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Gmail Creator Says Chrome OS Is As Good As Dead

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the way-of-the-dodo dept.

Google 349

An anonymous reader writes "Former Google employee, Gmail creator, and FriendFeed founder Paul Buchheit has come right out and said what many people are thinking (or hoping for). On his FriendFeed page, Buchheit made a post titled 'Prediction: ChromeOS will be killed next year (or "merged" with Android).' In it, he bluntly says that Google's netbook-centric Chrome OS is as good as dead. 'Yeah, I was thinking, "is this too obvious to even state?", but then I see people taking ChromeOS seriously, and Google is even shipping devices for some reason,' Buchheit writes. 'Because ChromeOS has no purpose that isn't better served by Android (perhaps with a few mods to support a non-touch display).'"

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Nothing new (4, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572344)

They have said that Chromeos and Android would probably converge for a year or so at least.

It's not about "convergence". The cloud is dying. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572490)

I think convergence between Android and ChromeOS is the most insignificant part of this.

The most important thing to note is that people are getting fed up with the so-called "cloud". That approach has been hyped for a few years now, and while many of us realized it's a bad approach from the very start, the rest are finding this out the hard way. After so much failure and hardship, people want nothing to do with it.

It's basically the same situation that happened with Ruby and Ruby on Rails. They were "new" and "trendy" technologies that got a lot of hype. Smart people saw that Ruby was basically Perl with a slightly more readable (but less powerful) syntax, and that Rails was nothing but yet another web development framework. A lot of non-technical people who just wanted to sell books and host conferences built up a massive hype storm. Given that this foundation was not based on merit of any sort, Ruby and Rails were never able to prove themselves as being solutions to real problems. People soon got fed up with them, and went back to proven technologies.

People want to use real, locally-running applications that help get work done, where their data can be kept local and safe. They don't want to dick around with half-assed web "apps" that just make life miserable, and makes data retrieval damn near impossible.

Re:It's not about "convergence". The cloud is dyin (5, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572598)

Who, exacly, is fed up with the "cloud" besides we, the average slashdotters? People are using "cloud" services more and more, like Facebook, Flickr, Gmail, etc. Companies, Universities and even public organizations are moving to Gmail and other Google services (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/three-million-businesses-have-gone.html [blogspot.com] ).

Where are this people moving from the "cloud" to locally based applications and services?

Re:It's not about "convergence". The cloud is dyin (1)

dup_account (469516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572792)

Ah, the ever expanding definition of "Cloud computer". FYI, the internet is not the cloud.

People will be using the "cloud" when these and other companies start hosting on the cloud rather than self-hosting.

And that won't happen until the cloud actually lives up to what it's advertised as. Google Apps is actually the closest. All of the others, like Amazon (You predefine your server, hard to dynamically grow (automatically)), are just the same of the likes of Rackspace... Virtual hosting.

Re:It's not about "convergence". The cloud is dyin (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34573048)

I thought "the cloud" was "the cluster", but with a billing model based on disk/cpu[/memory] used in a given timeframe, and these values being easily dynamically allocable during a given time frame.

Re:It's not about "convergence". The cloud is dyin (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572836)

Where are this people moving from the "cloud" to locally based applications and services?

While I agree with your basic premise that average people aren't sitting around raging about cloud services, I do disagree somewhat with the above. Speaking for myself, I very often choose to use the Amazon or eBay apps on my iPad rather than using the web sites. Let's face it, web sites SUCK compared to traditional applications. We tolerate it because we were drunk with the mass variety of web sites, but when you come right down to usability and responsiveness, HTML (yes, even 5) is a crude, crude, CRUDE tool.

Using a local binary app on the iPad is just so much better than using the respective web site. Maybe we'll see better web technology in the future, but it's hard to compete with a locally running application for responsiveness.

Re:It's not about "convergence". The cloud is dyin (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572814)

I, for one, welcome our cloud-based overlords!

Re:It's not about "convergence". The cloud is dyin (2)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572872)

Meh, most people said similar things about smart phones until Apple came out with a consumer/user friendly iphone. Will Chrome-OS be the iPhone of "cloud computing" systems? IMO probably not, but I wouldn't call the idea dead just yet. I personally don't own a document processor anymore and use Google Apps exclusively. As long as they got the "offline" mode working fine with local synching I think it could be a real winner. Do I want my entire OS to be that way? Not really, but that would fit for all the purposes of my current netbook. I browse the web, IM, and occasionally do some light documents through Google Apps.

