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Google Releases Source To Chromium OS

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the it-dons-the-thick-skin dept.

Operating Systems 664

Kelson writes "Google has released the source to what will eventually become Chrome OS, and will begin developing it as an open source project like Chromium. The OS differs from the usual computing model by (1) making all apps web apps (2) sandboxing everything and (3) removing anything unnecessary, to focus on speed." Reader Barence adds "Google said consumers won't be able to download the operating system — it will only be available on hardware that meets Google's specifications. Hard disks are banned, for instance, while Google said it will also specify factors such as screen sizes and display resolutions. Google said it plans to officially launch Chrome OS by the end of next year."

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664 comments

Hmm.. (0)

windex82 (696915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162208)

Interesting

Re:Hmm.. (3, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162236)

Just web apps? I guess I can take my old 8bit computer out of the closet, because we're returning to purely interpreted programs now. Hey look ma! That program that compiled occupied about 512K of RAM now takes 150MB, YAY FUTURE!!!!!

Re:Hmm.. (3, Insightful)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162296)

This has always been my concern about cloud computing and moving toward web apps and online content. Honestly I don't think that the idea of turning our desktops into terminals will catch on, and I'm not really sure that advocates have considered the cost. You're really just moving the hardware requirements to the server side as far as I can tell. Plus, the necessity of perpetual highspeed internet connections...

Re:Hmm.. (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162442)

It's a lot easier to upgrade a datacenter, since you typically do it anyone by getting better hardware each year, instead of having tens of thousands of people upgrade. At least, from Google's perspective.

Re:Hmm.. (3, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162544)

Please, allow me to fix this for you.

people think It's a lot easier to upgrade a datacenter

. The reality is that if lots of people use anything cloud, it will not be able to be realtime or respond quickly. Latency and transmission requirements are astronomical for this method. Of course the selling point is less hardware for the end user.

Seen what happens to google wave when you hit about 100 people? Imagine the same for 100 thousand people.

Of course on the flip side, if people do the computations for you (aka owning a computer), you don't need as much server space, and people can actually maintain copies of their stuff, and not be limited by network capacity and network access. Latency is much easier to work on like that.

In order for google to get around that latency issue they will need to be able to have around 50ms everywhere on the planet, which simply isn't feasible because sometimes computing on an app might take more than 50ms to do.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162750)

I haven't seen latency issues with Gmail, since it runs locally in Firefox and only moves data when I'm sending or receiving email (not composing). Same thing with Google Docs. Remember, the app runs locally on the box, and the data moves back and forth. Email, docs, they don't take much bandwidth. Wave is a different story, but your typical business user could get by with email, docs, IM client, etc all done through a browser. Heck, I'm using Gmail right now in one tab, this slashdot page in a tab, Google Voice in another, etc.

Last mile bottleneck (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162576)

It's a lot easier to upgrade a datacenter

And harder to upgrade the last-mile pipe between the datacenter and the terminal, at least until other countries follow the lead of Finland and Spain in mandating a better-than-dial-up level of Internet service. If you're using a web-based operating system, you do not want to be stuck with 0.05 Mbps.

Re:Last mile bottleneck (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162708)

If Hulu can deliver 480p to my desktop with 2Mb/s, I think that should be sufficient for remotely hosted web apps. I know 2Mb/s isn't hugely common yet, but my Comcast connection is 15Mb/down, 3Mb/up (Chicago suburbs). It's getting there.

Re:Last mile bottleneck (1)

Spaham (634471) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162756)

that's exactly what I'm thinking.
I'm lucky to have 20mb/s down 2mb up, but even just uploading 400 15 megabyte photos with my speed takes a LOOONG time.
I can't picture working on them going through my pipes all the time. (Even if you factor that you'd first upload them, then
have just a representation of it on your screen...)
Am I being an old fart here ??

Re:Hmm.. (5, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162482)

I plan to move our company to a "dumb terminal" model over the next couple of years. You say that the cost of hardware just gets "shifted", but this is not entirely accurate. I have roughly 60 users. Each machine must be spec'd to handle the biggest workload, even if that only gets hit during some small fraction of the day. For 99%+ of the day, I have a powerful machine doing very little. With a centralized model, I can smooth that out.

But that isn't the biggest reason I am going to this model. I have folks who can be working in our central office, satellite office, on the road, or at home. I need ways to give my workforce the flexibility they need to work anywhere.

