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Chrome OS and Android "Will Likely Converge" In the Future

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the convergent-evolution dept.

Google 155

xchg writes "When Google first announced that the company would be pursuing development of two distinct operating systems, many questioned Google's motivation. 'Google executives, including CEO Eric Schmidt, have downplayed the conflict ever since, asking for time to let the projects evolve. And a few days after Chrome OS was revealed, Android chief Andy Rubin said device makers "need different technology for different products," explaining that Android has a lot of unique code that makes it suitable for use in a phone and Chrome has unique benefits of its own. But Brin, speaking informally to reporters after the company's Chrome OS presentation on Thursday, said "Android and Chrome will likely converge over time," citing among other things the common Linux and Webkit code base present in both projects.'"

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155 comments

First post (0, Redundant)

fredan (54788) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194360)

with the new google os "Chromeiod"!

Re:First post (1)

Gruff1002 (717818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194396)

Shouldn't that be chromeoid

Re:First post (1)

fredan (54788) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194438)

Oh crap. So you've got the new version of the operation system before me, with the spell checker too! dammit google!

Re:First post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194668)

God damn it, Chrome is NOT an OS and repeating that over and over won't make it so. It's a sophisticated browser. Linux is the underlying OS (maybe you've heard of it) and Chrome is a Web-centric user-level application.

Re:First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194828)

Linux is the underlying OS (maybe you've heard of it) and Chrome is a Web-centric user-level application.

I guess Android and Mac OSX aren't OSs either?

Re:First post (3, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194830)

God damn it, Chrome is NOT an OS and repeating that over and over won't make it so. It's a sophisticated browser. Linux is the underlying OS (maybe you've heard of it) and Chrome is a Web-centric user-level application.

Wrong. Chrome is an OS which (currently) runs on the Linux kernel. A kernel is not an OS -- pleae see Debian, which runs on Linux, FreeBSD, or even Hurd kernels.

Re:First post (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194898)

Thanks, I was about to say that. Now I am redundant.
Interesting how /. audience is losing its punch. Pathetic losers don't even know the difference from an OS and a Kernel... They probably came from MS world, and think being "linux" is cool... LINUX IS NOT AN OS, IT IS A KERNEL. AN OS IS something like Debian, Chrome, and Ubuntu, which is probably the one you as a newbie is using... AND NOW GET OUT OF MY LAWN!

Re:First post (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30196938)

They are a bunch of people who lack any comp sci education whatsoever, unlike the Slashdot of old. Long gone are the days when people like Alan Cox and Andrew Tridgell submitted comments. Who can blame them for leaving?

Re:First post (0, Troll)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194908)

Oh, how deliciously amusing this is. It looks like the Linux guys are now in the same boat as the GNU guys were in that they want a share of the recognition someone using parts of their system has achieved.
*Chuckle*

Re:First post (1)

gomek-ramek (1340625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195006)

Really? I don't see anyone claiming that it should be called Linux/Chrome...

Re:First post (2, Funny)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195038)

Really? I don't see anyone claiming that it should be called Linux/Chrome...

I demand that you call it GNU\Linux\Chrome!

Re:First post (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196896)

It's just something we'll have to remember... as we crack open Chrome OS to install proper apps.

Re:First post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194942)

Well, aren't you a pedantic little faggot.

In reality, it's a Web browser masquerading as a real operating system. It doesn't even do that overly well.

Given that they've been working on this for over six months, and that Chrome itself is mainly just a small UI layer over WebKit, what they've produced is absolutely pathetic. It's the kind of crap I'd expect to see at a high school science fair.

If Chrome OS is the "future", then Microsoft, Apple, Linux and every existing true operating system out there has absolutely nothing to fear.

My hope is that Chrome OS attracts all of the idiots from the Ubuntu community. They'll all flock away to waste their time with that crap, while the rest of us can get back to making an open, usable operating system instead of answering their moronic questions.

Re:First post (1, Interesting)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195342)

Hah! The kernel is exactly what we used to call an "Operating System", before people started putting Window Managers on top.

Re:First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30196576)

***sigh***

If you called it that, you were wrong.

The kernel itself has no userland, which contains all the utilities that make it useful.

--
I miss the days when slashdot was a place where real geeks could have real discussions. Now it's just so many wannabees trying to be knowitalls...

MOD UP!!! (2, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196960)

The kernel is exactly what we used to call an "Operating System", before people started putting Window Managers on top

How true! Instead of trying to confuse things and try to hitchhike a ride on Linux success, people who try to prepend a GNU/ on everything should study history and learn where this "operating system" [wikipedia.org] definition started.

There was a time when every computer was dedicated to running a single program at a time, it often took hours to switch from one program to the other. In many computers configuring hardware to run different tasks involved plugging patch cords into sockets.

An "operating system" was the software that let the computer hardware be shared among different users with less hassle. In that context, the equivalent of what was initially called an operating system would be a set of device drivers and a task scheduler, exactly what Linux alone does.

