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Acer To Launch Chrome OS Netbook Next Month

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the what-a-short-strange-road-it's-been dept.

GUI 92

Barence writes "Acer is preparing to launch devices based on Google's Chrome OS at next month's Computex trade show, according to reports. Multiple sources have apparently told VentureBeat that the company will show off devices at the Taipei show at the beginning of June. It doesn't specify what the devices are, although given that Chrome OS is primarily designed for low-powered laptops and Acer's status as the world's second biggest PC maker, it seems inconceivable that the devices won't be netbooks. Meanwhile, Google is considering implementing a Coverflow interface into Chrome OS. One design adheres fairly closely to Apple's template, and allows users to flip through applications and web pages with 'hotkeys and swiping gestures.' Favicons will be displayed beneath the pages, allowing users to click these and head straight to the application."

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32210128)

First?!

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32210178)

Yes, Acer will be the first to offer a device running Chrome OS.

I don't see the point of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32210366)

The iBook is out, so isn't this moot?

Re:I don't see the point of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32218210)

No, because this one won't be shit and won't be totally faggoty.

Does (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210166)

Does it run Linux?

Re:Does (2, Funny)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210272)

oy!

Imagine a beowolf cluster of these!

In Soviet Russia, Chrome OS' you!

I for one welcome our netbook chrome OS robotic overlords.

I forgot the rest.

Re:Does (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32210348)

1. A car analogy
2. A random meme
3. ???
4. Profit

then end with Godwin...

Re:Does (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210470)

then end with Godwin's grits...

Fixed that for you

Re:Does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32210826)

No, no, no. It's Natalie Portman's hot grits and Godwin's Law.

Mmm... Hitler-ific grits...

Re:Does (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210840)

then end with Godwin's grits...

Fixed that for you

On a petrified Natalie Portman in Soviet Russia!

Your approach (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32210796)

Your approach to memes will not work. Here is why it wont work

(x) Incomplete listing
(x) I am too lazy to make more check-box statements

(x) sorry dude, I just don't think it is going to work

Re:Does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32210274)

Does it run Peppermint OS?

Does it runs Chrome spyware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32210678)

Seriously, are the buyers made aware that they pay to get thier privacy destroyed?

Re:Does (0, Troll)

mini me (132455) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210680)

Yes. Linux isn't ready for the desktop, but maybe it is ready for the netbook?

Competition (4, Informative)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210176)

This might actually succeed, given that most of the competition I've seen is either clunky XP or a low-powered version of Win 7.

Re:Competition (2, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210318)

EEE netbooks used to ship with a Linux distro. You know what killed that? Returns. Joe User booting it up, braying "The hell? Where's my Windows?" and returning it. It got so that retail salesweasels were begging people not to buy them, because they got dinged for all the returns.

Sure, me and thee don't want to pay a Windows tax - I'm writing this on an EEE with Ubuntu 10.04 - but me and thee are not a significant market.

Re:Competition (1, Interesting)

coniferous (1058330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210436)

Mod Parent up. 1) Joe Blow sees a cheap computer 2) Buys said computer. 3) Realises that he can't install msn messenger and SuperDupertexasholdem.exe on it. 4) Thinks that it's stupid and returns it. If people educated themselves on these magic boxes, there would be no need for tech people.

Re:Competition (4, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210550)

Yeah, stories from one camp, apparently, claimed just that.

But some manufacturers quickly stepped forward saying that their Linx netbooks don't have higher return rates at all.

Re:Competition (0)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32212218)

But some manufacturers quickly stepped forward saying that their Linux netbooks don't have higher return rates at all.

WalMart is the world's largest retailer.

The pioneer of the 30-second warranty.

The world's most aggressive deep discount retailer - and the lone American big box retailer who for the better part of ten years gave the Linux cheerleaders on the sidelines something real to shout about.

WalMart dropped kicked the Linux netbook into the dumpster out back -
and it was not for lack of trying.

Today not one of the 126 netbooks and laptops - sold under 13 brand names - runs Linux.

Not one of the 75 desktops.

Explain.

Tell me what went wrong.

Re:Competition (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32212388)

US / North America went wrong. I haven't ever even seen a Walmart or however its few surviving international subsidiaries are called.