From a cost standpoint, PCs are awful. Maintenance is generally more than the hardware costs. Software installation and configuration alone costs us about 1/4 of a FTE. By centralizing, I am expecting that number to drop by 2/3.

Now, granted, my network is either local, or connected by dedicated T-1's except for our road folks. So, while I think this is a great idea for my workplace, I don't think it makes a lot of sense for me at home.

Re:Hmm.. (1, Flamebait)

stillpixel (1575443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162616)

dumb terminals? You mean computers using Windows?

Re:Hmm.. (2, Funny)

shadow349 (1034412) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162692)

By centralizing, I am expecting that number to drop by 2/3.

expecting : reality :: vaporware : release

Re:Hmm.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162722)

You're fired if you're my IT guy

Proposing a Wyse terminal equivalent in this day and age is cause for immediate termination with extreme predudice

Re:Hmm.. (1)

SlashDotDotDot (1356809) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162506)

Honestly I don't think that the idea of turning our desktops into terminals will catch on

Is that the point of Chrome OS? I had the impression that it was targeted at small, portable, communications devices--somewhere at the intersection of smart phones and netbooks. There are many kinds of applications that just won't ever run in the cloud, and we'll always need powerful desktop-ish machines with full-featured OSes

What I'm more confused about is why they need both Chrome OS and Android.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162700)

What I'm more confused about is why they need both Chrome OS and Android.

Consider that Microsoft needs both Windows CE (basis for Windows Mobile) and Windows NT (basis for Windows XP/Vista/7). NT needs more hardware than CE.

Re:Hmm.. (2, Funny)

windex82 (696915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162334)

Yeah, it really sucks.

I'm really hopeful that one day they will increase the size of hard drives, memory density, etc..

I know you Linux folks are ultra cheap and seem to think no new hardware has ben produced in ages, and thats cool. But really, if you ask anyone you know if they recently bought a new computer I'm sure they could give you a hell of a deal on that old P133 Packard Bell.

Re:Hmm.. (4, Insightful)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162552)

Come on, my old Amiga took about a minute to open a large jpeg. Just a few years ago it was common to use specialised hardware just to watch high quality video. Perhaps we're moving to an age were most PCs will be the spiritual successors to dumb terminals. They'll still be a hell of a lot more powerful than desktops of 15 years ago.

Re:Hmm.. (3, Interesting)

Homburg (213427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162582)

If you use x86, you've been running all interpreted code since the mid 90s - all x86 processors since the Pentium Pro are RISC processors with an on-chip virtual machine for the x86 instructions. This objection to interpreted code seems to be based on, well, nothing - why should we care what implementation strategy our software happens to be using?

Re:Hmm.. (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162748)

Chrome[OS] will support NativeClient that allows you to securely execute native code. I guess the GUIs will still be interpreted though.

Re:Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162356)

it will only be available on hardware that meets Google's specifications

Taking a page from Apple I see. No doubt limiting the hardware scope in order to ease development, but I hope we don't have another case of "linux" on our hands - where getting a decent ATI driver was impossible for a number of years. I'm all for open source, gpl, blah blah blah, but if it doesn't work on REAL-WORLD hardware, no business will adopt it. If it isn't adopted en mass, no one will develop for it.

Hopefully Google does it right by developing a large number of user friendly and "Windows-like" applications, along with wide hardware support, and tie it all together and release it at once. If the user downloads Google's OS and finds it doesn't work well, they will never give it another chance. I know people who downloaded Linux 5 years ago and will not try it, even if I paid them, because of the poor hardware support. I tried convincing them things are better...but no.

Re:Hmm.. (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162430)

The hypothetical "user" will never have a chance to download Google's OS and find it doesn't work well. Google has stated their intention of only providing it with approved hardware.

Now, because they have also announced that it will be OSS(except, presumably, a blob of trademarked logos and stuff), there will most likely be third party builds available; but the sort of people who download third party builds of OSS code can either RTFM beforehand to make sure that their stuff is supported, or deal with it like adults when their unsupported hardware turns out to be problematic.

Re:Hmm.. (2, Insightful)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162848)

Just like the early days of Linux.

Looks pretty shit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162218)

I think most people will stick with Windows and proper GNU/Linux netbooks.

Re:Looks pretty shit (4, Insightful)

awitod (453754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162300)

Whoever modded you offtopic must really like Google.
I have to agree.
It seems they are getting a lot of press for a pretty underwhelming idea - a browser with direct access to the underlying hardware. wow

Re:Looks pretty shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162390)

I think most people will stick with Windows and proper GNU/Linux netbooks.