Re:It's not about "convergence". The cloud is dyin (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572888)

I guess a more readable syntax is no reason to prefer one language over another then? If language power is all you want then you probably should be using a Lisp anyway [wikipedia.org] .

Also I doubt most developers turned to Perl when Rails "failed", more likely they turned to .Net or J2EE.

I beg to differ (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572924)

People want to use real, locally-running applications that help get work done, where their data can be kept local and safe. They don't want to dick around with half-assed web "apps" that just make life miserable, and makes data retrieval damn near impossible.

I'm writing this in the safe mode of my windows laptop. Why? Because it crashes constantly. It didn't do that a week ago, it hasn't been physically damaged and it doesn't do that in the safe mode so I doubt that it is a hardware issue. Rather, some process has gone nuts and Windows can't handle it. Perhaps updater to some application I have has corrupted or began interacting poorly with my firewall or whatever... God knows. I, on the other hand, have been trying to stop all unnecessary processes from autostarting and constantly booting between safe mode and normal mode in order to find the culprit... But haven't succeeded yet. It is made more difficult by the fact that there is no way of knowing which processes are essential to the system and which are not.

I, for one, would love to use "half-assed web apps" instead of going through the hell that is managing all the applications on your computer. You can say "Haha, it sounds like you suck" or "Haha, Windows sucks". Well, perhaps. Let's assume that I, a third year software engineering student, don't have the basic skills required to maintain the computer. Or that the world's most used OS is a horrible piece of crap. Even if either of those is true, it's also a symptom of the underlying problem: Computers have became so complex that even if it is possible to understand everything that you desktop is doing at any given time, it's a shitload of work and there are very few people who really do understand that all (No, I don't believe that all Linux users do, even if they technically could). That being the case, there are rather obvious benefits for Joe Average (or even tech savvier people) for not having to deal with it. Oh, just think of the web apps: Little more than a group of bookmarks. No registry entries, no hidden processes... What you see is what you get. The things can be clearly divided to two categories: Simple things on your end, and the the cloud, details of which won't bother you. (IE: The original meaning of the cloud)

Sure, there are some problems but I don't know if they're all that serious. At least not for everyone. It's a rare condition that I don't have internet access. It's a lot more common condition that I have other minor computer woes. The problems with the cloud are different than the ones without it, but it's a stretch to call them greater and a massive stretch to say that people specifically want the old/current way. Also, your point about difficult data retrieval baffles me... I would say 9 times out of ten, the data in the datacenters, is better backed up, is less likely to get lost/stolen/etc. If you refer to a situation where you permanently deleted something and a regular hard drive would still let you recover it but you can't do it through the cloud apps... That's a feature that hasn't been implemented in cloud apps but not an inherent problem with the cloud.

Re:Nothing new (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572636)

Random question:
What's the abbreviation for Google Chrome? There's IE and FF and SM and O10, but I'm typing on the non-google chromium right now, and can't think of a convenient abbreviation. Cr2O3 is the chemical formula but unwieldy. Maybe CrO or CR.

Re:Nothing new (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572692)

What's the abbreviation for Google Chrome?

Maybe I'm oversimplifying the problem, but GC seems to jump out...

Re:Nothing new (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572752)

GC = Garbage Collector? Then again, given the quality of most websites....

Re:Nothing new (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572866)

>>>GC seems to jump out...

And of course Mozilla Firefox would be MF or Mo-Fo. Thanks! :-D I'll stick with CR for chromium (not google)(spits).

Never (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572346)

With ChromeOS, us First Post trolls will always win!

Re:Never (3, Funny)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572368)

Seeing that you have "failed it" just proves the author's point. Farewell, ChromeOS!

Re:Never (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572722)

But I don't actually have ChromeOS yet, so I guess I proved I need it ;).

Of course I'm not an actual first post troll either, so maybe I'm just too slow on the draw.

You'll probably see a version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572362)

ChromeOS powered by Android!

Is it that bad? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572372)

I'm working on Android right now. Is it seriously worse than Android? How?

Re:Is it that bad? (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572390)

Exactly. What is the difference?

And apparently I can't get normal tools in Android? No ssh in and make my project using gcc? What is up? Or am I clueless...

Re:Is it that bad? (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572420)

No ssh in and make my project using gcc? What is up? Or am I clueless...

Yeah no kidding, I can't even use Visual C++ on this OS. What a turd...

Re:Is it that bad? (4, Funny)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572464)

No ssh in and make my project using gcc? What is up? Or am I clueless...