Of course, language evolves and what was called an "operating system" in the 1960s would not be the same thing today. But that should be for the people to decide, the GNU/ trolls are very obnoxious in trying to force an usage that the general public never came up with spontaneously.

Re:MOD UP!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30197022)

-1 Blowhard Wannabee Know-Nothing

Re:First post (2, Informative)

abigor (540274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196988)

When was this, and who is this "we" you're referring to?

At the very least, the userland api to the system services has been considered a part of the OS since day 1.

Also, microkernels don't include such things as device drivers and protocol stacks, which run in userland. Are they not part of the OS?

Re:First post (1)

jfanning (35979) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195492)

And Android is not even proper Linux distribution.

Android is a hacked up bastard child of Linux only. Does anyone have any info on the ChromeOS. Has Google gutted that just as much as they did to Android?

Re:First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194892)

God damn it, Chrome is NOT an OS and repeating that over and over won't make it so. It's a sophisticated browser. Linux is the underlying OS (maybe you've heard of it) and Chrome is a Web-centric user-level application.

God dammit, Linux is NOT an OS! Linux is a kernel - GNU Linux is an OS. What the hell kind of geek are you? -AC

Re:First post (4, Informative)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195210)

don't confuse google chrome [google.com] (the browser) with chrome [wikipedia.org] (the OS).

Re:First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195766)

Though one could be forgiven for that. ChromeOS is Chromium in Linux with a slim WM.

You did it wrong (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194418)

I do it wrong

Laying here in the shadows of my room, I squint up at my love. My Ms. Portman. I am sore and tired after fucking her for eight solid hours. My chapped and aching dick is soaking in grits to relieve the pain. She gets on her knees and starts lapping the grits up out of the bowl. She places her beautiful hands on my penis and starts to lick the grits off my achy piece.
Massaging my nutsack she....

    WAIT, I DO IT WRONG!

Yanking my dick out of her mouth I throw her to the ground and shove it in to her gaping freshly fisted ass [goatse.fr] .

"OH BIG ASS SPORK!! Fuck my ass, fuck my ass good. DEEPER, my stallion, deeper!! Make a Beowulf cluster of sperm on my back!!"

"Imagine a Beowulf cluster of this baby!"

    I DO IT WRONG!

I continue to hump her alabaster form. Glistening with beads of sweat, she bites her lip in delight as I tear her ass open with my engorged dick.

"Queen Amidala!!" I shreik as I near climax.

She looks up at me and screams, "You are so alive in me, unlike *BSD or VA Software!!! Fill me with seed!! Yes, Yes, Yess!!!!"

"For me you are calling, hhhmmm?"

"YODA?!? What the fuck, can't you see I am using the force here?"

He savagely kicks my Natalie aside, he pulls out his large green penis and impales me...

    I DO IT WRONG!

All your sporkz are belong to the dead homiez!!

Re:You did it wrong (1)

Quantos (1327889) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194490)

They need to revoke his day passes and internet access at that hospital...

Re:You did it wrong (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194514)

Have you ever put your dick in a hotdog bun? I have, and it FEELS GOOD, MAN.

Re:You did it wrong (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194558)

This is a classic troll from the turn of the century.

Re:First post (1)

shipbrick (929823) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194744)

or Androme / Andromeos...

Re:First post (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195018)

Rather "My shiny metal OS".

Re:First post (0, Redundant)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195106)

Fuuusion-HA!

Google is suffering from success (1, Interesting)

Jacques Chester (151652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194430)

Google have the same problem as Microsoft: they're too successful. They have a river of cash flowing through the front door and an allergy to paying dividends to shareholders.

Thus they're pursuing what I call the "spaghetti cannon strategy". They blast buckets of spaghetti up against the wall and hope that some of it will stick.

Eventually any such company becomes large enough that it cannot coordinate what the various bits and pieces are doing. The self-cannabalising overlap of Android and ChromeOS is a symptom of the spaghetti cannon working overtime.

Because god forbid you send any of the profits to the people who paid money to own part of a wildly profitable company.

Re:Google is suffering from success (4, Interesting)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194550)

Kernel: Linux
WM: Chrome
GUI kit: HTML + CSS
Media player: Flash and OGG
Graphics library: WebGL
Application store: The internet with Google Gears
Coding language: Javascript
Backup: automatic online gratis storage

Need I even say more? Yes;

Chromium needs semantic file management and a better use of tabs (WM's that can only display fullscreen Windows sucks) and the ability to hook up an extrenal storage device and a one-click-offline-backup-solution and a better way to store webapps offline with Gears.

Okey... 'nuff said. If there is anything that could on the long run kill proprietary, monoplies, vendor lockin, etc, etc. then it is Chromium.

Not that I would make it my primary OS is the near future, but it will be installed on my netbook for sure...

Re:Google is suffering from success (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194706)

Let's take a trip down memory lane.

Network protocol stack: TCP/IP
Application protocols: HTTP, MIME
File format: HTML, GIF, JPEG
Security protocol: SSL (designed by their main competitor)
Scripting language: JavaScript (designed by their main competitor)
User profiling: Cookies (designed by their main competitor)

If there is anything that could on the long run kill proprietary, monoplies (sic), vendor lockin, etc, etc. then it is IE 3. During the early browser wars, Microsoft tried to use open standards [webstandards.org] as a club.