Re:Competition (2, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32212416)

Today not one of the 126 netbooks and laptops - sold under 13 brand names - runs Linux.
Not one of the 75 desktops.
Explain.
Tell me what went wrong.

You typed Walmart into the location bar instead of Dell? Notice how even Dell's Linux offerings cost *more* than the Windows ones. Someone with a lot of cash made some deals to own the netbook market (because they rightly saw that the determining factor was price). Since Walmart is _only_ about price, they dropped the "expensive" options. http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=dndoan1&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19 [dell.com]

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32212420)

Today not one of the 126 netbooks and laptops - sold under 13 brand names - runs Linux.

Not one of the 75 desktops.

Explain.

Tell me what went wrong.

Microsoft started giving XP away for basically nothing. With the Linux surge defeated, they're reaping the profits again.

If you think Microsoft's just going to sit there and watch it's OS business start having to compete, you don't know Microsoft. Thankfully, they're up against Google now. Should be fun to watch.

Re:Competition (1)

lytles (24756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210562)

not sure about the distribution that the EEE used, but fiddled with my roommates ubuntu-based Dell netbook for a few days ... the ubuntu install was terrible. been using ubuntu for years. fuck, my parents have been using ubuntu for years. but with matt's netbook, i couldn't figure out how to do anything ... no idea how a windows user would have felt with it, but as a linux user, it sucked

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32211448)

Sounds like Matt's just an idiot.

Re:Competition (3, Informative)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211564)

Seconded. I've got a Mini9, hadn't used Ubuntu in a while before I got it. Something seemed off, and by off I mean crappy, couldn't figure out what it was until I ran apt-get dist-upgrade and it insisted that there were no upgrades, even though I was running 8.04 and 9.04 had already come out. Went poking around and found that apt was pointing to ubuntu.dell.com instead of ubuntu.com for packages. To make life even better, Dell hadn't touched their repos since they launched the Mini9. Eventually reformatted with Kubuntu Netbook Remix and the thing ran 100 times better.

Re:Competition (2, Insightful)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211912)

That's because the "Ubuntu" netbook Dell sold was bastardized, and the OS couldn't be upgraded to regular Ubuntu packages (not unless you knew what you were doing).

Linux done RIGHT is no more difficult to use than Windows. Period.

I'm impressed with Android, and a few years back I used to love my Nokia N800 Internet tablet (great system, but Nokia obsoleted the OS far too quickly), Ubuntu Netbook and MeeGo distributions look promising and Android just kicks ass. These are all "Linux". I haven't tried or read much on GoogleOS so no comment there.

Re:Competition (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | more than 4 years ago | (#32212278)

maemo is on the N800 isn't it?

obsolete? bloody hell..... someone better tell my N900 that it can't be running maemo!

in fact.. does this mean my N900 runs on magic fairy dust? :P

maemo is alive and well!!

Re:Competition (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213306)

I gotta call bullshit, because I am a retailer and I have NEVER had windows completely shit itself and die because of an update. Ubuntu? Wireless, sound, graphics, networking, I had 4 machines, 3 desktops and a laptop, to learn Linux and see about offering it at my shop. I NEVER had Ubuntu not bork itself on an update.Never. It got to the point I looked at the updates notification as a "break Linux NOW!" button.

So I understand why they disabled updates on the Dell netbooks. Because if you are a CS grad, or an uber geek who lives at the term? Yeah then having Ubuntu get fucked on an update isn't a big deal, as you just trawl the forum for a fix, tweak it, and apply it in CLI. But Dells isn't trying to sell to YOU, they are trying to sell to Joe normal. You know, the guy that is afraid of control panel on Windows? Yeah that guy. You see there simply isn't enough "self supporting geeks who are comfortable in CLI and buy alternative OSes" to make it a market worth pursuing, which is why they sell the Linux for HIGHER than Windows. It discourages the normals from buying it.

Trust me, as a retailer I tried selling Linux. Between updates making Ubuntu shit itself and NO way to tell what devices worked and what didn't, which makes shopping for Linux devices a fun game of paperweight roulette, Linux ended up costing me more than Windows when you figured in the time wasted fixing shit. And I understand why, I really do. Bug fixing and QA is a long and shitty job, and I doubt coders are lining up to do it. But it makes it a real PITA to support at retail, and will suck your profit margins dry.