Yeah no kidding, I can't even use Visual C++ on this OS. What a turd...

Worse, I wanted to print something and apparently there's no driver for my standard, HB (#2) pencil.

Re:Is it that bad? (1)

Like2Byte (542992) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572746)

Worse, I wanted to print something and apparently there's no driver for my standard, HB (#2) pencil.

PEBPAC - Problem exists between pencil and chair?

Bout time (2)

bazmail (764941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572392)

Google would be far better served focusing on defragmentation of the Android eco-system rather than trying to cloudify everything. Adding standardized extensions for tablets would be a good use of their time too.

Re:Bout time (1, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572448)

Only Apple and their fans complain about Android's supposed fragmentation.

Re:Bout time (4, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572614)

Actually for us it's a business concern. We were evaluating whether or not to allow Android device to connect to our corporate intranet and decided against it for that very reason. Not due to development related fragmentation issues, but rather OS fragmentation that makes security updates and vulnerabilities much more difficult to track and to resolve via updates. With vendors still pushing out 1.5, our corporate security was hesitant to endorse an OS with known vulnerabilities and no timely updates from the handset vendors.

With the iPhone, we can force users to upgrade to the latest OS version, and give them a time window to comply. With Android, it's not that easy. Blindly cutting off a specific version of the OS due to some vulnerability could potentially flood our help desk with calls regarding connection failures. Not feasible.

Re:Bout time (2)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572798)

> With vendors still pushing out 1.5

You mean "selling phones with"? Why not find a vendor "selling phones with" 1.6? Anyway, hardly anyone has 1.6 anymore. What is it now? Less than 17% have 1.6/1.7 combined. As a company, surely you'd choose a phone and stick with it, just like you can specify/mandate OS, browser etc. You're talking about checking email, right?

Re:Bout time (1)

bongey (974911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572832)

You see android supports versions too , who would have thought. You actually thought only that iphone have version numbers, and your argument is complete bull shit. Sounds like your being lazy ass IT workers.
Here are the instructions go to settings, click Android version , see the little number, that is the version number.
Simple 1 line regular expression to check what version the android handset.

Here I did your job for you. 2\.2\.[1-9] .

Old iPhones can be upgraded (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572858)

You actually thought only that iphone have version numbers

Every iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 2, and iPod touch 3 can upgrade to iOS 4. The same can't be said of most Android phones and Android media players.

Re:Bout time (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572706)

Not the actual Android developers, for example, no.

Fragmentation: Android Market vs. AppsLib (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572930)

Only Apple and their fans complain about Android's supposed fragmentation.

And anyone who wants to sell apps to people who happen not to have a smartphone. With Apple, one can carry a dumbphone for calls and an iPod touch for App Store apps and save money by not having to pay AT&T for 24 months of $70/mo voice and data. Google, on the other hand, requires a device to have most of the features of a phone, including a camera and a GPS, before Google will let the device onto its Market. This fragments the platform into Android Market (for phones) and the much smaller AppsLib (for Wi-Fi tablets and media players), unlike iOS where the iPhone and the iPod touch share one app store.

Re:Bout time (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572468)

Fragmentation on android is a myth.

Re:Bout time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572682)

Not entirely a myth. It is a source of frustration for users when they want some feature that they can't get on a newer version of Android. They buy a phone expecting to get the same features they saw on Friend X's phone, only to find it isn't available. The fact that Google is responding to those complaints speaks volumes about the 'myth'.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/192841/googles_plan_to_end_android_fragmentation.html [pcworld.com]

Re:Bout time (3, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572862)

For a totally new definition of "myth" that means the opposite of what most people think it means.

It is one of the concerns for that platform - the fact that 1.6 devices are still shipping, and that the handsets out there all have various levels of hardware that are far more disparate than the small range of hardware on iOS devices makes this so.

It is a strength of the android platform in one sense, and a downside in others, just as iOS has the reverse stengths and weaknesses in this sense.

Add to this the problems with some android handset vendors locking down the ability to update to the newer android versions and you have a fragmentation issue.

Re:Bout time (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 3 years ago | (#34573062)

The same way it was a myth with PalmOS. I see the Android/iOS battle going down the same way too, even with Apple being the sole vendor of iOS devices.

Re:Bout time (2)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572476)

Won't happen. The attraction to handset makers is they get a reasonably solid base OS they can mess with how they like to create the firmware that'll run on their phones.

The disadvantage to consumers is that handset makers take a reasonably solid base OS them mess with it to create the firmware that runs on their phones.....

