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Microsoft, Other Rivals Slam Google Chrome OS

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the obligatory-naysaying dept.

Operating Systems 324

CWmike writes "Microsoft is, predictably, not all that impressed by Google Inc.'s demonstration of its upcoming Chrome OS. 'From what was shared, it appears to be in the early stages of development,' a Microsoft spokeswoman said. 'From our perspective, however, our customers are already voicing their approval of the way Windows 7 just works — across the Web and on the desktop, and on all sizes and types of PCs — purchasing twice as many units of Windows 7 as we've sold of any other operating system over a comparable time.' But neither were potential rivals who make Linux and instant-on operating systems. Chrome OS claimed 7-second boot times and the ability to run Web apps within another 3 seconds, which failed to impress Woody Hobbs, president and CEO of Phoenix Technologies, a long-time BIOS software maker that has re-invented itself with a Linux-based instant-on OS called HyperSpace. 'Instant-on is about being able to access your Internet applications in one second. Seven seconds is too long,' Hobbs said. 'There is no such thing as "cold boot" for today's mobile PCs such as netbooks and smartbooks. You should be able to use your netbook like you use your smartphone — a press of a button and you are "on."' Mark Lee, CEO of DeviceVM Inc., said Google's favoritism towards its own browser and Web apps could rub some users the wrong way, especially those outside of the US. 'In China, users prefer Baidu, not Google,' Lee said. DeviceVM's Splashtop platform boots into Firefox within seconds and uses Yahoo or Baidu as default search engines instead of Google."

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324 comments

Dang! (5, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188136)

I was already contrarian in yesterday's Chrome thread. Some people are asking "Does Chrome OS Spell the End of Desktop PCs?" [pcmag.com] I think the thing that's in the most danger of being taken over by Chrome OS is slashdot. Some people will make some interesting builds, and it will be a lot of fun to play with. It's doubtful much more will come of it than that.

But of course Microsoft and their friends at Forrester and Gartner, PC World and news.com.com.com will be declaring it a greater threat to world peace than Scientology, claim it causes genital warts, say that it may damage both your computer and your self esteem. The funniest thing I've seen along this line is this one [wired.com] .

Re:Dang! (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188240)

There is this automated internet kiosk system you can use here. You put a coin in the slot then it netboots windows. Its all memory resident so nothing gets preserved between sessions.

I wonder if google could provide a BOOTP service for Chrome OS? That way you wouldn't actually need to keep it installed.

Might have been easier if the image was smaller than 300 megabytes.

C-OS does not have "Rivals" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188704)

It's something all unto itself. if anything is a rival, it is a smart phone OS, like Windows Phone or other rivals. To compare google OS to a desktop OS is like comparing a toy car to a Ferrari.

Re:Dang! (4, Interesting)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188926)

That would actually not be hard at all for anyone. Since Chrome OS is open source you can do it today thanks to gpxe. The only problem would be getting the right answer out of your local dhcp like this:

chain http://chrome.google.com/chromeos.gpxe [google.com]

That could be solved by booting with an usb stick instead. The drawback would be how you verify its really Google youre downloading the system image from and not some random dns injecting hacker. I just got to try this, thanks for the idea!

Re:Dang! (-1, Troll)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188496)

Chrome is obsoleted by Droid. For the same price point, Droid gives you more features and more convenience - plus you don't have to take 7 seconds to boot.

They've been hyping ChromeOS as a "second computer" for business users - it's far better to increase user productivity by spending $100 or so on a second monitor.

Also, there's always that "one app" that you want that won't (or preferably shouldn't) run off the web.

ChromeOS is a product with no natural market. Cheap users? Like any company is going to want to pay for clicks from someone too cheap to buy a "real computer", even a $250 netbook.

Apps that work off the web? Buy a Wii and use those smae apps from within the Opera Wii browser. Spend another $25 for Wii Speak and you've got video conferencing as well.

Instant-On Smartphones? (2, Informative)

rhathar (1247530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188770)

Droid gives you more features and more convenience - plus you don't have to take 7 seconds to boot.

I'll admit I don't have a Droid - I have the G1 - but a 7 second boot would be far superior to what I experience.

What are people talking about with 'instant on smartphones'? The only thing 'instant-on' that I've seen is turning the screen back on. If you ever have to actually reboot the thing it takes at a least a MINUTE (haven't timed it, could be longer).

Re:Dang! (3, Informative)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188912)

there are a lot of corporate workers out there that do their daily thing via citrix or similar remote desktop access...

Re:Dang! (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188774)

I am quite certain that Chrome will make a huge impression on Microsoft. Let the whining and bleeding begin!

Re:Dang! (1)

ivoras (455934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188900)

To get on the comment-your-ass-about-something-you-can't-possibly-change bandwagon - what *is* a shame in all this is that ChromeOS wasn't developed *earlier*. Atom based netbooks are already too slow for anything *but* web surfing. Ana a few bucks could be shaved by dropping the HDD. Other things could be minimized too - 1 GB RAM is actually OK if all the machine does is being a thin-ish web client, maybe 512 MB could also be enough. A SD slot would of course be useful. The video system doesn't have to be anything special as long as it support flash decently (i.e. not the old Intel graphics chip - nVidia ION would probably be minimum), etc. All this could bring down battery consumption, etc.