Re:Competition (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213704)

It's the same as long as you don't use the netbook remix version. Imo, UNR is unnecessary.

Re:Competition (5, Informative)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210620)

EEE netbooks used to ship with a Linux distro. You know what killed that? Returns. Joe User booting it up, braying "The hell? Where's my Windows?" and returning it. It got so that retail salesweasels were begging people not to buy them, because they got dinged for all the returns.

At the time this rumour started it was checked with ASUS who said that the rate of returns of Linux and Windows netbooks were the same.

The whole nonsense started with a different netbook provider who delivered a Linux netbook with the WiFi and camera not working and then published the 4 to 1 return rate. This was then widely touted as being netbooks in general rather than just one minor league player who "fucked up" their Linux netbook.

So please stop spreading this Microsoft propaganda.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214992)

a Linux netbook with the WiFi and camera not working.

OK, so it was your typical Linux experience.

Re:Competition (1)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216134)

OK, so it was your typical Linux experience.

Just like the typical Windows experience is the BSOD?

I know I shouldn't reply to a troll but sometimes I do anyhow. Sorry guys.

Re:Competition (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210704)

The Dell Mini 9 was the same story. Fortunately for Dell's sales, the Mini 9 was/is incredibly easy to crackintosh, and the Ubuntu-equipped units were less expensive to come by.

I have Meerkat running now on my Mini...so far so good.

Re:Competition (4, Funny)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210982)

I have Meerkat running now on my Mini...so far so good.

Doesn't that scratch the finish?

Re:Competition (2, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210912)

EEE netbooks used to ship with a Linux distro. You know what killed that? Returns. Joe User booting it up, braying "The hell? Where's my Windows?" and returning it. It got so that retail salesweasels were begging people not to buy them, because they got dinged for all the returns.

The problem wasn't that the things shipped with Linux instead of Windows.

The problem was that the salesweasels either didn't know that, or didn't bother explaining it to the customers.

I had a client at my last job that was absolutely convinced she needed a Dell mini-9. Thought it wold be terrific. Kept imagining all the ways it would be great to carry around a fully functional computer in her purse. Wanted me to put together a quote for one right away.

I happened to have a mini-9 at the time, used it for configuring network equipment and whatnot.

I explained to her that it shipped with a tiny SSD so she wouldn't really be able to store all her pictures on it... Explained that it had no CD-ROM drive... Explained that it was generally too slow to handle streaming Netflix and things like that... Had her try surfing and typing on it...

And she decided she didn't really want one after all.

If I just wanted to make a buck I could have sold her the mini-9. Maybe I would have been stuck with the return... Maybe she would have kept it... But she wouldn't have been happy. And that's what I wanted - a happy customer.

Keep in mind, this thing was running XP - not Linux.

Re:Competition (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211438)

I explained to her that it shipped with a tiny SSD so she wouldn't really be able to store all her pictures on it... Explained that it had no CD-ROM drive... Explained that it was generally too slow to handle streaming Netflix and things like that... Had her try surfing and typing on it...

modern netbooks have 250-320GB hard drives, stream netflix just fine, and have 90% full size keyboards (although they don't have dedicated numpads / arrow keys).

still no optical drive ... which has limited impact since more and more people's video and music libraries are purely digital / streaming.

Re:Competition (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213208)

Chances are you won't want the CD drive all the time. So you can just use an external one.

Netbooks haven't been about SSD drives since about 5 minutes after they were introduced.

Some people just insist on perpetuating grossly out of date information.

Re:Competition (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32215654)

The point of my post was not to point out the technical shortcomings of modern netbooks. It was to relate an anecdote that I felt was relevant to the discussion.

Namely that I was informed about the product and also understood what my customer wanted, and didn't sell her a product that wouldn't meet her needs.

Too many salespeople are just looking to sell a product. Those salespeople will get crap returned to them because it doesn't meet the needs of their customers.

If your customer actually needs a netbook, they'll be happy with it, regardless of whether it runs Linux or some kind of XP.

If they need a full-blown desktop computer, or a laptop, or whatever... And you sell them a netbook... They're not going to be terribly happy with it.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213214)

Why didn't you just fuck her? In the butt?