Re:Google is suffering from success (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194754)

Why do you need the window manager itself to display partial sized windows? They're always going to be something the browser is showing you so why not just let the browser overlay boxes instead? They seem to be doing that already, those gtalk and chat windows look like overlays.

Re:Google is suffering from success (2, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195752)

Okey... 'nuff said. If there is anything that could on the long run kill proprietary, monoplies, vendor lockin, etc, etc. then it is Chromium.

How on Earth would having all your applications running remote on Google Gears kill your "lockin"? If anything it makes it worse.

well it could.... (1)

CdBee (742846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195878)

.... if you downloaded the source and made your own version of ChromeOS (PlatinumOS?) that synchs and authenticates against your own server instead of theirs..)

Re:well it could.... (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195940)

Applications, not operating system. The whole point of Chrome OS is that it makes web applications first-class citizens, and it really doesn't ship with much of a client environment, aside from what a web browser can provide. If you use Chrome OS, the center of gravity for authoring documents is on the cloud, not on the local box.

You can get around this, but you can do that today with Ubuntu. Chrome OS's novel merit is cloud lockin, anything else it gives you, you can already get somewhere else.

Re:Google is suffering from success (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197140)

What do you mean, remote on Google Gears? Gears is a local cache 'solution', in which Gears code/tecnology/whatever creates the possibility for a webapp developer to store information on the client in terms of a SQLite database.

Gears does other things to, like client side Javascript execution, notifications, etc.

So what Gears comes down to is: You go to a webapp on the internet. Let's say Google Earth in WebGL with Gears support. So what happens? It will be cahsed. So next time you boot up your netbook and you find that you cannot connect with the internet, you can still fire up Google Earth and view all satalite images that you have cached while browing.

With Google Gears, client > web. But when you are actually connected with the internet, Gears updates the GUI, your database, etc, etc.

So Gears is like offline pages for webapps and integration with the client side.

Google supports USB storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195832)

Chrome OS will work with flash drives, and USB hard drives.

Re:Google is suffering from success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30196888)

If there is anything that could on the long run kill proprietary, monoplies, vendor lockin, etc, etc. then it is Chromium.

except that you'll give all your data to Google and will never get it back and will be locked in to Google for the rest of your life, no matter what they decide to do to your data...

Ever worked in R&D? (5, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194614)

You've just described it. If you try and manage all the R&D and ensure everything fits together and is optimised - like the "pragmatometer" in C S Lewis's dystopic NICE - you kill creativity and slow everything down. Theoretical physics - there's a lot of duplication in different universities. Are you going to set up a supercommittee to eliminate it? Congratulations, you just killed physics.

If Google shareholders take windfall profits now and try to mature the company early, they will be killing exactly what makes it innovative. It is not in the long term interests of Google to do that. Remember long term? Before we had day traders and similar idiots trying to turn everything into a casino, we had companies like IBM that were hugely innovative and came up with things like relational databases. Real innovation requires long term commitment and a great deal of luck. You make your own luck by funding people like Cobb, or Mandelbrot, and wait for them to lay golden eggs. Can't do that if the shareholders are whining that they want all their (unearned) profits out, now.

Re:Ever worked in R&D? (3, Insightful)

Jacques Chester (151652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194768)

I have a feeling I will be the designated baddy for today's thread :D

I am actually a big believer in research spending, and I think that any company with above-normal profitability is mad not to do a lot of it. But there's a difference between "research" and "entering every and all market segments you can hoping that one of them will be profitable".

Basically Microsoft and Google are almost totally reliant on single lines of business (Office + Windows vs AdSense, respectively) for their profits.

Because they're not paying *any* of that money to shareholders, there's no incentive to economise. More to the point, they suck up innovators and lock them up in a structure where they're beholden to internal process and not able just to say "fuck it, this idea is awesome, let's sell it!"

Google are already turning into Microsoft on this front too. Small companies regularly out-innovate (I hate that word too) them. So Google just buys them out.

I think that refusing to pay *any* dividend is just control-freakery. And it's bad for the economy because it encourages speculators to buy on the basis of short-term share price fluctuations. It used to be that you looked at the fundamentals of a company, then bought and held onto the shares in order to get dividends. Now you buy and flip it because paying dividends is old fashioned.

Re:Ever worked in R&D? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195294)

Microsoft paid a large one-time dividend a couple of years ago and pays a small annual dividend these days (yield is about 1.8%, the total payout is roughly $4 billion a year, which a little less than 1/3 of their net).

(fiscal) 2009 is likely to be a rather soft year for Microsoft, as Vista wasn't particularly successful (it still made heaps of money), and also, the recession. It is very possible that 2010 and 2011 will be (much) better than last year.