It's a nice concept.

Of course it goes *completely* against what both MS and Intel are doing today...

News Flash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188172)

Not even google can please 100% of the people 100% of the time.

How is that different from any other company that has ever existed?

In all the time people have used Windows... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188184)

...it has NEVER been the most technically superior OS.

Is is the OS that runs all our apps.

Chrome and BIOS OSes do not change this.

Fast boot times don't matter if I have to dump my apps. Fast app launch times don't matter if I have to dump my apps.

Re:In all the time people have used Windows... (4, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188328)

Ah, but you can dump your Excel for something cloud-based that will likely look nearly exactly like Excel, function nearly the same way, and read Excel files. Add that to the boot and app launch times, and you have a serious competitor for the specific segment of hardware that Google is aiming for.

Play ChromeOS (Data) Jeopardy! (5, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188716)

Ah, but you can dump your Excel for something cloud-based that will likely look nearly exactly like Excel, function nearly the same way, and read Excel files. Add that to the boot and app launch times, and you have a serious competitor for the specific segment of hardware that Google is aiming for.

Me: I'll take ChromeOS for $100, Alex.
Alex: For $100, "specific segment of hardware that Google is aiming for".
Me: Who are people too cheap to spend $200 on a netbook?.
Alex: Right!
Me: I'll take ChromeOS for $200, please.
Alex: The answer is "it obsoleted ChromeOS a year before ChromeOS was supposed to be delivered"
Me: What is Droid?
Alex: Right again!
Me: I'll take ChromeOS for $400, please.
Alex: The answer is "Business".
Me: Who won't be using ChromeOS?
Alex: Right again!
Me: ChromeOS for $800, please.
Alex: They both don't let you run your apps your way.
Me: How is a ChromeOS-based computer like a Tivo?
Alex: Right again!
Me: ChromeOS for $1600, please.
Alex: The answer is, "100 times as much."
Me: How much more profit will Apple make off each computer it sells compared to vendors of ChromeOS-based computers.
Alex: Right again!
ChromeOS bonus question, "We welcome our cloud-based data overlords", "In Soviet Russia, Chrome browses YOU" and "You can have my data when you pry it from my cold dead hands."
Me: What were the three most popular ChromeOS privacy FAIL slogans?
Alex: Right! How much did you wager?
Me: All of it, Alex. There was no risk - everyone knows ChromeOS is Google's most famous flop to date.

Cloud is overrated (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188794)

I've lived in large cities most of my life and since 1995 have had readily accessible internet.

But this last summer and fall I spent my time at our family cabin in northern Wisconsin. Let me tell you, always connected means squat here (because it's just not an option - even dialup, particularly with the economy being what it is these days). OS stability means everything.

I've been able to work in the north woods just fine, knowing that I can drive into town and connect to the internet when I need to email something, etc.). But an OS that needs internet connection does me absolutely no good in these parts.

I suspect a large part of America would agree with me on that.

Re:Cloud is overrated (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189072)

I'm sure the egg heads at google know about this. I doubt it's something only you just now have thought about and they haven't. Anything thy brings more choice and takes MS down a few marketshare points is a good thing personally, let's not forget that if ChromeOS does make a decent splash it will be based on open web standards... something which I hope forces MS to eventually do the same.

Re:In all the time people have used Windows... (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188750)

It's been the default OS for largely the technologically challenged, the sort of people who still think Bill Gates runs Microsoft.

It's hardly a cheap OS though? it never seems to come down in price even though in reality there is nothing massively new in each release.

Re:In all the time people have used Windows... (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188856)

'Our apps' is totally subjective.

Ask the typical home user in 2009 what they do on their computer most of the time and the answer is probably facebook which has absolutely nothing to do with Windows. It's only going to shift more in that direction as time goes on, by this time next year streaming web video will have expanded substantially, facebook will have another 100+ million users, and the relevance of all those Apps that require windows will fade away.

Besides that, there is no forced choice here. This thing is supposed to be for your second, cheap and extremely portable computer, the primary one can run whatever you want it to.

The numbers might not add up (1)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188220)

purchasing twice as many units of Windows 7 as we've sold of any other operating system over a comparable time.

Remember to halve any sales figures that Microsoft releases due to how they constantly misrepresent and mis-measure their actual sales.

Re:The numbers might not add up (4, Funny)

future assassin (639396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188268)

purchasing twice as many units of Windows 7 as we've sold of any other operating system over a comparable time.

So right here MS themselves admits that VISTA was such crap that people were flocking away from it at record times.

Re:The numbers might not add up (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188420)

Remember to halve any sales figures that Microsoft releases due to how they constantly misrepresent and mis-measure their actual sales.

I don't think they need to here. Vista was a relative flop, and XP was released in 2001... the PC market has increased enormously in size since then. The success of Windows 7 isn't really in doubt anyway - people have clung to XP, so there is pent up demand for anything even remotely as usable.

At least SplashTop is reasonable (5, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188248)

They are competing directly, but Google's friendlier. Google is making an appliance OS, where as SplashTop is designed as a light fast-booting OS.

But almost everyone is using a strawman (as Microsoft is). The point is not to replace Windows, it's an OS for web surfing. It's not for playing World of Warcraft, doing heavy photo editing, video editing, etc. Everyone is writing the "Google vs. Microsoft" article they want to write, instead of the tougher article about how Google is basically working to define a new class of computer (something of a netbook that's not running a general OS).