Re:Competition (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210954)

Personally I love my little MSI netbook. Overclockable when on AC power and a strong battery to boot. I was using Ubuntu 9.10 netbook remix for awhile and have since upgraded to 10.04. Unfortunately it still requires CLI tweaking every now and again. It's pretty and fairly polished, but I still wouldn't trust it with my parents or less technologically savvy friends.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32211190)

Stop spreding BS, MS fud and illegal pressure on OEMs killed Linux netbooks.

Re:Competition (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211430)

As others have noted this is not the case. What killed Linux on netbooks was two factors people not being sure what Linux was and MS strong arming manufacturers (and retailers) to push netbooks with an MS OS on them.

Re:Competition (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211560)

You just have to manage expectations correctly. The iPad, for instance, doesn't have this problem because Apple set the right expectations.

If this is marketed as a regular computer, it won't succeed. If this is marketed as a way to get you online as quickly as possible with no fuss or fluff, then they'll be golden.

Re:Competition (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211682)

Joe User booting it up, braying "The hell? Where's my Windows?" and returning it.

If that's the reason Joe User returned his netbook, doesn't that make Joe User a fucking retard? When I was at Best Buy, looking at a netbook as a quick replacement while I decided on my next real laptop, they had them out, demoing the computers and the operating systems. At one time I even saw a netbook running Linux being demoed.

If Joe User returned his netbook because it didn't have Windows, it's because Joe User is computer- and consumer-stupid. It's right there, just begging you to try it out before you buy it! Why would you not take a look at the product you intend to buy???

I know, I'm n=1 people with n=2 experiences with demo netbooks at Best Buy, but still, the way I see it, the blame for this falls squarely on Joe User.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:Competition (1)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32219494)

If the sales people were annoyed about people returning them, it's their fault for selling Linux netbooks to idiots. It's likely that the sales people didn't know what Linux was themselves, and the guy doing the buying just picked the cheaper one that had the same hardware specs.

Re:Competition (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213394)

And yet, after a brief stint where netbooks used Linux, nearly all of them (in the US anyway) have Windows pre-installed.

Or, if you want a Linux netbook or laptop, you have to specifically hunt for it, often in the business section (or hide them behind volume licenses like HP does-- "We support Linux!... but not for you, pauper!").

I think there should be less cowering in fear of liability/support cost and more alternatives that don't pad the dominant software corporation's bottom line because there effectively is no competition.

Re:Competition (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213638)

Too bad Acer has HORRIBLE hardware Quality Control/Customer Service.

http://www.google.com/search?q=acer+mobo+failure [google.com]

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=acer+no+keyboard [google.com]

And for those that want a citation of a sort...the numbers speak for themselves:

http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/Acer+Computers [customerse...eboard.com]

And to make matters worse, they lied about it and mailed people back "replacement" MOBOs that were simply the broken ones other customers sent in for replacement, in order to buy time...until the warranties ran out. Then they simply claimed it wasn't covered as the warranty had lapsed.

I personally know two people that have had this exact scenario dealt to them for doing business with Acer.

The OS is a moot point if the hardware is shit.

ARM based? (2)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210252)

Please?

Inconceivable that the devices won't be netbooks? (4, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210304)

Why inconceivable? Since Acer already is big with netbooks, they don't have to prove much there.

And considering that ChromeOS device could be just as well based on ARM chip (with many advantages of that route), it could as well be a new kind of devices, at least as far Acer is concerned (tablets? They do fit with "lack" of features of ChromeOS). Not saying this is what will happen...but inconceivable?

Oblig. Princess Bride ref (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210782)

Why inconceivable? Since Acer already is big with netbooks, they don't have to prove much there.

And considering that ChromeOS device could be just as well based on ARM chip (with many advantages of that route), it could as well be a new kind of devices, at least as far Acer is concerned (tablets? They do fit with "lack" of features of ChromeOS). Not saying this is what will happen...but inconceivable?

You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Re:Oblig. Princess Bride ref (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210950)

Please explain how Acer showing anything other than netbooks is "incapable of being conceived, imagined, or considered, totally unlikely, unbelievable, unthinkable, impossible to comprehend". Go on.

Re:Oblig. Princess Bride ref (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211222)

You've never seen Princess Bride, eh [youtube.com] ?

Finally. (2, Insightful)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210316)

Perhaps there will be real progress in UI design now that Google is putting its resources toward that goal. I hope windowing systems die soon. There has to be a better design than a metaphor to desks and file cabinets...

