people just didn't make such a big fuss over it. ;)

    http://www.timacheson.com/Blog/2009/sep/microso

  37. If your objection see here http://bit.ly/7ScXbF for how quickly Windows can boot given the same hardware that you are going to have to buy to run chrome.
    You might be OK with device which you can’t use off line, or print from, or install software on , or which sells a digest of what you’ve written and read to advertisers but I don’t think there are enough people like you to make a market.

  38. If your objection see here http://bit.ly/7ScXbF for how quickly Windows can boot given the same hardware that you are going to have to buy to run chrome.
    You might be OK with device which you can’t use off line, or print from, or install software on , or which sells a digest of what you’ve written and read to advertisers but I don’t think there are enough people like you to make a market.

  39. If your objection see here http://bit.ly/7ScXbF for how quickly Windows can boot given the same hardware that you are going to have to buy to run chrome.
    You might be OK with device which you can’t use off line, or print from, or install software on , or which sells a digest of what you’ve written and read to advertisers but I don’t think there are enough people like you to make a market.

  40. If your objection see here http://bit.ly/7ScXbF for how quickly Windows can boot given the same hardware that you are going to have to buy to run chrome.
    You might be OK with device which you can’t use off line, or print from, or install software on , or which sells a digest of what you’ve written and read to advertisers but I don’t think there are enough people like you to make a market.

  41. Seesmic Android
    A feature-rich Twitter application for the Android that’s simple and easy to use, but powerful and practical in helping you stay connected. Here’s some of the features you will enjoy:
    • Easy to use UI and threaded direct messages
    • Share photos to yFrog & TwitPic and VIDEOS to YouTube!
    • Automatically shorten URLs with bit .ly and j .mp
    • Fully configuration notifications

  42. Seesmic Android
    A feature-rich Twitter application for the Android that’s simple and easy to use, but powerful and practical in helping you stay connected. Here’s some of the features you will enjoy:
    • Easy to use UI and threaded direct messages
    • Share photos to yFrog & TwitPic and VIDEOS to YouTube!
    • Automatically shorten URLs with bit .ly and j .mp
    • Fully configuration notifications

  43. Seesmic Android
    A feature-rich Twitter application for the Android that’s simple and easy to use, but powerful and practical in helping you stay connected. Here’s some of the features you will enjoy:
    • Easy to use UI and threaded direct messages
    • Share photos to yFrog & TwitPic and VIDEOS to YouTube!
    • Automatically shorten URLs with bit .ly and j .mp
    • Fully configuration notifications

  44. Seesmic Android
    A feature-rich Twitter application for the Android that’s simple and easy to use, but powerful and practical in helping you stay connected. Here’s some of the features you will enjoy:
    • Easy to use UI and threaded direct messages
    • Share photos to yFrog & TwitPic and VIDEOS to YouTube!
    • Automatically shorten URLs with bit .ly and j .mp
    • Fully configuration notifications

  45. jjesse, you're missing the point. How many people had wireless networks in their homes 10 years ago? I would venture to say < 5%. It must be greater than 90% today. Scoble's point is that things are changing, and changing very quickly. Thus, saying something like “not all planes have wireless access in them” is pointless, as I can assure you that most commercial flights in the US will be Internet-equipped in a few years.

    Plus, when you consider plugins such as Google Gears that bring offline interactivity to the web, you have to rethink what is possible within the browser.

    Change happens, just deal with it.

  46. Doesn't Chrome OS let you resume the same session when you log in on a different device? If that's the case, a student doesn't even have to carry a device. Just build them into the desks, and a student can log in when he sits down, log off when he leaves, and when he goes to a different classroom or goes home to his own Chrome OS device, he just logs in and picks up where he left off.

  47. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that everyday I am in places where I cannot get an internet connect or even a cellphone signal for that matter.

    Also why on earth would I want a netbook or similar device that I can't run other programs on? At least when I have my laptop with me if I grab some footage I can edit it before uploading to youtube. How do I do that in Chrome OS? I can't really, not unless I upload ALL my footage to an online service and edit it there rather than just uploading the final product.

  48. Um, under the borders drawn above, doesn’t this mean Apple wins? If they expand the iPhone OS platform to the tablet, aren’t they then far and away in the lead? Aren’t they already?

  49. Um, under the borders drawn above, doesn’t this mean Apple wins? If they expand the iPhone OS platform to the tablet, aren’t they then far and away in the lead? Aren’t they already?

  50. What concerns me is the constant internet connection that will be needed for Google’s Chrome OS to work and work successfully.

    Yes, it will probably support WiFi but which carrier will it support? I think it would need to support all the carriers or they will have to buy or build their own. My guess is they will buy a company like Sprint Nextel and offer the internet for free?

    I have a hard time paying for 2 data connections right now. I pay for AT&T’s U-Verse and Wireless data connections. Thats over $80 a month just to surf internet.