Those Linux netbooks are geting harder and harder to find. I, for one, welcome our Google Overlords and their lightweight non-Borg netbooks.

Re:Looks pretty shit (4, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162462)

But this will be useful in some cases (3rd world education, your grandparents, etc) where all your need are webapps, like Gmail, Google Docs, etc. Not everyone needs a full blown OS and the hardware costs associated with it.

Re:Looks pretty shit (2, Interesting)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162688)

I think I had a knoppix which did exactly : "boot and launch firefox". I don't see the point of developping an full OS when configuring a linux distributin might be enough.

Re:Looks pretty shit (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162772)

Same reason Google made Android. Open, but still deeply tied to Google's services. Not really a bad things, as long as you can always get your data out (a la dataliberation.org).

Re:Looks pretty shit (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162724)

A hardware vendor can already put a tiny installation of Linux + X11 + Firefox or Chrome on small flash drive. Why make a new OS?

Re:Looks pretty shit (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162806)

To tie it in with your services. Look at an Android phone for a good example. Sure, you can use it on any device it supports hardware-wise, but most people are going to use Google Maps, Gmail, Google voice, etc on their Android phone. Same with a desktop OS.

Re:Looks pretty shit (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162850)

Does the 3rd world really have always-on mobile internet with unlimited data, such that all apps being webapps is a good idea?

Re:Looks pretty shit (4, Insightful)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162502)

Yeah, because what Joe Sixpack needs is Antivirus, endless straem of updates, burning backups of mail and documents and restoring it later, and rest of that shit.

Re:Looks pretty shit (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162634)

I think most people will stick with Windows and proper GNU/Linux netbooks.

I think most people will stick with X-Windows and proper GNU/Linux netbooks.

There... Fixed that for ya.

I think this is a decoy (1)

ID000001 (753578) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162238)

... to divers attention away from their Androids platform. When google merging voice, blog, mail, video, and talk all into wave, it will become the real OS.

I disagree (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162726)

Android is necessary as-is for what it is.

But I think you've almost hit it on the nose with the rest. This OS/platform is the underlying architecture for a Google branded wave platform on which most (if not all) of their software applications will eventually reside. But Wave is available now, without Google's 'OS' and is a generic real time data sharing platform. Google OS is (near as I can tell) a business solution for those that want Google's tools and complete control of their data in-house.

They go together like PB & J but they are distinct.

Doh! (0, Offtopic)

Art3x (973401) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162240)

Doh! I can't run Chrome, so I wasn't fast enough to make the first post!

Okay.... (1, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162250)

Hard disks are banned

So what, does my computer boot up to magic, or are they building a BIOS or LiveCD specific to Chrome?

Re:Okay.... (2, Insightful)

windex82 (696915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162388)

Something solid state would be my guess. It makes sense to refer to the new solid state drives as a "hard drive" since that is what its replacing but I feel the term "hard drive" is being used to refer to the drives that use platters and other mechanics.

Hard Disk Drive = HDD = Platters
Solid State Drive = SDD = Not mechanical.

Re:Okay.... (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162478)

Probably a 32MB flash card to boot the os and bootstrap it to pull down everything from the web it needs.

Re:Okay.... (2, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162556)

I suppose "they're being word-weasles" is one guess.

Combining the "no hard drives" rule with the "every app is a web app" rule, I'm more inclined to think they really do mean "no local random-access persistant mass storage devices"; they want this to be a client for their cloud services.

Re:Okay.... (1)

chizu (669687) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162436)

Google is requiring solid state disks.

Re:Okay.... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162450)

SSD only, apparently.

Re:Okay.... (4, Informative)

dark_requiem (806308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162498)

So what, does my computer boot up to magic, or are they building a BIOS or LiveCD specific to Chrome?

FTFA:

All applications will be web apps, all data will be stored in the cloud and the operating system will be booted from Flash - no hard disks will be supported.

Boots from flash, be it built-in or external (think SD card), presumably. I'm sure someone will come up with a live CD/PXE boot eventually, though. Plus, it's an open source OS, so someone will eventually hack in standard SATA drivers and the like, if Google refuses to provide them.