Re:Finally. (1, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210638)

What past achievement makes you think Google can give UI design some "real progress"? (other than their love for spartan UIs, which doesn't really translate that well to general, multipurpose "computer" UI)

Windowing systems a metaphor to desks and file cabinets? WTH? And actually...it is Google who bought recently very "desk and file cabinets"-like UI.

Re:Finally. (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211264)

What ... makes you think Google can give UI design some "real progress"?

Billions of dollars and thousands of man-hours. If they are experimenting with novel UI design elements, as it says in TFS, it may be that they come up with something new and groundbreaking, or at least steal the best ideas from others (Apple) and improve on them.

Windowing systems a metaphor to desks and file cabinets? WTH?

LOL. First of all, the major UIs go so far as to call the "main screen" (or however you want to call it) the "desktop." Furthermore, windows are a metaphor for papers being moved around on that desktop. Hierarchical file systems are based on filing cabinets -- the major difference being that without any physical limitations, digital folders/directories may contain any number of files and sub-folders/sub-directories. You can read more here [wikipedia.org] , if you feel the Hell like it.

Re:Finally. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211468)

Pouring money at a problem will make new great things, got it. (and "stealing from others" doesn't go hand-in-hand with what you originally wrote, about Google pushing the state forward)
How are their social networking efforts going?

I think you are confused what "windowing system" stands for, nevermind that only part of them takes, of course, some concepts from RL...and modifies them greatly. All the while Google recently bought a very direct "desktop methapor" UI...

Re:Finally. (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32220670)

I think you missed the "perhaps" in my original post. Yes, Google has the resources, and if they are interested, perhaps they will push UI design forward, etiher by hiring really great UI people, as they have hired bright minds in the past, or stealing Apple's ideas and improving them for netbook use.

Modern UIs still have a lot of baggage from the desktop metaphor. Honestly, I don't see how windowing systems have changed fundamentally since that metaphor was in heavy usage, but we can agree to disagree. The fact is that to move forward in UI design, concepts need to built again from the ground up. Windowing systems are non-optimal by nature.

Re:Finally. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32218286)

Whatever things are called, do people really think of it as being a representation of a physical desktop & filing cabinets?

Re:Finally. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32219242)

Perhaps it is different for today's youngsters who grew up with the stuff, but back when the current type of GUIs with a desktop, windows and icons became dominant, the desktop metaphor was all over manuals and computer magazines and popular articles. (Back then we used to read all that stuff on paper, and they would actually deliver that paper physically to every home and office.)

Re:Finally. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32221408)

You aren't telling me anything I didn't know. I read analogy considered harmful [acm.org] as an undergrad.

You can't stick a filing cabinet inside a filing cabinet, or a folder inside a folder (unless it's a different, bigger, kind of folder) - that's just one way it breaks down. That was before the advent of the internet; you don't really know (or need to know) where files are these days.

Re:Finally. (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210844)

ChromeOS appears to be following the application-centric metaphor, much like the iPad, albeit with less consistency since the apps are web pages without strict interface guidelines. I wouldn't expect anything revolutionary from Google that you didn't already see on the iPhone three years ago.

Re:Finally. (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211036)

If the UI is on a netbook instead of a tablet (that isn't a PC) or a cellphone, that may be progress enough to get the ball rolling with other people following them.

Re:Finally. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32210916)

I hear they're simplifying it down to just a full screen text field that you can simply input easy to learn control commands to do what you need.

Re:Finally. (3, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211000)

I hope windowing systems die soon.

We all have our complaints about windowing systems. It does indeed seem like we spend a fair amount of time just managing the windows (moving, resizing, etc.) rather than working. Like you, I'm pretty convinced that there has to be a better design out there. But I don't think it's the right strategy to throw-out windowing systems altogether, without a viable alternative to actually push towards. Despite all their warts, our modern GUIs are by now highly tuned and in fact do help us be productive.

There has to be a better design than a metaphor to desks and file cabinets...