Re:Ever worked in R&D? (3, Insightful)

Dharh (520643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195402)

One small wrinkle. Most everything most everything google puts out ends up being free (and yes I consider text ads 100x more free than that bullshit we call tv ads). So Google ends up saying "fuck it, this idea is awesome, lets _give_ it away!" MS can't even compare to google at this point.

Re:Ever worked in R&D? (1)

Jacques Chester (151652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195574)

Maybe they should stop calling it R&D and move all those expenditures to be under "Marketing Expenses" :)

Re:Ever worked in R&D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195816)

Essentially he's correct, Google already has all the major user channels covered, and there's diminishing returns in showing text ads to another .0000002% of the internet population. At that point they either have to quit, or start cranking up the flash/video ads for higher returns.

Rather than Microsoft, Google reminds me more of Apple in the 80s/early 90s. Lots of neat "blue sky" R&D, but very little of it supported the core revenue generator (Macs). Don't be surprised when a lot of Google PhDs start getting pink slips in a few years.

Re:Ever worked in R&D? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196652)

Google are already turning into Microsoft on this front too. Small companies regularly out-innovate (I hate that word too) them. So Google just buys them out.

It's pretty common in the tech industry to let others spend money vetting out ideas and then coming in to buy what survives the process. I suspect you would be hard pressed to find any substantially large name in IT that hasn't done this at least once. The interesting thing is that you get large enough, you find the names hedging their bets - dishing out their own R&D funds as well as simply buying other's R&D efforts.

Incidentally, the only reason I despise the "innovate" term is because of Microsoft's hubris. They often bandy that about as if they (or at least their development methods) are the sole source of advancing the state of technology. When, in fact, Microsoft does exactly what everyone else in the industry does (Open Source, proprietary, hobbyist, or commercial effort). And that includes adopting other's efforts.

Re:Ever worked in R&D? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195310)

So Google is not profitable enough to pay both salaries and dividends?

Re:Google is suffering from success (1)

7213 (122294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194730)

I do partly agree with you. Dividends should be paid from a "wildly profitable company", if it's in a strong long term position. That being said, and my apologies if I misinterpreted you, your attitude strikes me as a bit over the top. Dividends are gravy on the biscuit of increased stock valuation over the long term.

Google, TODAY, is profitable but without reinvestment of this type where will they be tommorow? We as investors and a society have gone way to far in the direction of short term gratification. We drive companies to constantly answer the "what have you done for me lately" question. Leading, far to often, to corporate leadership who sacrifice long term shareholder value for short term profits (which has been structured to drive there pay). I'm not sure if there's an Enron parallel to Godwin's law, but it would probably fit my comment right about now.

R&D is an investment in future shareholder wealth, all investments entail risk, so hedging the companies bets with a spaghetti cannon isn't necisarily bad. If Android takes off & chromeOS doesn't: they haven't needlessly bogged one down with the other (and vice versa). If both are wildly successful, merging shouldn't be too terribly hard if there's a value to be gained, given the profits both return.

Re:Google is suffering from success (1)

Jacques Chester (151652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194954)

"I do partly agree with you. Dividends should be paid from a "wildly profitable company", if it's in a strong long term position."

Google is in just such a position. They're athwart a river of gold due to adsense. It's an enviable position. They make some money on the side from Apps, but compared to the advertising dollars it's just peanuts.

I've said elsewhere that Google is not really a technology company, they're an advertising company. Follow the money.

That said, where R&D has paid Google back very handsomely is their investment in operations. MapReduce, custom PSUs, all that jazz has been a key component of their success.

Re:Google is suffering from success (1)

7213 (122294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195452)

I thought it was common knowledge that google is an advertising company, with a search engine & other such trinkets.

The key is, some of those other trinkets could be used to drive eyeballs back to advertisement (clearly most will fail).

We'll just have to agree to disagree about google's long term viability without this R&D. I tend to be a tinfoil hat type paranoid. My basic thinking is if the company doesn't innovate by itself, then someone else will and outshine even the great google with a good enough idea.

Also realize I think anyone who calls 5 years or less "long term" is a nut job, here again I maybe divergent from the mainstream, I'm talking 10-20 years (or more).

The other great advertising companies, NBC Universal & friends... are clearly seeing that there lack of past R&D and assuming they had a solid long term future is coming back to bite them.

But that's just like, -my- -opinion-, man.

Re:Google is suffering from success (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196038)

The goog is driving to bring everyone under their sphere at all times. I think the only competitor to them is sites like facebook. The targeting of ads available for social networking is beyond what even google can do with all the information they have on you.

Re:Google is suffering from success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194878)

R&D is the lifeblood of any truly successful tech company. The HPs, IBMs, Suns (pre-Oracle), etc., all got to where they are because they've been willing to pump massive amounts into R&D. This compliments the work done by non-profit entities like universities. Sometimes, the work goes nowhere aside from a release paper and maybe some general schematics / prototypes. Other times, you get things like Linux, SQL/RDBMS, XML (based off of SGML), Java, HTTP / HTML, and the list goes on. Those R&D projects that make it are usually wildly profitable - either in monetary terms for the private institution that sponsored the research, or the work profits society as a whole if some great bit of tech is released into the public sphere.