Re:Okay.... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162760)

That'll be sort of pointless if the whole point of the OS/PC is to just boot into the browser as quickly as possible. Sure, you could put Open Office etc on the hard drive, just like you can put Linux onto phones and watches and toasters etc, but only a tiny proportion of users are ever going to do that and it won't make any difference to Google.

Re:Okay.... (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162872)

My guess is that it'll contain just enough flash to load the OS.

But I'm left to wonder how I'll post LOLcats to my favorite blogs without hotlinking them.

In any event, ChromeOS is a complete non-issue for me. I have too many business apps that I need to run for which there are no web equivilents. That said, I wish the industry would move towards fully sandboxing all applications. It should be fundamentally impossible to have your OS infected with malware. It should be possible to install software for a business network by dropping a package on the server and specifying how many licenses you have. Or likewise for a home network. There's still a risk of things like macro viruses, but that's a much smaller footprint. Microsoft should totally hire me. I'd make the perfect OS. Except then there'd be no need to upgrade every few years. Well, we'd just have to move on to making other useful programs.

Excellent Plan (0)

esobofh (138133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162258)

1 - build a competing OS
2 - offer the source code free
3 - don't allow people to download it
4 - Profit! (by writing off the failure as a loss)

Seriously.. what? I can't download it?

Re:Excellent Plan (2, Interesting)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162324)

If it's open source and available... couldn't interested parties compile it themselves. How are they going to ensure that it's not available for actual use?

Re:Excellent Plan (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162524)

I assume that by "don't allow people to download 'it'", they mean "don't provide a precompiled installer CD that(implicitly or explicitly) promises to actually work on actual hardware". Obviously, if it is an OSS project, there is nothing stopping people from producing 3rd party builds that do attempt, or even promise, to install on all sorts of hardware. However, those won't be Google's problem, so they have no real reason to care.

I assume that Google either believes they can get money from device makers or, more likely, has absolutely no interest in being on the hook for the fact that your broadcomm wireless running firmware XYZ.123 drops frames and repeatedly disconnects when used with WPA/TKIP, or whatever.

Sounds dumb to me (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162264)

So basically it sounds like everything will be stored on Google's servers in some way to me. So everything I do they will know.

I don't like it I like to control things that are mine!

Um, Thanks But No (5, Insightful)

lenwood (930461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162272)

Everything runs in the cloud? Hard disks are banned? Wow, they are aggressively pursuing their thirst for all of the world's data. No thank you.

Re:Um, Thanks But No (5, Funny)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162684)

Hey man, information wants to be free. What, you didn't think that applied to YOUR information?

Sounds pretty limited (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162276)

Of course, if they keep releasing the source it may not stay limited.
I wonder if this is going to stay a genuine Open Source OS or if Google will pull an Apple and gradually go back on the openness.

Google good, Apple bad ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162280)

it will only be available on hardware that meets Google's specifications. Hard disks are banned, for instance, while Google said it will also specify factors such as screen sizes and display resolutions

How do we reconcile this with slamming Apple for trying to maintain 100% control over the OS/hardware combo?

Norman ... coordinate.

Cheers

Re:Google good, Apple bad ... (2, Interesting)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162504)

Yeah and all webapps which everyone hated when the iPhone did it but this is Google so be prepared to suddenly have it become brilliant and the wave of the future. Hurrah for hypocrasy.

Re:Google good, Apple bad ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162620)

Yeah and all webapps which everyone hated when the iPhone did it but this is Google so be prepared to suddenly have it become brilliant and the wave of the future. Hurrah for hypocrasy.

More interesting (well, to me), is this is essentially a re-hash of the concept of thin client computing which Microsoft tried so hard to get rid of in the 90's.

Everything old is new again.

Cheers

Re:Google good, Apple bad ... (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162698)

Help me out. Where can I download the source code to OS X and all the software components for a working Mac? Sure, I can buy Apple's official version of the OS on their official hardware, but where can I install it on my OWN hardware because I have the source?

Apple is a bunch of tight assed control freaks. They build good stuff, but you must run it THEIR way on THEIR systems.

Google builds good stuff, and they sell it on their systems or partners' systems, and you can STILL run in on anything you can make it work on, since they provide the source code.

So, yes -- Google good, Apple bad.

Lookup what "open source" means. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162732)

The difference:

I can download the Chrome OS source code and do whatever I want to it, and run it on whatever hardware I want.
Apple gives NO ONE any choice, you either buy Apple hardware or you are S.O.L.