I think our modern desktop metaphor isn't really mimicking desks and file cabinets in any meaningful way. Sure, the same terms are applied ("desktop", "folder", "file", etc.), but in reality the computer-objects bear little resemblance to the real-world objects. (You can't infinitely nest folders in the real world!) I think our GUI metaphors have abandoned any real-world resemblance that was slowing them down. (E.g. you can't arbitrarily resize a real-world sheet of paper on the fly, but it's easy to resize a GUI.)

I'm not sure what the answer is (mostly just thinking out loud, here), but I think our time would be better spent refining the modern GUI, rather than throwing it all away and hoping that something fantastically better fills the void. Some ideas that spring to mind:
1. Windows in a GUI are useful (e.g. to read from one and type into another) but managing all the windows is as much fun as shuffling paper on a real desk. What would help is far smarter layout algorithms. When a new window appears, its size and position should "make sense". For instance it should be in some way proportional to the amount of text within it. It should try to appear in areas that will not obscure existing content. A given document should re-open to the same position on screen as the last time you had it open (thereby taking advantage of human visual memory and habit-forming procedures). A GUI that shuffled all the windows around on you would probably be more annoying than helpful. But some amount of predictive behavior would be nice (e.g. tossing a window towards one edge of the screen could dock it there cleanly.)
2. GUIs should let users easily define tasks rather than forcing them to manually open all the windows/documents associated with a given workflow. So when I open the "banking" task, my financial spreadsheets should open (and appear with the size/position I always set them to), my Firefox window should appear in the right place with the right websites all open, my calculator app should pop open in the upper-right-hand-corner, and so on... It should be easier for users to define sets of tasks and have those states reappear when required. This all boils down to: the size, position, and state of all the windows on-screen actually conveys useful information to the user! Don't throw that information away!
3. Each app should have a hidden backend database where every command and help topic (with appropriate index terms and tags/keywords and synonyms) is stored. If you can't remember where the button or menu item for a given task is, it should be trivial to type that into a persistent "help/do-stuff" bar and have the option simply appear, ready to be clicked/invoked. For apps with tons of options (MS Word, Photoshop, etc.) this would make it trivial to find the option you want. (Just type "red eye correction" or "make sentence all caps" or whatever.) If done properly, this would also allow users to interact with applications in a faster text-command mode (anyone who has used Firefox's Ubiquity [mozillalabs.com] will know what I'm talking about.)

These are just the ideas that have occurred to me (repeatedly) and may not be the best ideas out there. Overall my point is that I agree we need better GUI-interaction styles... but that I think we can use the existing windowing systems as good starting points for further refinement.

Re:Finally. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32219340)

...and your number 3 is basically about extending the Google search technology to user interfaces. I like it. There's definitely a place for a startup or two to take that idea and run with it, even if Google themselves don't go there.

Re:Finally. (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211166)

Perhaps there will be real progress in UI design now that Google is putting its resources toward that goal. I hope windowing systems die soon. There has to be a better design than a metaphor to desks and file cabinets...

Google's idea of an application UI on Chrome OS is a web app running inside Chrome.

Those that dare run 'top'.. (1)

delire (809063) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210380)

I hope that this Chrome OS features a toggle for Desktop Effects. It seems silly to have a low-power, battery dependent device dedicating resources to window management ballet.

Re:Those that dare run 'top'.. (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210554)

I seem to recall that when so-and-so did the breakdown of the Apple A4, they calculated that further power savings from the CPU would only be able to achieve limited effects on battery life, as the rest of the system board / the wireless / the display were eclipsing its usage. If Acer can pull off something remotely similar, the "turn shinies off" tactic might be less effective than you would think.

Re:Those that dare run 'top'.. (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210798)

Yeah, it also depends on how complex the desktop effects are, I'm sure. What's involved in iPhone OS? They map the window as a texture to a flat plane, and then do some quick low-quality scaling and rotation of the plane. Maybe there's some transparency effects here and there? For a modern computer, even the computers we call "smart phones", those are not particularly complex calculations. And as you mention, the display and wireless networking are going to account for a large percentage of the battery usage anyhow.

And remember, we're talking about devices that we generally expect to be able handle rendering of complex web pages, playback of audio and HD video, and in some cases even video encoding for video chat.

Re:Those that dare run 'top'.. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210642)

I hope that this Chrome OS features a toggle for Desktop Effects. It seems silly to have a low-power, battery dependent device dedicating resources to window management ballet.