I'm no Google fanboy (well, I do have an Android phone, sue me), but a long-term approach where a company builds up its IP portfolio through good R&D is ultimately more profitable for shareholders than nickle-&-dime dividends in the short term.

Re:Google is suffering from success (4, Insightful)

Jacques Chester (151652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194912)

In truth, Google is not a technology company. Really. HP, Sun, Oracle, Microsoft, Dell etc are technology companies: people pay them for products which are the fruits of research and development.

Google is not a technology company. Google is an advertising company with a sideline in email hosting. That's where their money comes from.

If you look at the technologies you listed, with the exception of Java, almost none of them was made profitable by the company that invented them. I don't know why companies who can afford really serious, advanced "blue sky" R&D so frequently fail to commercialise it, but it's really common.

Re:Google is suffering from success (2, Informative)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196726)

Google is not a technology company. Google is an advertising company with a sideline in email hosting. That's where their money comes from.

Someone owes me a refund on past purchases [google.com] . I'm probably not the only one [google.com] .

Re:Google is suffering from success (2, Insightful)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195226)

are you suggesting that google share holders are not pleased? huh.

Re:Google is suffering from success (1)

Ramze (640788) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195476)

You do have a point about the apparent fragmented strategies of Microsoft and Google. (I say apparent b/c we truly do not know their master plans, so perhaps the pieces will all fall into place one day and amaze us.) However, not all big, expensive companies have such fragmented strategies and large R&D departments. Microsoft and Google are competing in areas with rapid change and innovation, so I can't blame them for trying to stay ahead of the game. Often, R&D leads nowhere... or failed products, but it's difficult to know which ones will succeed. Much like a venture capitalist, large R&D departments spend a chunk of change on lots of projects in the hopes that one out of 100 will become huge successes. In short, they have both the cash and the NEED for the spagetti gun approach. lol. Not to mention, they learn quite a bit from their failures as well.

I think Google's just beginning to coalesce its many projects into one service... phone and/or netbook with andriod/chromeOS running chrome and accessing gmail, google calendar, google docs, google maps with GPS-like capabilities, etc. etc. Microsoft is slowly but surely spreading its empire as well. I never would've dreamed they'd be so successful with the XBOX. They have plans for a multimedia set-top box as well. Perhaps we simply don't know the 5 to 10 year plans these companies are reaching for and their releases simply seem fragmented b/c we don't know the long term plans.

As for dividends, I'm not sure why you prize them so highly. You spend money to buy stock b/c you believe it to be a better investment than actual money in a savings or money market account, yet you'd rather get money in the form of dividends from the company stock than have the stock rise in value? Every publicly traded company has a duty to "maximize shareholder wealth." By giving out a dividend, a company is basically admitting that you could invest that money better than they could, so they're giving it to you. It's insane... especially since they assume that company stock is a good investment and you should turn around and spend that money on buying more stock... so why incur fees buying more stock instead of simply allowing your stock price to rise to reflect the cash/investments/whatever within the company? If you believe the stock isn't a better investment than you could find elsewhere, then why not simply sell your stock and collect the money from the sale?!?! Dividends often lead to trouble down the road b/c once you start paying one, people expect you to continue and will see a halt or lowering of dividends as a bad sign, thus lowering the value of the stock... so once a company begins paying them out, they have to continue forever -- through good times and bad... even when it hurts their bottom lines.

I really don't understand why you would want a dividend.... if you want a return on investment in the form of a check, then perhaps a money market fund would be better. The point of owning a stock is to own a piece of a company in the hopes that it will be successful and make your shares worth more for when you finally decide to cash out. Typically, one should invest with an intent not to sell the stock for at least 5 to 10 years -- perhaps many decades for retirement. (day traders should be shot imho) With this in mind, one would want a good company to re-invest its profits within itself to grow bigger and even more profitable over that time. If one doesn't have faith in an individual company, then probably an index fund would be best... but I digress.

Point being... a company's profits are the shareholders' profits... whether they are re-invested or distributed as dividends. If a company holds on to the money in the form of cash or equivalents, then the stock price will rise to reflect that... in which case, if you wanted cash, you could sell the stock at a higher price instead of getting a dividend... however, the company should invest the money into R&D or expansion, or some other strategy to yield even more profit down the road. You're really better off choosing to either keep the stock without the dividend or selling the stock and putting your money elsewhere where you believe you'll make money.

Re:Google is suffering from success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195482)

Much better to pump the money back to boost technology then to feed those shareholder goons.

Re:Google is suffering from success (2, Interesting)

dirkdodgers (1642627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195698)

What do you mean, "the self-cannabilising overlap"?

Android is a production product that must be stable, reliable, and operate within the constraints of consumer mobile devices today.

Chrome OS is an R&D platform for emerging markets and technologies.

You don't couple your production product with your R&D platform for a market that does not yet exist, unless you want both of them to fail.