    Honestly, I am not a huge fan of this “free model.”

  51. What concerns me is the constant internet connection that will be needed for Google’s Chrome OS to work and work successfully.

    Yes, it will probably support WiFi but which carrier will it support? I think it would need to support all the carriers or they will have to buy or build their own. My guess is they will buy a company like Sprint Nextel and offer the internet for free?

    I have a hard time paying for 2 data connections right now. I pay for AT&T’s U-Verse and Wireless data connections. Thats over $80 a month just to surf internet.

    Honestly, I am not a huge fan of this “free model.”

  52. I actually agree with Scoble's take here, but you my friend are living in a bubble:

    “How many people had wireless networks in their homes 10 years ago? I would venture to say < 5%. It must be greater than 90% today.”

    If less than 70% of people in the US (http://www.websiteoptimization.com/bw/0906/) I don't know how you figure 90% have wireless. Even in silicon valley that number is ridiculous.

  53. I don't see Chrome OS powered devices replacing my laptop/desktop but supplementing it. Most of the activites you mentioned doing with a Chrome OS device are consumption activities. Reading (cookbooks, news etc), using Facebook/twitter etc are not creative activities and I don't need an OS or powerful CPU to perform them. However, image editing, video editing etc, do require some powerful CPU cycles.

  54. Fine, you want to be a nitpicker. I was illustrating a point. Do you argue that the number of people with broadband access or wireless access has _not_ risen exponentially in the last 10 years? If you are, I think you're the one who doesn't have the facts straight.

    The research you linked to states that amongst “active internet users”, broadband penetration is 94.7%. Isn't this the only demographic that is relevant to this discussion?

  55. Good point, but you have the money to buy a nice laptop. How about the people who don't have the money for a laptop but want a web experience? Google OS-powered devices will be far more affordable than laptops, while providing an identical Internet experience.

  56. Where are the web apps for remote access to Linux, Windows via browser only? Where are the web apps for SAP? Where are the web apps for [insert name of very expensive industry specific application]?
    Just like we see with Cloud Computing, large enterprises will only move when all the problems apps for are resolved and fully baked solutions are in place. Until then, they'll just see it as a toy.

  57. “But what if there were a new device that costs less than $100 that JUST does cookbooks and other things I need in the kitchen? I would buy one. A Chrome OS is all that’s needed for such a specialized device.”
    yes, you an about 10,000 people would buy this. and then the company would fail. and btw Linux is already working fine inside plenty of other dedicated devices.

    sorry man, but from the linkbaiting headline on down, i just can't agree with most of these claims. of course the world is going to change, but you are combining visions of change from 2 to 20 years out all in the same analysis. pick one, and let's debate there.

    also, twitter has yet to win anything beyond the hype/frenzy in the “real world”. there's a long road ahead before we know how that game ends…

  58. This is why local backups are key. Bandwidth is also an issue for me. Not every photo or video I make ends up online. I have more photos on my hard drive than on flickr or vimeo. Why? With the limited bandwidth available through my broadband provider uploading everything could take a VERY long time. So I do local editing and upload just the stuff I want to share. I still need a local CPU and storage for that.

  59. If you never have internet access that could be a problem, but a lot of online apps can run in an offline mode and then sync your changes the next time you connect.

  60. My iPod Touch already does everything that Chrome OS might do (plus a lot more that Chrome OS can't). Couldn't Apple (or anyone for that matter) put out a device that does all this? Everyone is talking about where Chrome OS will be in a few years but that assumes that everyone else (Apple, Microsoft) stands still.

  61. I get where you're coming from, but if went through all your examples a couple months ago, the answer would have been Android not Chrome OS. So my question now is what more is Chrome OS offering that makes it more compelling for your needs than Android?

    A cookbook, a news reader, a note taker. Is it just the ease of deployment (just deploy the website and you're done)? But Android has a browser so that's not the problem.

  62. Until those developer start writing enterprise apps that solve enterprise problem Robert's headline is premature. There is no barrier to entry here and there are already devices (iPhones/iPod Touch) that do all of this already (hardware form factor not withstanding)

  63. In what way? The only thing that I think Google has proven at this point is that they are very good at selling ads.

  64. In what way? The only thing that I think Google has proven at this point is that they are very good at selling ads.

  65. You can edit stuff offline on Google Chrome OS as well. That's the feature of HTML5, all the apps work offline, but when you go online, you get the power of the cloud, you could for example encode a HD video in seconds instead of hours, you can also publish the final edit instantly in HD instead of having to upload after editing.

  66. Here is exactly what will happen: Chrome OS will come out to some fanfare. Then Microsoft will release a browser-based Express version of Windows that will have nearly the same exact functionality as Chrome OS, only it will be Windows compatible and probably support richer in-browser applications by virtue of that. They already have all the technology they need to do this. In fact they're probably working on it right now.

    And then it will be game over, same as it was for Lotus, Wordperfect, Netscape,… the list goes on.