I'm not as convinced as you are that it would result in significant battery savings. I don't even know if those effects are run on the CPU or GPU for given hardware or how much power they consume. Often I see people wanting developers to "strip down" OS features for power or CPU or RAM savings in cases where such modifications are not even noticeable in terms of performance benefits.

What I hope is that Google and Acer work together to do real testing to find the best battery life and overall usability for end users of the device.

Re:Those that dare run 'top'.. (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211250)

I was gonna say.

I have a netbook that, when only barely running windows and chrome, still manages to be slow. Coverflow seems memory-intensive and like it's the sort of thing that would best be done on the GPU anyway, which for a cheap computer is not going to be very powerful.

If you're keeping--let's look at that screenshot--ten or more rendered pages in video memory at the same time, noting that each is probably at least as big as the screen, you're probably beyond the netbook market. You could certainly do it with a decent laptop, but part of the point of chromeOS is a small, cheap, net-only computer.

But.... (2, Funny)

jaryd (1702090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32210836)

will it run linux??

:: facepalm ::

tacwo (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32210948)

Get a Real Computer (1)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211010)

I know netbooks are cute and all, but you can get a real laptop for less than $400. New Egg is selling an AMD 2.1 Ghz, 3 GB ram, 160 GB HD for $380. And, what do you know, it runs Linux.

Re:Get a Real Computer (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211376)

I don't see any that aren't Win7 or WinXP. Link?

Re:Get a Real Computer (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211436)

New Egg is selling an AMD 2.1 Ghz, 3 GB ram, 160 GB HD for $380. And, what do you know, it runs Linux.

Can it run for 8+ hours and fit in my pocket?

Re:Get a Real Computer (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211724)

I bought a acer netbook about a month and a half ago and could not be happier with it. The battery lasts forever and it is really convienent to carry around. This thing never leaves my side, besides the hardware specs on it are not far away from what you have listed anyhow.

In the wild (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211164)

Everyone talks about Chrome OS, but has anyone actually used it? Until we get to play with it, how do we know what it will do?

Re:In the wild (1)

zorro-z (1423959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211392)

I used a version a few months back which was compiled from the pre-release code. It was the Google Chrome browser... that's it. OK, that's not quite it, but the idea of Chrome OS is to remove anything not necessary to load a browser, especially those things which slow the boot process.

I found it interesting, but nowhere near interesting enough for me to keep using it rather than Crunchbang on my Eee 900. If all you want is a browser, period, then you might just like Chrome OS. If you want more than that, you'll take a pass.

Re:In the wild (1)

spuke4000 (587845) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211862)

Re:In the wild (3, Informative)

rufus t firefly (35399) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211906)

http://chromeos-blog.com/ [chromeos-blog.com]

Another site with downloads for pre-releases, but without the need for registration.

Re:In the wild (1)

adbge (1693228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32214908)

You can build it from source here. [chromium.org] The instructions are pretty straightforward.

*Yawn* (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32211396)

Wake me up when they release a Google Maps Mobile / Navigator client that runs on a netbook / tablet with a decent sized screen. That is all I've really been waiting for.

You mean this one: (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32212216)

wetab.mobi

Re:*Yawn* (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32213318)

Leave me some coffee in the pot - I'm waiting for a version of Google maps that can run offline. And yes, before anyone chips in, I realise I may need to pre-cache the areas I'm going to.

Give TangoGPS a try (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32222692)

The best GPS mapping software I've found so far for my eeepc is TangoGPS:

http://www.tangogps.org/gps/cat/Screenshots [tangogps.org]

It has some pretty good pre-caching tools, and even some rudimentary routing. But no search and nav tools, which made for some pretty neat marginally-pre-planned travel experiences back when I had a Blackberry + Google Maps.

I've had limited success running Google Earth on my eeepc, mostly because their real-time GPS support blows (even back when I was a paying customer for NV Keyhole Plus)

How long until they say it runs better with win32? (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 4 years ago | (#32212066)

if they did that with linux, what's to stop them with chrome?

Coverflow is an implementation (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32212202)

of fliptych. It is used be several non apple application

The writer doesn't seem to know that.

yoU fail It (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32213596)

Rumors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32214238)

Weird, Engadget says just the opposite: http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/14/acer-holding-global-event-at-end-of-may-no-chrome-os-devices-pl/

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