The good news for Google is that by talking so publicly about their R&D products, and giving you the opportunity to comment on them, for every one comment like the above trying to second-guess Google, there are a thousand people who are excited and continue to be amazed at what the combination of Google and mobile device technology are making possible, and will make possible in 2-5 years.

Re:Google is suffering from success (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30197082)

Well, you'd better get your ass to Mar-I mean Google, and let them know about your cutting-edge business analysis. What fools! If only they had your insight, forged in the fires of massive business success.

Just like iphone os being a subset of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194446)

Leopard. It makes a good deal of sense. And if kept open, very very enticing. You could alter your smartphone/desktop in almost limitless ways.

Re:Just like iphone os being a subset of... (0)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195768)

And if kept open, very very enticing. You could alter your smartphone/desktop in almost limitless ways.

The problem is (at least as things stand right now) Google has no intention of opening up Chrome. In fact, Chrome's design philosophy seems to be the exact opposite of an open system's philosophy. They sacrifice control on the altar of simplicity (e.g., considering even updates to be too complicated for users to deal with).

R.I.P. Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194512)

I might as well just bite the bullet and buy an iPhone now...

Which will win? (3, Informative)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194574)

I wonder if this means Android will converge towards a more standard Linux, or if Chrome will converge to become less standard. Or if they'll keep the unique aspects of each and just try to unify stuff like browser code. I don't really fancy a phone that can only run web apps, or a "PC" that can only run Java apps compiled to a weird byte code! I don't really like the way Android has reinvented all of userspace, whereas at least Chrome builds on existing code a bit more. But they are solving different problems, which perhaps explains *some* of the differences...

Re:Which will win? (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194866)

Be it ever so crumble, there's no plate like Chrome.

Remember when Microsoft was going to converge the native Win32 (post OS/2) code base with the DOS version of Windows 3X/9X/ME? There were some very odd problems that built huge compromises to make each code tree continue to run apps. Google is getting lost in this same trap.

Android is cute, and it's controlled as though it were a MacOS. ChromeOS isn't really an operating system, it's a semi-autonomous browser app scheme.... a bot-like appliance.

But please think differently, as Google is trying to use the world to shape it into something usable that will Kill Microsoft. I'm reminded of the bad aphorisms regarding building things, and people will buy them because they're cool. This whole mess stinks of intellectual narcissism.

Re:Which will win? (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196114)

Google wants to force microsoft to be paired into their services, not kill them. Google has no wish to actually run the OS market, they just want to have a position that allows them to strongarm whoever does run it.

Re:Which will win? (1)

HanzoSpam (713251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194946)

Well, in either case, it's probably a good thing for desktop Linux. Google is one of the only players in that arena that has sufficient market clout to propagate a standard, which might finally make it a viable target for commercial applications.

I think of it as a parallel to Mac OS X - OS X may be based on FreeBSD, but commercial application vendors don't target FreeBSD, they target Mac OS, because Apple has the market share and the mind share. One of the big problems with desktop Linux has been that it's a moving target. Every time you turn around a different distro has been the darling of the community, first SLS, then Slackware, then Caldera, RedHat, Mandrake, Ubuntu, etc., and whether or not an application could be reliably migrated from one to the next has always been a hit or miss proposition. A predictable, standard Linux platform with a the clout of Google behind it would go a long, long way in making it a less volatile desktop platform for developers.

Re:Which will win? (4, Interesting)

corpsmoderne (1007311) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195170)

I don't think Chrome OS is a good thing for desktop Linux. Who will develop for an OS on which you can't install any applications ? Commercial vendors won't target Chrome OS / Linux, they will target the web browsers, and that won't have any impact on the "monoculture" problem of the desktop.

Re:Which will win? (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196138)

And I don't think that would bother Google a single goddamn bit. If the web becomes an application platform, then google's domination of many aspects of the web creates a very strong hand for exploitation of that platform.

Re:Which will win? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196788)

What a godawful thought. Nothing makes me shiver more than the attrocity known as the web browser becoming the primary application platform. Between CSS, HTML, Javascript, DOM and whatever other blasphemous half-solutions out there, it is an abomination. It makes Java look like a tight, fast environment.

Re:Which will win? (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195278)

or a "PC" that can only run Java apps compiled to a weird byte code

that's an implementation detail that you would only care (or even know) about if you wanted to. do you think users care about the programming language used to write the apps they use?

Re:Which will win? (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195320)

True. The short answer is that I do personally care, so it does affect my purchase decisions. The longer, wider ranging answer is that I don't think making a platform more limited for programmers is necessarily going to result in a better range of apps for the user, so it's not a strategy I want to see spread.

Re:Which will win? (1)

genghisjahn (1344927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195432)

Prices could go up, could go down or they might stay the same...

Re:Which will win? (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196734)

I think, Android will stay around and Chrome will die a slow death, because Android is being used in phones and Chrome is being used nowhere. Also, the battle for dominance in the (touchscreen phone that can run apps) market isn't as rough as the battle for dominance in the Linux market.

I have an idea (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194660)

Maybe they could also add an X11 server, Gtk+, and Python? Just a thought.