It's web-TV, but not on TV and not horrible. It's an email appliance OS that lets you read the web pages people link to in their emails.

It's not a direct shot at MS and Apple.

Gruber [daringfireball.net] gets another one right.

...For now. (5, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188500)

Anyone who thinks that once Google perfects this, they're going to be content to simply sit idle on the cloudbook (I'm making that word up; consider it public domain) market with it is fooling themselves.

Google is also working on implementing 3D [slashdot.org] in the browser. They're also saying that for most features users use, Google Apps will be caught up with Microsoft Office [cnet.com] in a year. They're also working VERY hard on developing a standard codebase to implement a desktop UI within a browser [google.com] , and they're making very good progress.

Is Google overly optimistic? Maybe, but what company isn't? My point, though, is that they've got a LOT of really good things going for them. Don't dare think of Chrome as forever relegated to "OS-lite," or else you'll be making the same fundamental mistake that many other companies have made with Google. (And indeed, that a lot of them made with Microsoft in the past. "Oh, Internet Explorer will never catch up to Netscape." "Excel is like a scaled-down Lotus 123." "Our company has invested way too much in Netware to change." "Visual C++ is neat, but for serious development, go with Borland.")

It's really kind of fun to watch a company out-Microsoft Microsoft, except in a good way. As far as I'm concerned, I hope Microsoft continues to think of ChromeOS as just a toy that will never be a serious contender with Windows outside of very limited niche devices.

Re:...For now. (2, Insightful)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188928)

As far as I'm concerned, I hope Microsoft continues to think of ChromeOS as just a toy that will never be a serious contender with Windows outside of very limited niche devices.

They'll consider it a competitor as soon as its market share proportion has at least one significant digit to the left of the decimal point. Just look what happened to Linux!

It's a toy until it starts taking up significant portions of Microsoft's client-side OS market share.

Re:At least SplashTop is reasonable (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188540)

The point is not to replace Windows, it's an OS for web surfing. It's not for playing World of Warcraft, doing heavy photo editing, video editing, etc.

It's not a popular idea here in Geekdom, but many people think Web applications *are* the future...

Haiku is better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188556)

The idea of having the OS depend on the Internet is not too brilliant IMHO, but then I think a great limitation was to base it on linux... they should've taken something like Haiku instead.

Re:At least SplashTop is reasonable (5, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188630)

``It's an email appliance OS that lets you read the web pages people link to in their emails.''

In other words, it's exactly what mom and pop need. Especially if someone can make it work without needing a security expert to keep it working.

Re:At least SplashTop is reasonable (5, Insightful)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188656)

I think this take on it is too short-sighted. MS's business model is based on native applications. They want people mainly using outlook to read their mail. They want people editing documents in Word.
Google's business strategy is to get people spending as much time in a browser as possible. They want to replace all those native apps with Web apps that run on any machine with a browser and network connection.
These are two very different models. MS makes loads of money on Office. And it makes considerable money on Windows (which you need to run lots of your non-MS native software). If people start replacing Office with GDocs, MS loses a lot of money. If people stop relying on Windows-only apps to the point that they will seriously consider a well done, manufacturer customized , free OS, MS losses even more.
Chrome OS is one more little step towards Google's goal. If you are using GDocs and Gmail on Chrome, odds are not slim you are going to just stop using Office and Outlook altogether, even on your main desktop. After all, your stuff if already in Google docs.
But the big picture is 10 years down the road. If MS lets this sort of computer experience catch on, if it gives Google a chance to develop compelling replacements for standard apps, ones that run just as well on a free OS on cheap ARM hardware, in 10 years they may need a very different buisness model than the one that has treated them so well for the last 20.

Re:At least SplashTop is reasonable (1)

patlabor (56309) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188780)

Google hasn't invented anything with their OS. It is basically a thin client that uses the internet instead of an intranet.

The biggest danger here is the potential for competitor lock-out. But as we've seen with Microsoft, there will just be lawsuits that will open it up the platform for fair competition (at least, theoretically).

ChromeOS == crippleware. (3, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188822)

The point is not to replace Windows, it's an OS for web surfing.

Not really. People will buy a crippleware smartphone for that before they'll spend money on a crippleware computer. don't have to buy a separate keyboard, mouse or screen, portable, always-on, can run local apps instead of downloading everything off the web every time, apps work offline, more local storage, can make phone calls, videos, etc., and just way more cool.

And the only people who will look at this are people too cheap to buy even a crappy $200 netbook or a smartphone. No advertiser is going to pay for clicks from them, so forget about subsidizing these boxes with revenue from search.

Business won't want it because there's some data you just don't share, not to mention desktop clutter and more time wasted synching.

This product is at least 3 years too late (and will be 4 years too late when it finally rolls out), and aims at a market nobody can make money with.

Re:At least SplashTop is reasonable (1)

husker_man (473297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188908)

But almost everyone is using a strawman (as Microsoft is). The point is not to replace Windows, it's an OS for web surfing. It's not for playing World of Warcraft, doing heavy photo editing, video editing, etc. Everyone is writing the "Google vs. Microsoft" article they want to write, instead of the tougher article about how Google is basically working to define a new class of computer (something of a netbook that's not running a general OS).