  67. Microsoft is finished. So is Intel, Apple and a bunch of other old disrupted giant silicon valley companies.

  68. “See, what happens if the world goes to Microsoft’s Silverlight, the way that Seesmic did this week? Google is locked out of such a world.”

    I don't really by that. If so, linux users would be locked out now, and they aren't because of Moonlight. Granted, they are behind at the moment, but only slightly. I have a tough time believing ChromeOS wouldn't integrate it at some point in some way. Otherwise, I am looking forward to ChromeOS as well.

  69. Steve Rubel provides an interesting counterpoint that I tend to agree with. Referring to Chrome OS and the mythic Apple tablet he says: “Your phone, my phone – any smartphone – will become our primary portable computers long before these two products catch on in the mainstream.”

    Indeed.

    If the convergence of digital cameras, mp3 players, GPS, etc, into the phone teach us one thing it should be that people tend to prefer less devices in their lives, not more. Sure, Chrome OS may be great platform to power next-generation Kodak LCD frames that pull family photos from the cloud…but I’m willing to bet that the phone will be the hub of developer interest, not the 10″ flat screen in the kitchen that pulls recipes from Epicurious.

  70. Steve Rubel provides an interesting counterpoint that I tend to agree with. Referring to Chrome OS and the mythic Apple tablet he says: “Your phone, my phone – any smartphone – will become our primary portable computers long before these two products catch on in the mainstream.”

    Indeed.

    If the convergence of digital cameras, mp3 players, GPS, etc, into the phone teach us one thing it should be that people tend to prefer less devices in their lives, not more. Sure, Chrome OS may be great platform to power next-generation Kodak LCD frames that pull family photos from the cloud…but I’m willing to bet that the phone will be the hub of developer interest, not the 10″ flat screen in the kitchen that pulls recipes from Epicurious.

  71. I don't know if Chrome OS will be the future, but to my mind, it's really part of the past.

    How?

    Centralization.

    Back in the day, people didn't have computers that stored things and kept things and did their own thinking. They used dumb terminals.

    The problem with dumb terminals, of course, was that they were, well… pretty effen dumb!

    So smart terminals came along.

    Eventually the idea of centralizing all the computer brain power and storage became outmoded.

    The world moved from supercomputers to mini computers to micro computers. And now we're seeing that micro computers and micro computing devices are all becoming, essentially, the new dumb terminal.

    To coin a phrase, perhaps, today is the day of the genius terminal.

    So how does Chrome OS fit into all this?

    Instead of going to work all over the world with different dumb terminals, or using your micro computer as a dumb terminal for a walled garden like AOL, we're turning more and more to FaceBook and Google to become the supercomputers of today.

    Chrome OS is really AOL and supercomputers all over again.

    For creative people who do mission critical, in-the-moment work on their computers (musicians, video editors, visual artists), the technology isn't there just yet for being able to give ourselves over to the new age of dumber, er, genius terminals.

    I can do stuff in two seconds in iMovie that the cloud can't handle at all. Heck, the cloud isn't even great for transferring video en masse just yet.

    For business folks with mission-critical production needs, the cloud isn't ready yet, either. The business world is rife with daily necessities that MS Word out of the box cannot handle without 3rd party vendors. For instance, legal style automatic numbering is something Word really, really sucks at. But Google Docs is about 20 years behind on providing access to those kind of document production needs.

    So for artists and business people, a lot of the cloud talk is really head in the clouds talk.

    For the average bear, though, it doesn't really matter either way. It will just be a matter of whether Google can convince Grandma that she should have her reading material in the bathroom come with search optimized and targeted ads as the cost of the “free” software.

    For my ten cents, I'd rather Google and its business model not take over the world just yet.

  72. Do you not think that MS will release a web based os at some point in the future? They are already working on something like this.

    I really don't care about load times I care about having a computer that will function without the internet.

    I care about a computer that I can develop on and thats not a web browser based solution yet.

    Chrome will take off but not for about 5 years or so I guess and by which time MS will be in the game.

    Kinda ironic that we are going full circle with thin clients

  73. Robert

    I know you travel a LOT so I’m surprised you’ve overlooked the fact that the uniquitious high speed connections this is likely to require are far from ubiquitious. I know friends in the UK who have <1mbps but venture futher afield at that would be considered fast

    Steve

  74. this is about creating a foundation for running apps on something cheap. It's not so much about replacing the OS, since it runs off of linux and I'm sure will support some type of local storage option, but the possibilities of running apps in a browser for inexpensive devices. I hope this does work out, I've personally been working on a project in this field for over a year now, web based cloud brokerage and it's something like this that will make this work out.

  75. Did you need convincing to buy a bathroom scale? No, it serves a single purpose and you bought it. Mine cost almost $50. Hey, they could put a Chrome OS into one for not much more. Then hook it up to all sorts of web-based services.