Wrong company (2, Informative)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194796)

That's Maemo, not Android.
 

Re:I have an idea (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195410)

Chrome OS does use X.

Re:I have an idea (0)

CdBee (742846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195922)

And to those of us who have been hoping for a new desktop paradigm and some real progress, that came as a big disappointment. Personally my hope for the future of Linux rests on Android, now.

Re:I have an idea (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196126)

And to those of us who have been hoping for a new desktop paradigm

What does using X11 have to do with having your hopes for a new desktop paradigm dashed? X11 is a portable and efficient way of getting bits on screen. It's a client/server system, just like Microsoft Windows and OS X. In fact, X11 got this right from the start, while Microsoft and Apple had to rewrite their window systems multiple times before ending up with something like X11.

Personally my hope for the future of Linux rests on Android, now.

Don't you worry your pretty little head about the future of Linux. (And Android will likely start using X11 at some point as well.)

Re:I have an idea (2, Insightful)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196380)

A new desktop 'paradigm'? Care to explain how that relates to X11 (and more to the point, how X11 prevents this new paradigm)?

Please desist with the google / chrome stories. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194712)

Its funny google talks about "unique code" when they are using webkit and linux.

Converge as code base or as products? (5, Insightful)

MtHuurne (602934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194778)

The article seems to assume Android and Chrome OS will converge into a single product. That is one possible way for converging. But another possibility is that they would be built from the same code base, but still have a different UI for different size devices.

Which is better? (1)

dandart (1274360) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194782)

I like Chrome, but I also like Android.

But which is better? There's only one way to find out....

FIIIIIIIIGHT!!

Perhaps they'll both converge on "cancelled" (2, Interesting)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194832)

Google has had the foresight to cut their losses before...

I have an Android phone. It was a gift from Google. Admittedly, it was an early version so maybe Android 2.0 looks better, but frankly when compared to an iPhone it looks like a high school science fair project. I'd rather pay for an iPhone than use the Android phone for free.

Re:Perhaps they'll both converge on "cancelled" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30194902)

Android is unlikely to be going anyway as Google must expand into other technologies to stay alive. The search engine market is not enough to sustain a company and while they've been successful for longer than any other search engine, it is inevitable they will fall for another more successful company. It has happened time and time again to companies like Altavista, Lycos, Dogpile, Ask Jeeves, Hotbot, Yahoo, and so on and I was hoping Cuil would be the one to finally dethrone Google and I invested a large amount of money into them (several hundred thousand dollars unfortunately), but it doesn't appear they have the technology to stay relevant in the face of the Google search giant. It will happen though and Google will fall so they need another technology area to fall back upon.

Re:Perhaps they'll both converge on "cancelled" (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195050)

This is a lovely theory, but as we saw with Windows, a peculiar thing can happen when a company essentially corners a market. Even if there are better competitors out there, the momentum the product has in the marketplace can be difficult if not impossible to stop. Google has the overwhelming market share in online search, to the point where it's almost synonymous. Nobody ever said "I'm going to Webcrawl up a page, or Alta Vista some information, or Yahoo my breed of dog", but they do say "I'm going to Google that hotel". Ask Coca-Cola, a peculiar thing happens when your brand name gains that kind of traction.

I'm not saying Google is unbeatable, and maybe in the looooong term it will falter, but I have a suspicion that Google will have as much traction as Windows.

The whole point of Android, Chrome OS, hell every good, crappy and indifferent product that Google throws out there isn't to find new revenue streams, although I'm sure they'd be quite happy if any of them took off. The point is to keep the name going. Brand everything you can with it, keep it at the forefront of consumers' minds. That's the point, and thus far, I think the strategy has been successful.

Re:Perhaps they'll both converge on "cancelled" (2, Interesting)

Delwin (599872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195036)

You want to look at the Droid then. I've got one and while there are a few little things that I wish they would improve on the whole it's much better than any other smart phone I've used. It's core apps are far better than the iPhone, but I do miss the volume of games the AppStore has that the Android Market still hasn't caught up to yet.

Re:Perhaps they'll both converge on "cancelled" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195370)

I have a Droid too and like it a lot - but you do have to warn people that it doesn't have Blue Tooth voice dialing (which is a major problem). Other than that flaw, it is a very nice device and I certainly like having a real keyboard to use with GMail and Google Voice.

Re:Perhaps they'll both converge on "cancelled" (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195112)

but frankly when compared to an iPhone it looks like a high school science fair project.

Fortunately, when compared with anything other than an iPhone, it looks pretty good.

One problem is that, particularly in the case of the HTC phones, its being pushed out on decidedly sub-iPhone hardware that doesn't quite have the legs to do it justice. The larger screen on the iphone, in itself, is enough to swing it.

(But I hope they fix the WiFi issues - no proxy server support and iffy automatic re-connection - and work out how a fscking "message waiting" LED is meant to work).