My mother-in-law is nearing 80 years old, and I have her doing pretty much everything on the web using Google services. It's a pain to maintain her PC from 2000 miles away. Once they perfect this (calling it a Webbook would be more apropos) I'd gladly replace the Windows laptop she has with one of these things, and reduce my maintenance headaches.

Re:At least SplashTop is reasonable (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189116)

I think moblin had the right idea. The interface is primarily designed around a browser, one that is efficient with screen space on a 10 inch screen, but can still run most linux apps. Boot time isn't quite 7 seconds, but I can pull my phone out of my pocket for faster access to my e-mail.

lol smartphones (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188258)

You should be able to use your netbook like you use your smartphone — a press of a button and you are "on."

Has he booted a smartphone recently? It takes around 30 seconds for my Nokia smartphone to boot up. Of course, the point he's probably making is that smartphones are always on and therefore always accessible, but to achieve that surely you'd instead have to work towards reducing the idle power consumption of PCs...

"instant on" (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188266)

You know, my first thought when I read "seven seconds is too long" was "you've got to be kidding" - but then I remembered how some of the people we support (academic faculty) have wasted hours of our time with complaints when their IMAP email messages were taking four seconds to open on one particular day instead of the usual one second... (and yes, that was a verbatim complaint).

Re:"instant on" (0)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188466)

I'm using Ubuntu 9.10. OpenOffice 3.1 is built-in and I have MS Office 2003 running in Wine.

OOo Calc takes seven seconds to start from cold. Excel takes one second to start from cold.

Six seconds is forever.

Re:"instant on" (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188660)

OOo Calc takes seven seconds to start from cold.

That's pretty quick, but it's in line with my experience on Linux. On the other hand, try it on a Mac, then you'll get a new definition of slowness. OpenOffice.org takes some 30 seconds to fully load on my work Mac (MacBook Pro, 2.2 GHz C2D, 2 GB RAM). But OpenOffice.org is not alone in being slow on the Mac while much faster on other platforms. At work, our primary development environment is Netbeans, which takes ages (around 50-60 seconds) to get to a workable state on the Mac, but takes just around 10 seconds on a comparable Linux machine.

It would be interesting if someone could explain why Macs, even with reasonable specifications, are so slow to start many applications.

Re:"instant on" (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189114)

That's pretty quick, but it's in line with my experience on Linux. On the other hand, try it on a Mac, then you'll get a new definition of slowness. OpenOffice.org takes some 30 seconds to fully load on my work Mac (MacBook Pro, 2.2 GHz C2D, 2 GB RAM). But OpenOffice.org is not alone in being slow on the Mac while much faster on other platforms. At work, our primary development environment is Netbeans, which takes ages (around 50-60 seconds) to get to a workable state on the Mac, but takes just around 10 seconds on a comparable Linux machine.

Loading Office in Wine/Crossover is typically faster than loading any native OS X office suite I've tried, including Office for Mac or iWork. And if you already have the VM loaded, it's faster to Windows Office in a Windows VM.

Re:"instant on" (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188480)

"Yeah thanks we know." (click)

The new Amiga OS 4.1 build loads in just 5 seconds (10 seconds on an older, slower HDD). Maybe they ought to port that over to Intel and compete directly against Microsoft and Google. Shutdown time ix 0. (just flip the power switch off)

Durrrrrr (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188672)

No one gives a flying fuck about your toy OS, oldfag.

Do us all a favor and become an hero.

Re:Durrrrrr (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189112)

Anon. Coward wrote:
No one gives a flying fuck about your toy OS, oldfag.

I could say the same about Linux or Mac. But I'm not a little kid anymore, and don't feel the need to insult people. Let us all know when you grow up little coward.

Re:"instant on" (1)

Tarmas (954439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188508)

You know, my first thought when I read "seven seconds is too long" was...

... ord3r V1@gra n0w !!!!!!!!!!!1!!!

"messages [...] taking four seconds to open" (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188778)

It's actually why I've got ThunderBird's RSS thing set to only ever show me the summaries, and I click on from there, instead of loading the full article. It's far easier for me to click through each item I'm interested in, opening them in FireFox, -then- going on to read them (each article is then already loaded), then it is for me to click one item, wait for it to display in ThunderBird, read it, click the next, wait again, etc.

The only real difference is that 'wait'.. and yes, it's only 2-4 seconds - but it's a very, very annoying wait. If I could make ThunderBird pre-download the full articles, I would.
( if there's an add-on that does this, feel free to drop a link.. I'll search the add-ons site later myself )

Mr. Hobbs, what magical phone do you use? (1, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188270)

I haven't seen a recent smartphone that is on (and I don't mean, "displays something", I mean "fully usable") within 7 seconds. Even if you factor out the ID number input, 7 seconds is not too far fetched for current phones, overcramped with "features".

Re:Mr. Hobbs, what magical phone do you use? (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188386)

I haven't seen a recent smartphone that is on (and I don't mean, "displays something", I mean "fully usable") within 7 seconds.

This is exactly what I was going to say. My G1 takes 50 seconds from power off to running, WM5/6 and Symbian take similar amounts of time (I don't have any to measure as I'm not at work) - I'm pretty sure some Nokias I used to use were more than a minute to run up when they had to be rebooted. I haven't tried the iPhone.