  76. And I haven't used a single app all day on my Windows 7 computer except for Windows 7. So, why do I need all the other stuff? Why not save the $100 that the OEM paid Microsoft for the OS and just get Chrome OS?

    1. Linux has been around for years and years of which OEMs could have put on to computers instead of paying MS $100, why is Chrome OS different? Why would it work this time?

      Chrome OS also requires very specific hardware requirements (from what I gather), that alone cripples the OS and market share opportunities.

      You say you haven’t used your Windows 7 machine all day, that’s fine and all but remember what tools you need to do your job. For your job from my guess is that all you need is something that can do word processing, email and social networking stuff (Twitter, FB) and use the internet. So the basic Chrome OS works for you, but most people for their jobs need more power. Can you edit videos on Chrome OS?, Use photoshop, use Maya, use excel to manage tens of 1000′s of records, sheets,files etc like companies do? I highly doubt it.

      People won’t rush out to buy a $100 item (which I don’t think it will get that low for 3-5 years anyway at best), they won’t because they have desktops at home already which do everything they need computers to do. You used the example of having a “Bathroom Scale in your bathroom”, my response would be do you have a scale in all your bathrooms, in your living room, in your bed room, in your office, in your travel bag? Of course not, because it would be redundant and unnecessary. Would you own a digital scale (which could do lots of stuff) and an analog scale (which can only do one thing)? Doubt it, cause it’s not necessary to have both laying around.

      The same thing will happen with ChromeOS, it’s too redundant and offers few and I’d say no features that don’t already exist in hardware and software today.

      If Apple really is making a tablet device, it would kill ChromeOS in an instant anyway simply because it’s Apple and they don’t release products that sit in beta for 5+ years. They build end to end feature rich devices from the get go and a Tablet makes a bit more sense than a netbook because it can offer more than a simple interent device that can’t even run real applications.

      Sorry, but Chrome OS has certainly not “Already Won”, not even close.

    2. But you don’t work a normal job Robert – youa re a tech pundit who MUST jump on every new gimmick in order to stay relevant/up-to-date. Now I’m not saying you’re a bad person for doing that (heck, you make more than me I’m sure!) but you can’t really compare yourself to the typical user.

      I mean, how many users wnat to live 100% “in the cloud”??? I know I don’t. I have GIGS AND GIGS of data that I have accumulated over the years and if I had to constantly upload and download my stuff so that I could use precious web apps or whatever to edit/create/delete them, I’d tear my hair out. And if you use the “Chrome OS is about low-end users who just want to update Facebook/Twitter/write emails, etc.” what’s don’t users just stick with a smartphone device like the iPhone? I’m no fan of the iPhone either…but that seems much more practical than *ANOTHER* device to lug around.

      Until we see a final product and what kind of apps will be for Chrome OS, I’m gonna say this is a BAD, BAD idea from Google. Who know, they may turn it around somehow (get Adobe or some other developers to make special Chrome OS-only web apps for it) but I highly doubt it’ll even ding the Netbook market.

      If you remember, when Netbooks came out, every Linux user was proclaiming the death of Windows because Linux was perfect for average users. What happened? As soon as XP could be a choice for consumers, users ditched Lunix-flavored Netbooks almost totally. Same thing will happen here…

    1. >>If it’s not about developers then why open source the OS?

      How exactly is it relevant to web front end developers that their site is running on a open source OS?

      If google open sourced the OS to attract developers, the developer crowd they’d immediately attract will be Systems engineers who would like to tinker with the OS. Of course that will happen here, and google will get some free work done, but that isn’t going to help the cause of improving the web.

      Also, if Google was targeting single task devices, there is no reason they’d invest time in building a kick-ass browser. Single task devices will require specialized I/O mechanism, not a browser which makes sure that one tab doesn’t crash another.

      If you were to look up recipes in your kitchen, would you prefer to turn on a net-book, browse to a website and look up recipe, or for eg. would u turn to a device which waits for you to ‘say’ the dish’s name and show the recipes as a response? If you prefer the second option, like I think many people would, what you’d need is not a web-browser, but a good speech recognition system – like the one in Droid, which they use for voice based map search.

      So these single task devices don’t really need a general purpose browser. They’d need a custom form factor and I/O.

      Google building a FREE web browser OS – is targeted to tempt device manufacturers to start thinking about using that OS on their devices. Once they are tempted enough, Open source get them to put in resources and build device drivers etc, to make their device compliant with the OS.

      Once the device manufacturers are tempted enough, they’ll start building those devices. And when they have those devices in the market, its in their interest to tempt buyers. They will try to entice users into buying it, by advertising how the Chrome OS device is 100 bucks cheaper and starts in 7-8 seconds. Users will get tempted and buy those devices. And once they have a device that only connects to web based apps, they will adapt themselves to using everything on the web. Though they will feel the pinch of not having MS Office, they’ll accept using Google Docs. And a few days later they’ll realize that it isn’t so bad after all. And before they knew, they are completely dependent on the web. Now who shows all he advertisements on the web makes the money. And thats how Google will get its money back.