Re:Google good, Apple bad ... (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162770)

It'll be available as open source. You obviously won't be able to fork it and brand it "Google ChromeOS" if you don't meet the requirements of the trademark however.

restrictions (5, Insightful)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162282)

If it's open source, the only enforcement they'll have over things like hard drives being banned, screen size restrictions, only web apps, etc. will be control of their trademarks. If Chrome offers something sufficiently compelling that people want to run it on "noncompliant" hardware, or run non-web-apps, they will fork it.

Re:restrictions (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162454)

fork it

Re:restrictions (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162618)

fork it

Re:restrictions (1)

Haxzaw (1502841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162574)

Unless the EULA says no. Then it'll be the same as running Mac OSX on whatever you want. I don't see a problem with running whatever OS I want on any piece of hardware I can get it to run on, but the companies, lawyers, judges, and fanboys disagree.

Re:restrictions (1, Informative)

bmcage (785177) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162696)

Unless the EULA says no. Then it'll be the same as running Mac OSX on whatever you want. I don't see a problem with running whatever OS I want on any piece of hardware I can get it to run on, but the companies, lawyers, judges, and fanboys disagree.

It is open source, you are per definition allowed to copy the code. You cannot name it Google obviously. Their reference implementation will run on linux, moblin, ..., so you will be able to adapt your linux box, and run the things you want, except the Google branded ones.

Note also that you will be able to run it in 'unsafe' development mode, after which you would be able to install KDE/GNOME on top of it if those provide packages for this distribution

Re:restrictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162638)

You're assuming that their open source license will allow forking and 3rd party distribution. It's perfectly possible that by "open source" google just means that the source code will be available and that the community is invited to submit patches.

Even assuming for the moment that Google is OK with you forking their code, who would do that? The main market for Chrome OS is going to be for netbook manufacturers, none of whom will want to take on the (gargantuan) task of supporting both the hardware _and_ the operating system. Think of it like Android: sure, it's open source, and there are certainly community projects built around it, but every cell phone capable of running Android comes with a stock, Google-approved flavor, not some home-spun concoction.

Going back to sleep now... (5, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162286)

The OS differs from the usual computing model by (1) making all apps web apps [...]

Well, I guess we were overdue for another well-funded attempt to flog the dead horse of thin clients again. I'd read the press release to see how many lines I have to scan before the first appearance of the word "convergence", but I feel too overwhelmed by indifference...

Re:Going back to sleep now... (4, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162840)

It's going to be a synergenic revitalization of the optimum dynastic capitalization for interconnected dynamics in the convergent subsidiaries of virtual datacenter alligories.

That's weird (1)

Useful Wheat (1488675) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162308)

I wonder if this is doomed to become a niche operating system that doesn't even scratch the surface of the market. Preventing your most enthusiastic linux base from trying out your software unless they purchase a new computer will prevent a large majority of people from playing with Chrome. The main thing I'm afraid of is that we're brewing a new Apple. At least they're not going for the single mouse button (yet).

Re:That's weird (3, Insightful)

not already in use (972294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162438)

enthusiastic linux base

Something tells me that's the exact opposite of what they're going for. You're delusional in thinking that Linux users have that much weight to throw around in the netbook market. This is the type of thing Jane doe will buy and enjoy it because it runs facebook just fine on cheap, energy efficient, small form factor hardware.

Looks like litl (1)

Homburg (213427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162312)

This looks a bit like the OS used on the litl webbooks [ometer.com] . It's an interesting idea, to choose a specific niche with specific constraints, and really target it. I'm still unsure whether this precise niche (almost-always online, only apps that can be delivered via the browser) is a large enough niche to be useful.

DOA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162318)

No hard drive, and it's useless without the cloud?

There are many college campuses where this would not work. I can't use it while on the road without tethering (or in a hotspot), and I can't use it for anything work related because it all goes to the cloud.

That fast boot is all for nothing.

Re:DOA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162420)

Ah yes, the old "it won't work in absolutely every situation, therefore it won't work in absolutely any situation" argument. You're right. It's completely DOA. WTF are those crazy Googloids thinking?

Re:DOA (1)

day2day (1656671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162658)

Not sure that's true. Google has been promoting offline syncing for someof their products (Calendar, Gmail, Reader) These can be used with no network connection, but once the network comes back they sync up. Any reason to think they wouldn't look to continue to support this capability?