Re:Mr. Hobbs, what magical phone do you use? (1)

Qu4Z (1402097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188614)

How often do you reboot your phone?
Phones work slightly differently in this respect as they're always on. But a bigger, beefier system (like those running ChromeOS) presumably can't afford the battery life to be always on.
(of course, implementing proper standby would also be a valid option :P)

Re:Mr. Hobbs, what magical phone do you use? (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188708)

How often do you reboot your phone?

When developing software for them? Lots. Also, don't underestimate the ability of WM6 to shit itself and require a reset to recover.

As for the G1, I find it tends to eat power rather more than I'd like when it's in standby. I have one that I use... basically for the purpose Chrome is designed for. It's mostly used as a pocket browser with a few other fancy doodads. For that? I'd be happy to leave it off until I need it, but like I say, it takes most of a minute to boot so I keep it in airplane mode most of the time and top it up once a week. If it could be booted in 7 seconds I would be a happy bunny.

I have another G1 that I use for voice, that needs to be charged more regularly. If you forget it'll go dead and then it's reboot time.

Re:Mr. Hobbs, what magical phone do you use? (1)

Stone316 (629009) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188532)

Me either... Everytime I go to use my blackberry its usually rebooting...

Re:Mr. Hobbs, what magical phone do you use? (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189158)

I haven't seen a recent smartphone that is on (and I don't mean, "displays something", I mean "fully usable") within 7 seconds. Even if you factor out the ID number input, 7 seconds is not too far fetched for current phones, overcramped with "features".

How often do people reboot their phones? My BlackBerry's uptime is about 13 months; I've rebooted it once since I got in 2008.

Of course they are purchasing win7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188272)

What other reasonable choice have they had for years?

One of the best versions of WinXP was the pirated TinyXP: minimalist yet flexible, fast to install, fast to boot, fast to run on lower-end hardware.

While XP could have been made more secure and remained useful for the next decade, it was doomed because it lacked Digital Rights Management capabilities and other measures to lock down the platform for content providers. How sad.

Now we must suffer through Microsoft Vista2 aka Windows 7. Farewell Microsoft.

Just works? (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188274)

Windows 7 just works -- across the Web and on the desktop, and on all sizes and types of PCs

And it "just works" on ARM processors? So "PC" should really be "x86-based PC".

Re:Just works? (2, Insightful)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188966)

So "PC" should really be "x86-based PC".

So, all those people wanting to run Windows 7 on a SheevaPlug/NSLU2 or wireless router will be so upset?

Really, SlashDot? Really?

Re:Just works? (4, Insightful)

int69h (60728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189042)

PC has been accepted as meaning "an x86 personal computer generally running dos or one of its successors" for roughly 30 years now. Bitch all you want, but you're not going to change things.

It's not a problem (3, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188286)

'From what was shared, it appears to be in the early stages of development,' a Microsoft spokeswoman said.

Thanks for the advice but it's not a problem - I never buy any software from Google until the third release.

Car Analogy for MS Spokesperson (3, Insightful)

Ian Alexander (997430) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188288)

The reason your customers won't be interested in Chrome OS as a replacement for 7 is the same reason pickup-truck drivers aren't interested in motorcycles as replacements.

It's scratching a different itch, although I'm a little skeptical that anyone's seriously itching hard for a minimal OS capable of running only a web browser.

Re:Car Analogy for MS Spokesperson (1)

Huntr (951770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188854)

It's scratching a different itch, although I'm a little skeptical that anyone's seriously itching hard for a minimal OS capable of running only a web browser.

Sounds like the perfect system for my grandma and anyone else who likes their computer, but mainly uses it for web, email, an occasional doc or spreadsheet, and organizing photos.

Re:Car Analogy for MS Spokesperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189126)

not to be rude, but the grandma population is about to go extinct, and so goes this os.

Re:Car Analogy for MS Spokesperson (2, Interesting)

rliden (1473185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188864)

I think you hit the nail on the head. Google is solving a problem that doesn't exist. I have yet to hear anyone ask to do all their computing through a web browser.

I love Chrome. It's my browser of choice most of the time. I'm a Google account/services user. I do think they provide an excellent web experience. I don't see them providing the same experience for my desktop as they do for the web. I guess we'll see how this unfolds though. Something tells me there is more to this than we're seeing.

It's not for you (2, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188950)

It's for your friends and relatives who drive you mad with tech support questions. Send them a $100 box, tell them to switch the cables out, and get on with your life.

too long (1)

memnock (466995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188296)

"... Seven seconds is too long,"

what about the minutes people had to wait to start up their computers?

sure, it's nice to not have to wait so long now, but what is so crucial that someone has to be logged on in 7 seconds? is Facebook or fantasy sports that important? go twitter yourself or something while you sit through the tortuous boot time. or maybe just go grab a drink.

High praise! (4, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188314)

If they're all so scared enough to give it this much attention, it /must/ be good.

Re:High praise! (1)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188550)

Or... they were interviewed via email, and they responded to the question appropriately. Other OS makers aren't the ones giving it attention, it's Computerworld/Wired/etc that want this story to exist. And everybody eats it up, as evidenced here.