  77. PC: and you might have noticed that Windows Smartphone sales marketshare is going down.

    Oh, and that Twitter thing? Well, Salesforce just added it.

    What about IM? Yeah, I spent a lot of time talking about that. It's inside Exchange and Lotus now.

    Sounds like you are a Microsoft employee. The only time I ever heard someone talk like you do is up in Redmond.

  78. So unimaginative. Did you realize I just got EVERY SINGLE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC sent to me. Do you have any clue how many photos that is? Hundreds of thousands. I guarantee that they sent me more data than you have. How did they get it to me? They sent me a hard drive.

    You telling me you can't send a hard drive to some cloud computing vendor? I guarantee you can.

    And even if you couldn't you really should check out PogoPlug for a new idea.

    1. Whoa, your telling me the solution to transfering data is sending a harddrive instead of having a computer where you can store the stuff you don’t need/want on the web.

      Lets say we get to the scary place of everyone sending hard drives to different companies (potentially numerous companies despending on the service), so now we have millions of hard drives with potentially private materials crossing hands of numerous people every day. Mail gets lost so easily, mail gets damaged so easily, mail gets stolen so easily. Your nuts.

    2. If using Chrome OS how someone could save the pictures in hard drive. If you run Chrome OS how could you know what inside the hard drive before you send to the cloud vendor.

  79. In the modern world that's less and less of a problem. Think five years from now. Will that still be a problem in your life? It isn't in mine. I had free wifi today at the Crunchup. Now I'm back home and my wifi is working great.

  80. Google Chrome has been my favorite browser for a while now, use that above FF any day because of performance – besides it has stats for *NERDS (Control the Current Page > Developer > Task Manager – Stats for Nerds) OR Shift + ESC .

    Chrome OS is exciting, however it'll take time to catch on – as a developer watching it evolve and contributing will be part of the fun..

    BTW Robert its great to see you using the real Twitter. I've never used a third party app. When will people learn that its the traditional web that is the most reliable and now with the RT feature its even more gorgeous. :-)

  81. I think if MS does come out with a web based OS, that would be fine with Google. Chrome OS is just another vehicle for more internet traffic. So is iPhone. So is Android. So is WindowsWeb, or whatever. It's all good for Google. Yet this discussion seems to center around 'Chrome, therefore no Windows'. Not the point. Instead it should be 'Chrome, therefore more inexpensive web-access devices'.

  82. salut robert,
    that’s what i like on you, the most you posted is ON THE POINT (bringing fact’s without these boring blabla)….thanx a lot for all you clear statements and my best wishes to you and your family from france, martin ( maspaint)

  83. salut robert,
    that’s what i like on you, the most you posted is ON THE POINT (bringing fact’s without these boring blabla)….thanx a lot for all you clear statements and my best wishes to you and your family from france, martin ( maspaint)

  84. There's a lot of truth in that. Though MS have never rnjoyed the same level of popularity, indeed they never attempted to be that popular with try-too-hard backfiring slogans like Google's “don't be evil”.

  85. Google chrome solves no problems and breaks no new ground. There certainly is no new field here. Chrome is an operating system with a web browser. I have seen one before. A lightweight OS? Seen that also. A lightweight computer to take care the recipes for cooking and notes on the class? I prefer my iTouch. Got it for less than a 100 pounds, have spent some change for nice add-ons since, but it really lacks little as far as for what I am using it for. And I don’t like the idea that there would be a computer in every room, mostly idling. I much prefer to have a lightweight device that is on me at all times.

  86. Your examples are terrible. In both cases an eBook reader would be better, and in an increasingly energy conscious world using the same device would be better again. I mean if you’re cooking and have a half hour to kill are you going to have your recipe on one screen while reading your magazines in the John and having your general purpose device pulling down your email and twitter? That’s not very socially conscious of you.

    In any case what you’re talking about is an appliance OS and yet you’re comparing this to Windows 7 and OS X. In the use cases you’ve described what’s the compelling reason to use Chrome OS over specialised Linux variants, Windows CE or even Android?

    I think you’ve missed the point entirely. Chrome is designed as a general purpose OS, and that’s the problem. Why would anyone want a computer that does most of the things they want to do, but not all of them. This is the problem Linux has had for years and this is a problem Chrome will have. I mean Linux netbooks were out first and they were returned because people wanted Windows. Last I heard Windows had about 90% of the netbook market share and Linux is free too. Why not get your son a Linux netbook? It’ll be able to do everything a Chrome OS device will do and a lot more besides.

    Time is also a constraint. If I’m up in the mountains snowboarding for a week I’ll take a lot of pictures and HD video. Now for a start assuming I’m in a place where I can get access to the internet for a reasonable price, how long will it take for me to upload all my video and pictures, and this is not because I want to put it on the web, no it’s just so I can empty the memory cards and use my camera again. In addition editing HD video locally is a slow process, how painful will that task be in “the cloud”?