Open Source? (0, Troll)

bdsesq (515351) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162328)

consumers won't be able to download the operating system

What kind of open source is this if you can't download it? Looks like Google is calling it open source but trying to control Chromium OS like it was closed.

Re:Open Source? (1)

EndlessNameless (673105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162408)

Perhaps they are trying to be a bit like Apple... you can get their software in conjunction with their approved hardware for a seamless experience.

Of course, since it's open source there will inevitably be a fork of some kind so it can be adapted for other hardware, get new features, etc.

Maybe they want an unsupported fork where the community develops features (and possibly rearchitects the system) without affecting their polished user experience. Any desirable changes can be ported to the official release.

They get free development; you get another open OS---one that is designed for desktop use from the ground up.

Open Sores (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162854)

Perhaps they are trying to be a bit like Apple... you can get their software in conjunction with their approved hardware for a seamless experience.

Let's hope seamless means reamless. Unlike the Apple experience.

Re:Open Source? (1)

tiocsti (160794) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162656)

I suspect when they say consumers won't be able to download the operating system they mean google won't be providing a package for end users, nor will it support installation.

As for the os itself, I wonder if it'll support native client or not...i suspect so, it might not be half bad at the low end of the netbook market, which seems to be where they are aiming.

Re:Open Source? (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162782)

consumers won't be able to download the operating system

What kind of open source is this if you can't download it?

It's the kind of open source where you download the source and compile it. I believe that the Chromium license allows redistribution.

Do you download binary kernels from Kernel.org, for example? No, you probably download and compile the source from kernel.org, or you wait for someone else to provide binaries for you.

Everything in the cloud... (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162338)

Can I play Nethack in the cloud?

Having watch the video press conference... (4, Interesting)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162372)

This is the infamous network appliance made real. The OS is a simplified kernel with a specific set of supported hardware with a simple interface and no on-system storage for data. All apps and settings are "in the cloud" i.e., on google's servers.

For likely 90% of home users, this will be perfect. A relatively dumb device that only runs a web browser to use web apps (googles or anyone else's provided their signed by google) to do their work.

It takes user-friendly to an extreme and makes everything just part of the web browser experience.

The root OS partition is read only and the selection of hardware is prescribed by google. You can download the source to hack it, but you can't make an installable image as you can't cryptographically sign it for their okay. They're only planning this to be a bought with hardware purchase.

Sound familiar? It should, it's basically the Apple experience made into a net appliance.

Re:Having watch the video press conference... (3, Interesting)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162570)

A relatively dumb device that only runs a web browser to use web apps (googles or anyone else's provided their signed by google) to do their work.

It sounds like a television, with more interactivity. Hook the appliance into a screen, connect to the broadband service and you'll have a functioning computer.

Sure, and lemme guess (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162376)

... in order for you to use the software when you aren't plugged into the net, you'll have to download some bloated piece of kludge like Gears, which won't actually give you the seamless experience you crave, but will make you wish for the days of Windows 3.1.

No Hard Disk? (1)

NapalmScatterBrain (1288748) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162382)

I'm pretty sure there is going to be a rather small permanent storage capability for the offline (but still in browser functionality) that Chrome allows for. Currently this functionality is provided by Google Gears, but once HTML 5 has matured they will be using that. All I know is that I can open up and use Gmail in the browser offline, and Chrome OS is supposed to provide this functionality. I can't wait to see what the open source community does with the Chromium OS. Either way, MS needs to fix IE. It is horrible. Comparing it to Firefox makes it look bad. Comparing to Chrome makes it look completely irrelevant and obsolete. Now they're going to be eating it in the Netbooks market too.

Re:No Hard Disk? (1)

Dusty101 (765661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162464)

No Hard Disk?

All Your Data Are Belong To Us!

Who would use this? (1)

Z1NG (953122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162480)

I don't see myself using this type of "OS" anytime soon, and I imagine a lot of other people are in the same boat. Who would use this? I guess schools would be a good candidate. It seems like they could use lower quality hardware, and most schools have awesome internet connections.

Key Piece of Information (it's only for netbooks!) (4, Insightful)

NapalmScatterBrain (1288748) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162532)

This is being targeted at netbooks and ONLY netbooks. They are expecting customers to be folks who already own a main computer for dedicated application needs.

Re:Key Piece of Information (it's only for netbook (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162856)

Why on Earth would I use this with a portable device? A lot of the times I'm on my notebook I don't have a network connection, but I can still use my applications and be productive until I get around to a net connection and waste my time on the web.