Approval? (1)

zetsurin (993567) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188356)

Interesting how MS notes that users are voicing their approval of Windows 7. One could argue that this vocal approval is more due to the fact that people weren't impressed with Vista, and without the relative failure of Vista, Windows 7 would likely have been a lot more quietly received. To see MS come out making statements like these, makes me think that Chrome could be the more of a game changer than I thought.

smartphone — a press of a button and you are (3, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188364)

smartphone — a press of a button and you are "on."'

I don't know what smartphones they are referring to. My iPhone and my laptop are seldom 'off'. They both go into standby when i'm not using them, the times to come out of standby are very similar, and if I actually had to type a password into my iPhone to bring it out of standby the computer would beat it by far.

Has Mr Hobbs never turned a smartphone on from a complete off state? There is a negligible difference between booting my iPhone vs my Windows XP laptop. My old HP iPaq wasn't much different.

Re:smartphone — a press of a button and you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188612)

Even worse: My Blackberry Curve was nagging me that it needed a reboot after a software installation, so I granted it permission. It took a full four minutes to get the login prompt (corp policy requires passwords).

Most people don't realize smartphones are on, all the time, even when they're "off." An actual cold start is pretty painful.

Surprise! (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188372)

The companies that will take a direct hit when Chrome OS gets released commented that it will be bad. Amazing.

Anyway, there were some constructive comments. Saying that they should improve and boot in a second instead of 7, as they are actually doing, sounds to me like positive feedback. And if google or the community can't make boot Chrome as fast because of design choices, would be nice to have HyperSpace or SplashTop in normal computers/notebooks and chrome in specialized netbooks, the market is wide enough for all, and the consumers will win at the end. And, who knows, could be more feedback between all those fast booting linux all along chrome os development and advancements made in that area.

Learning from Politicians (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188380)

'From what was shared, it appears to be in the early stages of development,' a Microsoft spokeswoman said. 'From our perspective, however, our customers are already voicing their approval of the way Windows 7 just works -- across the Web and on the desktop, and on all sizes and types of PCs -- purchasing twice as many units of Windows 7 as we've sold of any other operating system over a comparable time.'

Sounds like the typical politician in a debate. Half a meaningless thought on the actual topic followed by a string of promotional sound bites for the product they're selling.

Re:Learning from Politicians (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189146)

Sounds like the typical politician in a debate. Half a meaningless thought on the actual topic followed by a string of promotional sound bites for the product they're selling.

I think you got it backwards. It's the politicians who have adopted PR strategy, not so much the other way around.

The point (2, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188446)

I just don't get the point. Everything Chrome OS runs can already be run by any other OS, so why not just use some other Linux distro that's not restricted to web apps?

Re:The point (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188898)

"I just don't get the point. Everything Chrome OS runs can already be run by any other OS, so why not just use some other Linux distro that's not restricted to web apps?"

Browser appliances have always been wonderful if one asks those whose business model relies on them. :)

Re:The point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188988)

any remotely competent user would agree. Just start up a browser and fullscreen, you have the experience

however, their target is a demographic that presumably exists who views that as too hard. I'm skeptical and will personally have zero interest in a platform that intentionally has a subset of function compared to my current platfork, but that is the idea.

It's not what they thought it was (2, Interesting)

Linegod (9952) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188448)

Tech blogs have been extrapolating from minor leaks ands rumours, generating the 'perfect' OS in their minds. When Google released what they think is going fill a niche - a smartphone on steroids - the tech blogs where crushed. Microsoft steps in to assure them that they will continue to have a hype cycle to satisfy their lust for ad revenue, and all is well in the Techblogosphere.

In three or four years, when you can only get Chrome OS on a netbook, the geeks will turn against Google as well. It will be the same fight that was fought for the desktop, but this time it will be Ubuntu that that people will say doesn't let you mount a hard drive out of the box, since it is only SSD, which will be too difficult for the 'common user', and the geek culture will implode on itself as it struggles with it's fanatical devotion to a dumbed down Linux and their realization that Google and Canonical are run by the same type of people that cause them constant strife in their underpaid IT jobs.

Either that, or like when Firefly was canceled, they will just go outside for a week, and wait until they are drawn back in....

Even if they were impressed, stunned even... (5, Interesting)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188474)

... it's part of their paycheck to not be impressed with anything let alone admit it to the media.

Do they use a press release response form ticking the checkboxes for all the usual lines?

Oh come on, Chrome is no threat to desktops, because people will still need their rich apps on high-spec hardware, therefore desktops will be still around as a do-everything machine. Partly though, because laptops netbooks and smartphones haven't killed desktops yet. I fear though, Microsoft has for a long time been making Windows a one size fits all requirements OS, the indentical OS gets put on netbooks to top end workstations. Chrome OS will appeal people who just want web and social networking and a bit of mucking around with their digital photos, but previously had to fork out for more than they needed in a laptop and desktop.

Having played around with the virtual machine images circulating, I don't think it's a threat to anything, but it looks pretty solid for a beta OS, but finally the ideal OS for the focused web tablet we've all been wanting for a long time. I also imagine the code could be rolled into existing linux distributions. It could coexist alongside other desktop environments ie KDE/Gnome, although I don't think Chrubuntu would be a very catch name.

Oh and it's Linux, open source, if it is lacking any features we will fix it okay?