    It’s not about developers either, Silverlight and Flash can be made to be indexable, and nobody wants their websites excluded from Google’s index in any case. No its about the same thing its always been about, user data and advertising revenue.

    I mean imagine this scenario, they know everything you search for (Search), what you’re buying (Products, Checkout), the information your interested in keeping on top of (Reader), all your contacts and what you talk about (Gmail, Gtalk), they know where you are and where you’ve been (Latitude), if you liked it and who you went with (Picasa). Soon enough they’ll even know what you talked in moments you found significant to record as they’re starting to do speech recognition on YouTube videos. I mean with all that data then not only could they advertise to me, they could pretty much impersonate me. Microsoft may be an ‘evil’ corporation but at least they don’t know who I am.

    Okay that was a bit of a segue but the point remains that ad data and brand awareness/loyalty are what they’re looking for, and not developers. I imagine they’d be happy with developers using any web based platform as that gives them access. If anything they want to stop people writing desktop applications as the data generated is out of their reach. Well unless you consider Google Desktop Search. :)

    Apologies for the bit of a ramble and thanks if you stuck with me. To summarise, don’t believe the hype, 2010 will not be the year of the Google desktop.

  87. This reminds me of the ubiquitous computing forecast. Maybe it's not about Chrome OS in notebooks everywhere. Maybe it's more about Chrome OS in Ovens, bathrooms and sheds. Embedded in objects. Great post Robert.

  88. This reminds me of the ubiquitous computing forecast. Maybe it's not about Chrome OS in notebooks everywhere. Maybe it's more about Chrome OS in Ovens, bathrooms and sheds. Embedded in objects. Great post Robert.

  89. Great post! Google is counting on the upcoming global ubiquity of “over-the-air” internet access. They are championing the idea, so why not create products that prove their belief in the future. It's far more forward thinking than many of the ideas we have seen in the OS space to this point.

    You are exactly right. This is a new field altogether.

  90. Great post! Google is counting on the upcoming global ubiquity of “over-the-air” internet access. They are championing the idea, so why not create products that prove their belief in the future. It's far more forward thinking than many of the ideas we have seen in the OS space to this point.

    You are exactly right. This is a new field altogether.

  91. Yes, but did you notice that Google has *two* operating systems rather than just one? Chrome OS is for embedded, single-purpose, net-connected use, while Android has native apps and an offline mode. (On my Android phone, this is called 'Airplane mode', you activate it by holding down the power button for a few seconds.)

    (And while I agree with Robert that Chrome OS wasn't meant to compete directly with Windows, I don't think the same can be said of Android.)

  92. Yes, but did you notice that Google has *two* operating systems rather than just one? Chrome OS is for embedded, single-purpose, net-connected use, while Android has native apps and an offline mode. (On my Android phone, this is called 'Airplane mode', you activate it by holding down the power button for a few seconds.)

    (And while I agree with Robert that Chrome OS wasn't meant to compete directly with Windows, I don't think the same can be said of Android.)

  93. That's an interesting comment. I'm always perplexed by people who wouldn't dream of installing another browser as I guess they think it's added complexity. Great post Robert.

  94. That's an interesting comment. I'm always perplexed by people who wouldn't dream of installing another browser as I guess they think it's added complexity. Great post Robert.

  95. That's an interesting comment. I'm always perplexed by people who wouldn't dream of installing another browser as I guess they think it's added complexity. Great post Robert.

  96. That's an interesting comment. I'm always perplexed by people who wouldn't dream of installing another browser as I guess they think it's added complexity. Great post Robert.

  97. From a practical perspective I’d sooner have essentially passive screens in the kitchen, bathroom, etc., which I can wirelessly link my iPhone/iPod Touch to as a ‘controller’ but which actually provides the content. This seems more viable than having ‘cloud’ devices all over the place. How many connections to the cloud do you need? One, the one you carry around with you.

  98. Google did announce last week a new langauge that they want to try releasing. Nothing is written in it yet.

    People including me have been pointing out that Google uses other people's languages for some time, perhaps they hope this move will silence that line of criticism. But no, Google products still run using core platforms and languages developed by other people.

  99. Enterprises who are using Google apps will find chrome OS just perfect for their needs because its web-based. So if your “very expensive industry specific application” is web-based also (and NOT dependent on IE6) then chrome OS is perfect for your needs as well.

    So I would guess a large percentage of enterprises will find this useful and economical, not just average facebook users.

  100. It is scary but you are right. Google has not only already won because they are open and more developers will embrace the open format of their platforms. But they are also free. Silverlight is not the best example, but Google will continue to come out with free solutions in industries that are based on premium pricing. See GPS maps. See operating systems. See books. etc.