You insensitive cloud! (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162542)

Hard disks banned? I can't decide if this is a bad thing, it could be interesting model of computing outside the cloud. For example, an offline desktop experience could be provided by a local or lan server that uses web protocols. I'm sure the community will do some really intesting things with this freshly opened source.

All your datas (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162546)

...are belongs to us!!

Well.... (1)

thadog (907798) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162558)

Can I still run IE in a Chrome frame?

Obligatory TFTFY (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162562)

consumers won't be able to download the operating system for long

TFTFY

AmigaOS users UNITE!!! (2, Funny)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162586)

Hard disks are banned

But not floppies!!
I new sticking with the Amiga all these years would pay off!! I finally have a use for all these "Floppy" disks!!

My Guess on Cost (2, Interesting)

clinko (232501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162588)

If the OS can't be downloaded, it's attached to the hardware 1-to-1.

The hardware can't cost a penny more than a netbook ($250-300) or we'd just get a netbook.

Removing the harddrive, or putting a small 4gb SD drive, will put it around $200.

$200: Meh.

$150: I'd rush the doors like a Walmart on Black Friday.

Security looks impressive (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162590)

After finding this link: http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/chromiumos-design-docs/security-overview [chromium.org]

I'm impressed. I wasn't expecting that much in the way of security in this offering, but I'm actually pleasantly surprised by how much thought Google has put into this, both from remote attacks and local (stolen computer/device).

Three notable things:

I like is the fact that items that log on and use Google's authentication mechanism work online, and offline by using a local cached hash table.

The segmenting of the Web browser. This is something every Web browser should do, so one buggy plugin doesn't mean a completely rooted system.

Very well thought out boot path with initial key values stored in an unalterable chip. Next to a TPM boot, this is a good way to protect against corrupted boot attacks.

My only wish is that the device didn't use an Owner/user priv model. This is just fine for devices and home computers, but when you get to the enterprise where you have to have machines have a "master-root" user (usually an Active Directory) admin, there will be issues.

Sounds like Apple...or am I wrong? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162610)

"Google said consumers won't be able to download the operating system -- it will only be available on hardware that meets Google's specifications. Hard disks are banned, for instance, while Google said it will also specify factors such as screen sizes and display resolutions. Google said it plans to officially launch Chrome OS by the end of next year."

So I cannot even store my favorite pictures on the device because everything had to be stored in the "cloud?" What if I am to go upcountry?

I would like to see opinions of coders on Google's product. Any ideas?

Google should give Gmail some love (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162744)

While I extensively use Google's products, I find that GMail is still wanting in terms of searching for email.

Here's why: You search for all mails containing some word...Gmail returns all mails having such a word with no obvious categorization. It would be better if it can return emails categorized as follows:

Those with attachments and what type of attachment it is, those sent last week, last month, last year, 2 years ago etc...those sent by who...and so on.

Right now, the interface sucks big time. Anyone agree? Yahoo does a better job at this.

You can live in the cloud... (3, Interesting)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162642)

But only Google's cloud.

Say what you will about Windows, but I can install Chrome, Gears, and bam -- I can use Google's 'cloud' infrastructure.

ChromeOS? I can only use Google.

I'll stick with Windows for now.

On a related note, this is one of the most underwhelming releases I've ever seen. Way to blow the hype.

Don't trust developers. (4, Funny)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162794)

FTOB (from the official blog):

Unlike traditional operating systems, Chrome OS doesn't trust the applications you run. Each app is contained within a security sandbox making it harder for malware and viruses to infect your computer. Furthermore, Chrome OS barely trusts itself. Every time you restart your computer the operating system verifies the integrity of its code.

The developers barely trust themselves to write secure code so they decided code will not be writen at all. Not trusting themselves with this even they have scrambled their passwords and erased their door access cards. Security has been further enhanced by all staffers being locked up in the basement behind a externally locked door. 6 weeks later the only issue is now is the smell.

Coming Full Circle (1)

kdogg73 (771674) | more than 4 years ago | (#30162866)

Is cloud computing returning our computers to the dumb terminals once were? A login and password anywhere will take you to ALL your digital media.

Mini Clouds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30162870)

Might not be so bad if they have some plan to let people to set up their own little "mini cloud".
Otherwise things like access to data when unable to access the internet, backups, and loss of access to service will be a problem.

Privacy could become a big problem too. You want your pr0n stash stored on the cloud?

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