Re:Even if they were impressed, stunned even... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188732)

I don't think Chrubuntu would be a very catch name

Goobuntu? Probably not, but is much easier to pronounce.

CC.

Like your phone is just 'on'? bah. (2, Insightful)

adosch (1397357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188476)

I'm not sure what type of phone ol' Woody Hobbs uses... but I think that's kind of a flawed analogy at best. Over the years, my phones from a cold start have taken easily 5 - 10 seconds to post up (...and that includes the gracious amount of Verizon Wireless foo that flashes around at the beginning) Regardless of the pounding Chrome OS is taking, 7 second boot up time with instant access is killer. Really that's not any less/more than my Acer AspireOne + LinuxMint coming back up from hibernation mode. I'm really anxious to give Chrome OS a spin. Just like people argue for the sake of arguing, I think it's safe to say people also ridicule for the sake of ridiculing.

Re:Like your phone is just 'on'? bah. (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188666)

``Regardless of the pounding Chrome OS is taking, 7 second boot up time with instant access is killer.''

Still, we gotta be able to do better than that.

I think MS is right on the "just works" point (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188482)

This is the first time I've ever said this, but with the release of Windows 7, Windows "just works". XP had plenty of bugs, Vista drove me to Ubuntu for a few years, and now with Windows 7, I've had very few problems. It's nearly none, but I had to run a few older games in XP compatibility mode and some proxification program didn't work because it lacked a 64 bit driver.

That said, I'm thinking that Chrome OS will "just work" too, but because it's functionality will be limited and hardware support tightly controlled.

Re:I think MS is right on the "just works" point (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188890)

That said, I'm thinking that Chrome OS will "just work" too, but because it's functionality will be limited and hardware support tightly controlled.

Tivoisation? Cripple(hard)ware? No thanks. I can get better value with a locked-in smartphone.

Many non-rivals also aren't impressed (2, Interesting)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188512)

Richard Stallman says using cloud apps is stupid.

On comp.os.linux.advocacy, about the only thing the anti-Linux trolls and the pro-Linux trolls agree on is that they aren't trusting their data to the cloud, so Chrome OS is not impressive to them.

Re:Many non-rivals also aren't impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188760)

Considering the average usenet kook is banned almost immediately from any cloud-based discussion forum, that's not surprising

Re:Many non-rivals also aren't impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30189014)

Usenet - the first cloud application?

Non-news (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188526)

This story is posted as though it's surprising that companies would show disapproval towards their competitors products, claiming that their own are superior.

Can we please not post stories merely for the sake of finding another reason for people to bitch about Microsoft?

Uh... (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188528)

> Seven seconds is too long,' Hobbs said.

For instant on it is. FOr a quick boot it's ok.

> There is no such thing as "cold boot" for today's mobile PCs such as netbooks and smartbooks. You should be able to use your netbook like you use your smartphone -- a
> press of a button and you are "on."' M

My smartphone (HTC Touch Diamond) is nothing like that. From pressing the reset button (near where the stylus lives) to doing anything is around a minute. 7 seconds would be a massive improvement.

Does Google's OS include the BIOS in those 7 seconds?

My problem with the Google OS is I don't really want an OS with no hard drive and everything living on the net somewhere out of my control. I want to copy my photos onto my hard drive(s), convert them (from RAW) etc etc. I can't be doing all that over the net with 11 meg images, over a possibly slow, and definately hostile internet connection.

Maybe it isn't the reboot time which is the prob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188548)

It's the fact that you need to reboot in the first place. The whole idea of rebooting is really getting old. There used to be a time back in the 50s when you needed to "reboot" (unfreeze and refreeze) your refrigerator from time to time, but we went past that. You don't "reboot" your TV or your Car (even though both are running internal software), why the fuck should you routinely have to reboot your computer?? Rebooting is warranted when a major system change is being made, in either hardware or software; but not for simply turning off the system. Yes, we already have sleep/hybernation modes, but they are still in their infancy compared to what they should be like. I'll consider them mature when, in the mind of Joe Sixpack, "turning off" his computer (so it doesn't make noise or eat electricity), either via shutdown or via simple external power cutoff, would mean an immediate going into passive mode, without losing the current machine's state. It'll probably require some internal capacitor to be able to save the memory and whatnot when there's no power, but this should be done automatically, silently, and transparently; for all intents and purposes (except, perhaps, hardware changes) the user should consider the computer as already having been turned off. Conversely, an OS should be able to run indefinitely, running _any_ task or combination thereof, without keeping clogging up memory with useless shit that isn't freed when not used anymore, which eventually forces a "hard" reboot. If anything, there should be a way to "purge" unused or dubiously-used memory, potentially shutting off some background processes, but without shutting off the OS or interfering with applications currently actively used by the user. Said Joe Sixpack would then consider this process as exactly meaning "turning off" and "turning on", continuing this process indefinitely (up to months and years if needed be), without any loss of performance on behalf of the machine. Finally, we live in a hot-plug era with many hardware devices, so why the fuck is so much software still stuck in the 20th century and requires to do a reboot to install (I shouldn't have to care about driver or concurrency issues in the kernel, as modern software should be sufficiently abstracted away from the hardware to be able to install user-level devices without fucking with the OS kernel). A "real" reboot should not be done except when it's actually needed in order to complete a _major_ system change (and installing any kind of user application doesn't count as "major" in my book). And when that happens, the time it takes to do a "real" reboot will be moot, as it would be done quite rarely, especially for the average user.