Re:Perhaps they'll both converge on "cancelled" (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196760)

And yet the Android phones are rolling out. Go figure.

whats the point? (1)

NeoStrider_BZK (1485751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30194962)

Have two bloated OS'es? I fail to see any substancial benefit from it.
The only tangible benefit (if it ever happens) is NativeClient support on Android, if this ever comes to ChromeOS (something people have been speculating for a long time).

This is a huge push for Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195078)

Isn't this a huge impetus for Linux, one would imagine a lot of funding would move from Google to the various sub projects that go into making Linux, that in turn support Google's android and chromeos initiatives. Given this is one of the more important forums for Linux discussion one would thought there would be more indepth analysis of Google new love for Linux, on Linux, sadly we see the same old discussion we are seeing everywhere else from the google angle, but this benefits Linux.

It makes sense: survival of the fittest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195098)

Re Chrome OS vs. Android...

It sounds like a wise strategy: survival of the fittest.

I always knew that Google would eventually move into the OS space. Being such an important move, Google is rightly cautious, and developing multiple technologies is the best way I can think of to mitigate the risks.

Both only cellphone level functionality. (3, Insightful)

guidryp (702488) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195286)

Both seem very limited and aimed at cellphones essentially. So it does seem they have huge overlap.

I was hoping Chrome OS would be more functional than Android (sort of lightweight Linux replacement) but it seems the opposite. It is just a browser. Yawn.

I really can't see the point of maintaining two cellphone "OS type" products.

Re:Both only cellphone level functionality. (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195824)

ChromeOS requires an internet connection to be at all functional. When it has that, it's useful.

Android, otoh, has to be a more conventional operating system that can run apps and make phone calls, regardless of whether or not you have a working internet connection.

Different tools for different jobs.

Chrome OS is a threat to Internet freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30195364)

We see a first version of "AEGIS" like bootstrap in a (soon) dominant operating system - with the pervasiveness of TPM chips currently and virtualization technologies one could have imagined this would happen. Unfortunately, this can have huge implications towards freedom and I am not going to bet on the fact that Google won't start censoring past information, or cooperate with governments. Read a bit about trusted computing and the censorship of past information/events. This is a strong weapon and I hoped the fears to have such a system available world-wide would never materialize. Shocking is that it is Google, the geeky darling, that is doing that. I expected that coming from Microsoft which already failed in the task with Vista.

Why is Google acting this way? The fact that such a system can be built is not a reason to build one. I guess we should start checking who is pulling the strings at Google. This starts more and more resemble a system for secret intelligence.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"

Not a bright future for Internet freedom ahead...

Chrome OS is an answer to a question... (0, Troll)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195444)

...no one should be asking.

The whole point of mobile apps is that they're supposed to be for situations where you don't have a lot of hard drive capacity to be holding applications. To condemn laptops to lives as portable dumb terminals makes no sense to me. (And I've tried Chrome OS within VirtualBox, so I have at least some base of reference.) You can get decent battery life without castrating a machine, and local storage gives you a much better experience.

I understand that the current version of Chrome OS isn't how it's going to stay, but the design philosophy itself is absurd. Google should release much more powerful Web apps if they want anyone to take the idea of a laptop Web OS seriously.

Re:Chrome OS is an answer to a question... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196950)

I think everyone is looking ahead to a point when the desktop and the mobile will merge. As much as smartphones are like trying to read a Reader's Digest condensed version of a novel, but even I find myself using my crappy one more than my desktop. Obviously it's too painful to use for a full-time wordprocessor, but I look at my kids use their's, and I get the feeling it isn't so much an issue of utility as a generational issue.

Not interested in Cloud Computing (2, Interesting)

sfarber53 (239131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195466)

If the Chrome OS is only an access point into a Google (or other) cloud then it is of no interest to me and shouldn't be of interest to anyone else. I haven't come this many years down the road of "personal" computing to hand over control of my apps and data to some faceless corporation. Doesn't anybody else feel Big Brother tapping on their shoulder?

Merging now would be the wrong move (1)

dirkdodgers (1642627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30195480)

Android is a production product that must meet the needs of consumer devices today. Android's success as a production product today depends on its level of refinement and ability to function reliably on technology that exists today. Chrome OS's success as an R&D platform today depends on it retaining the flexibility to make rapid, sweeping changes as an experimental testbed.

Google doesn't presume to know what the smart phone and mobile internet device markets will look like in 5 years time, other than that Google technology will be a big part of it. That's more than many other companies can say.

Those criticizing Google should recognize that were Chrome OS an R&D product at any other company, we might hear about it through a few trade shows and blogs, but that would be it, and no sane commentator would be suggesting it be put into production or merged with a production platform.

Re:Merging now would be the wrong move (1)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30196254)

Those criticizing Google should recognize that were Chrome OS an R&D product at any other company, we might hear about it through a few trade shows and blogs, but that would be it, and no sane commentator would be suggesting it be put into production or merged with a production platform.

No sane commentator should be suggesting it be put into production or merged with a production platform. It makes a lot more sense to use Android across the board than it does to use Chrome OS for anything other than dumb terminals with color screens. The goal of a serious OS should be to do more with less, not to do less with less, which is where Chrome OS seems to be.

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