  101. Sorry Robert, but there's a lot of things that won't run on ChromeOS:

    Photoshop
    No ssh
    No ftp
    No terminal at all
    No IDEs/editors for coding
    No interactive gaming outside of the browser

    And probably much more I haven't listed here

  102. They open sourced it because it's built on GPL software. They didn't have a choice. Nothing to see here, move along.

  103. You're falling for the myth that Silverlight and HTML5 somehow compete. This myth begs the question why MSFT would invest so heavily in both, and run a keynote at PDC last week where Sinofsky's announcements about HTML5 were followed seconds later by Guthrie showing Silverlight 4. It's a fun myth for sensationalism, but it completely beggars belief. I wrote about this perplexing myth recently here:

    http://visitmix.com/Opinions/HTML5-vs-Silverlig

  104. Erm, Scoble. When you say that “Google wants developers to build for the open web. Microsoft wants developers to build for Silverlight” you seem to have blinkers on.

    Microsoft just opened up Windows Azure to ANY runtime. Including PHP, Python, Ruby and Java. I call that a huge step forward for the open web.

    its like saying that Adobe wants developers to write for Flex, Air and Flash.

  105. stabilizing the cloud is a huge Google goal. stabilizing mobile is even bigger I think. I see the future Google as dependent on mobile (OS, GPS/maps, location based search, apps, etc) as on search. They are getting into hardware. They damn sure should be creating a tablet. Hand held Google is the end game. Putting smarter adds on it all.

  106. Response time + Stability will establish a new basis of competition. Web apps replace desktop/laptop apps. Web devices are an increasing share of online devices. This adds up to Google's OS & Web browser, optimized for Web apps, able to dramatically improve user experience via speed (response time) and stability (far fewer reboots and crashed apps.) One of the apps that is crashing more frequently for heavy Web users is the browser. Stripping the OS down to support browsers and creating a Web-app-oriented browser is a winning strategy.

  107. This is exactly what I'm stunned that people don't get. For another $50, your bathroom scale includes your personal http://calorie-count.com/ account in the display, complete with your goals and current status. How are these things not just Plain as the Sky is Blue, people? Your refrigerator has a flat panel with all the electricity usage in your house, by room, by appliance, and how much your solar rooftop has sold back to the grid this month. Duh. Please, let's try not to pretend that any of this is shocking or unexpected; we're at least 10 years BEHIND on all this and more, mostly because of plain old human cognitive inertia. Yawn. Just give me http://bit.ly/BandwidthAndaBrowser

  108. Here's an experiment. Find a way to explain your vision of Chrome OS to your mom and dad and the guy down the street who works in accounting. Keep talking to geeks and you'll get always get a YES.

  109. Do I need a Chrome OS device if I have a netbook? If price is the only issue, what prevents the Linux community from building their own? Asus etc could just as easily build this “browser only” device.

  110. ..everywhere I go my MS Smartphone makes Blackberry and iPhone users say, “I wish my phone could do that!”

    Microsoft and Smartphone are two words that don't seem to go well together.

  111. I'll use a web browser only device when I can dictate service level agreements with the online service provider. If all my data – my entire digital life – lives in the cloud then I want guarantees. I want to know that something like the Sidekick/Danger fiasco won't destroy me.

    Pogoplug? So now I have a web only device, I'll buy a computer with a dedicated OS wrapped around a hard drive connected to the Internet with all my most personal data on it? And then trust that no one has tampered with it while in transit?

    Or … I'll send a hard drive with all my data (not sure how the data got on the hard drive in the first place since I don't have a computer )

  112. Robert,
    It took Apple to come along with the iPhone to get the wireless telco to even consider offering the kinds of devices we see today (Moto Droid, Palm Pre etc). 5 years from now I expect that my cell phone will will be even heftier than it is now and that I will get less for my money. If Google were to gain control of one of these companies then maybe, maybe, this thing will work.

    I live in a townhouse community where most of the residents are tech savvy (I'm near Princeton,NJ). Everyone of my neighbours has wireless and every single one of those connections is encrypted. Same thing about town. Lot's of encrypted wireless connections that I can't use on my iPod Touch.

  113. Oh… I'm loving Chrome for Windows (I don't need extensions and their potential insecurity) and have been testing Chrome for Mac. These are examples of what a browser should be. Fast, light weight, reliable. I dumped Firefox some time ago and live with Safari on my Mac because of speed and compatibility.

  114. I work as a book designer and blogger on my 24″ iMac and, away from my studio, on my 17″ MacBook Pro. I communicate on both via email, iCha, and Skype. And I do any 'net surfing necessary on the two. My iPod Touch is as close to a netbook as I need. I've apps to read Kindle-style; check out my email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and make the occasional VOIP phone call. The last thing, honestly, I expected to get so into was putting my music on it. But I've found the Touch a Godsend for when I run in the morning.