Re:Maybe it isn't the reboot time which is the pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30188620)

Learn to do paragraphs. Nobody wants to read your walls of text.

microsoft are scared (1)

kregg (1619907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188564)

I would love to see the demise of people making Access databases, Word forms and Windows only applications. My only concern would be media - I don't really want my games, mp3s, videos stored "in the cloud". Docs, emails are fine.

Attack boot time? (5, Informative)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188650)

IMO the key selling points for chrome are:

1) Zero user maintenance

2) Security (the thing is even resistant against user-space malware), even Linux distros are years away from sand-boxing desktop apps

3) Simple UI

Google has lots of time to get it right (5, Interesting)

rmcd (53236) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188658)

What people don't get about Google's software is that they are not selling it. That's not where their revenue comes from. They can spend a lot of time getting the software right, refocusing it, tweaking it, getting comments. Microsoft by contrast has to come out with the big "impressive" release every few years to keep the company afloat. That's their business model. It's not Google's.

Look at Android. 18 months ago the cell phone execs were all saying that Google didn't understand how hard it is to create cellular phone software. The G1 got a lot of yawns. That reception would have been a disaster for Apple, but for Google it didn't matter, they just kept working on it. Today, Android is a serious competitor.

Whatever Chrome does or doesn't do can be changed. And maybe it will flop. That won't be a huge deal for Google as long as they get their advertising on the next generation of devices.

What if? (2, Interesting)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188764)

What if someone successfully develops something like a cloud service with Wine+NX and lets you run any and all Windows apps out in the cloud? If they get an acceptable framerate out of it that should put most "but my application X dont work" to shame. The only problem i can see is doing that through the browser and get fast enough framerates for games.

Im also wondering how much work it would be for Google to later on slap dalvik/android devkit onto the platform for local applications. Probably not that much i suspect.

While Google Chrome OS starts out on the small netbooks etc i dont think they will stay there if they succeed in getting a piece of the market.

The development that has lead up to this has been going on since long before Microsoft even discovered the internet. The whole browser war was about keeping applications tied to the local computers. Bill Gates and many other in MS said so themselves in discoveries during Gomes and MS vs. DOJ. The same goes for the Java poisoning. And now, trying to slip .net and silverlight out as X platform and then sneaking in platform dependant stuff.

The natural development is going right in Googles direction with Microsoft working against it for everything they can. Its like a pent up dam, once a trickle starts its not long until the dam breaks and our computing as we know it is radically changed in a fairly short timespan.

I think we have pretty interesting times ahead with much foulplay from a desperate Microsoft. They will stop at nothing to stomp Google to bits, absolutely nothing.

7 Seconds is 'slow'? Is that my WinMo ringing? (1, Insightful)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188862)

You should be able to use your netbook like you use your smartphone — a press of a button and you are "on."'

Maybe Phoenix shouldn't be bashing on Google in that comparison. I *wish* my Windows smart phone booted in 7 seconds. It's more like 30-45. It turns on, displays a retarded 8-second AT&T animated logo, continues booting slowly, pops up and asks for a password (but you have to wait 10-15 seconds before you can actually type because Windows is still loading), and then finally you're at your phone desktop. ...except none of the buttons work for another 10 seconds while even more crap loads.

Phoenix has bigger fish to bash over the head with a cluebat before they complain about Google and 7 seconds.

Microsoft fail; Google holding back details? (5, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188930)

Microsoft aren't considering:

1) ARM version of Chrome OS - means $199 smartbooks instead of $299-$499 netbooks running Windows XP or Windows 7.

2) OS is free.

3) Actually Google might be offering a share of advertising revenue to manufacturers, as with Android. This means that the OS has a negative cost. We could see $149 smartbooks. Who is interested in a Windows 7 netbook at 3x the cost then?

4) Good enough for a second/cloud computer. Especially if it supports the "home cloud" with support for DNLA (media streaming) and other common home/office services.

However there are failings - firstly I think that Google need to make the OS Android compatible. I.e., installing the Dalvik VM and Android APIs by default. Android 2 allows higher resolutions. Android 3 will surely support resolutions up to smartbook (1024x600, 1366x768) and running an app as a tab within Chrome OS, allowing a unified platform. Surely therefore Chrome OS smartbooks will include multitouch displays...

Also Chrome OS 1 will surely be rough, like Android 1 and the G1. Droid is showing what Android 2 can do, and it's far more mature. Android 3 will probably be the first all-rounded and sweetly remembered variant. Android 4 will be good too. Android 5 through 7 will be dire.

Typical Microsoft FUD (0, Flamebait)

twoears (1514043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30188962)

Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw bricks. Microsoft must have a lot of bricks, because Windows has been broken forever.

It's definitely a fast boot, (4, Informative)

TxRv (1662461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30189138)

even in Virtualbox. The rest is rather disappointing though. It's just a full screen web-browser and nothing else. If you want more than that you'd be better off with Ubuntu Netbook Remix or another mini Linux distro. I would have much preferred a stable Linux build of the Google Chrome browser.
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