    I just cannot imagine needing another limited device, say, a bathroom reader. Either the Chrome OS will expand to do a lot more or it will wither, I think. Or ami Iwrong and there's simply no limit to just how many devices we're willing to tote around?

  115. Hey Mom! I know that you and the accountant are frustrated by long startup times, annoying update reminders, and never having access to the one damned file you really needed at that impromptu meeting (you gave up on all those sucky sync, sank, sunk nightmares YEARS ago). So, what if your computer started in 10 seconds (you could actually turn it off at night to save electricity), it never annoyed you to update (yet was always magically up to date), and your files were always available from any desktop, laptop, or hanheld with none those catastrophic syncing feelings?

    How's that? ;-)

  116. there are already several netbook specifically targeted Linux builds, Kubuntu Netbook Remix, Ubuntu Netbook Edition, just to name the two from the Ubuntu Community.

    In fact Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu is a contributer to Google OS as announced on their corporate blog (blog.canonical.com). So you are seeing Linux based distros target specifically the netbook

  117. very interesting, i would agree, a device that does very specific things, that is low cost and portable is something that i would buy because i don't want to spend all of my time in front of the computer but instead, out and about and living life, although i would still want a heavy duty computer that i can use for my home base

  118. There's a saying I have – it's great that everyone seems to be thinking the same as Scoble on this one, but are any of you really thinking? Really?

    After reading through this, and some of the comments…just had to fire back with a post of my own. Here it is folks: Why Scoble Is So Wrong – Chrome OS Has Not Won – Rather It Is The Unicorn Of Tech! http://bit.ly/8iwIQ1

    Sorry Robert – still a huge fan, but on this one I just have to disagree. Interested in your perspective.

  119. Ok Robert, now you're jumping the shark on this Chrome OS bent. Chrome isn't even an OS, it's just an application that happens to run a bunch of Google Apps very well. But an operating system that does not make! What about all my other apps?

    If I want to just run “cloud stuff” then that device is already here. It's a mobile device, and the iPhone (remember that) does a great job at it. In a year…expect to be blown away again on that front.

    See My Blog Post….I just have to disagree with you on this one Robert. http://bit.ly/8iwIQ1

  120. first of all, their search engine is dominating, we know that, but their phone OS will not kill iphone. their regular os will not kill windows

    __________
    toys

  121. I have been using chrome since last 4 months and its really fantastic browsing with chrome:)
    I have used firefox and Opera too , the problem with firefox is that its get very slow as its gets old in the computer(very strange problem!) and as far as opera is concerned its browsing speed is light fast but its not compatible with many popular website:( So Chrome wins.

  122. Babies are born everyday that don't know a thing about windows, and when that baby is old enough to type and get online, mom and dad are going to put a $50 netbook in front of them and they will grow up never knowing that the world cannot spin on its axis without Windows.

  123. To be fair, the Xandros distro used by the Asus eeePC was SUPER LAME and was a big part of the reason that linux netbooks didn't enjoy greater success. The full desktop Ubuntu performs great on my eee PC 900 netbook with 1 gig of ram.

    And I say this as a Linux only user for the last 3 years — Linux has about as much chance of “killing” Windows as Solar Power has a chance of killing coal fired power plants — which is not to say the world would not be a better place if it were true.

  124. Mom's reply: “Update reminders? Sync? Oh gosh, I don't know anything about that stuff. Can you fix my solitaire so that it's wider on the screen? I'm not a computer person.”
    My reply: “Okay, maybe I'm not explaining this very well. How would you like a computer that just works all the time and where you could access any of your files by just typing in the name of them?”
    Mom's reply: “Oh, dear, I'm not a computer person. I wouldn't even know how to turn the thing on.”
    My reply: “Easy, you just hit 'power'”.
    Mom's reply: “Oh gosh, you'll have to teach me this. I'll never remember. I don't want to learn anything new. I know how to go to my documents – it's this thing here on my desktop. Don't make me learn something new. Please!”
    For many, many, many people, it doesn't matter how much better a technology is, the mere act of learning something different is enough to not want to adopt it. And I suspect that there are plenty of computer users like this, not just some.

  125. Mom's reply: “Update reminders? Sync? Oh gosh, I don't know anything about that stuff. Can you fix my solitaire so that it's wider on the screen? I'm not a computer person.”
    My reply: “Okay, maybe I'm not explaining this very well. How would you like a computer that just works all the time and where you could access any of your files by just typing in the name of them?”
    Mom's reply: “Oh, dear, I'm not a computer person. I wouldn't even know how to turn the thing on.”
    My reply: “Easy, you just hit 'power'”.
    Mom's reply: “Oh gosh, you'll have to teach me this. I'll never remember. I don't want to learn anything new. I know how to go to my documents – it's this thing here on my desktop. Don't make me learn something new. Please!”
    For many, many, many people, it doesn't matter how much better a technology is, the mere act of learning something different is enough to not want to adopt it. And I suspect that there are plenty of computer users like this, not just some.