Re:Bout time (4, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572552)

I have an Android phone, an HTC desire. I like the Android part. I do not like the HTC part. They did the same as PC OEMs like to do: Filled it with sponsored crapware. Only worse: This sponsored crapware cannot be deleted, for it is in the read-only* system partition - and as all of it has network access permissions, I suspect much of it is there to gather information on my music, browsing habbits and such for market research. Unsurprisingly, the sponsored crapware includes facebook and twitter, alongside HTCs own apps.
* Really, really read-only. I've rooted the OS, but the phone has some sort of additional protection in hardware that monitors the system partition. If the OS does somehow manage to alter it, the phone immediatly resets itsself, and the bootloader copies the OS back over from a secure backup. HTC evidently is very determined to maintain control over their phones.

Re:Bout time (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572664)

Root you phone and you can remove that stuff with Titanium Backup, it's free in the market.

Re:Bout time (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572902)

I'll give it a try, but as I explained... any type of substantial modification and the phone resets itsself and restores. Even so much as 'touch /etc/hosts' will cause a reboot. The protection is in hardware, as a second layer of defence should the OS be rooted.

Re:Bout time (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572928)

I have managed to use droidwall to block the suspected-spyware from reporting home though.

My prediction (2, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572396)

Whatever the heck ChromeOS is (never heard of it), I can tell you one thing for sure: this guy Paul Buchheit might be right, but he sounds more like he has an axe to grind with the ChromeOS team than anything else.

Re:My prediction (1)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572546)

ChromeOS is basically a Linux distro that only has a browser. The Chrome browser is the desktop shell, it can't be minimized and it has a small systray with battery and network icons instead of maximize/minimize buttons. And that's it (really).

I agree with the guy from TFA, ChromeOS is not interesting because...well, the average Linux distro can also browse the web and nobody is adopting it massively because of that. IMO ChromeOS is only getting attention because people believes that everything that comes from Google is cool. But when I tried [hexxeh.net] ChromeOS, I experience the same sensation I had when I tried Wave. Why use ChromeOS, which is just a browser, when you can use Android which also has a browser and it also has a lot of cool Android apps and games?

Re:My prediction (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572600)

IMO ChromeOS is only getting attention because people believes that everything that comes from Google is cool. But when I tried [hexxeh.net] ChromeOS, I experience the same sensation I had when I tried Wave.

Same here. I even compiled it after trying the hexxeh binary in the hope that hexxeh had somehow disable the cool part of chromeos.

I really like all of google's products and really wish I could afford an android phone, but the chromeos is very disapointing.

I prefer jolicloud if I need to live in a cloud.

That said, I can see this being useful in setting where everything is internet based apps (like a library or kiosk.) I imagine the hardware requirements would be real low.

Re:My prediction (2)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572564)

If you have never heard of it, what good is your prediction? Personally I think he's right, but I dont see any axe grinding -- He, like many, believes Android to be far superior to ChromeOS, which it really is. Google was recently put on the spot for why they are developing two different operating systems, and to have a former Google employee speaking frankly about which he thinks is better doesn't seem much like axe grinding. Anyways, if you have never heard of a product, next time maybe you should, you know, reconsider whether you have the knowledge to form an opinion about it, or the people discussing it. Or, maybe you're just a troll pretending you haven't heard of it. Either way I'm not sure why anyone would mod that as insightful.

Re:My prediction (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#34573020)

Meh, when the iPhone 1 came out there were plenty of devices which were technically superior. I doubt Google can pull it off on consumer devices because that's not their forte, but anything is possible.

Re:My prediction (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572610)

You don't come here often, do you? "chromeos site:slashdot.org" -> 709 results.

Too big a change too soon (4, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572400)

The problem with ChromeOS is it is trying to solve a problem them doesn't exist. Why upload data into the cloud if you don't need to share it or have access to it on the move?
You don't want to need to upload all your data to the cloud before you can do anything with it.

Cloud computing makes sense for people who want to rent computer processing power on an adhoc basis to solve computational problems.

Computing needs to gradually move to new technologies, it rarely makes huge leaps. ChromeOS would be better being a full Linux desktop for now with cloud services instead of being fully cloud based.

Re:Too big a change too soon (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572442)

Why upload data into the cloud if you don't need to share it or have access to it on the move?

1) so you can look hip and tell your friends you work "in the cloud"
2) because you generously want to share all your data with Google, so they can turn around and sell it for beaucoup bucks to marketers and get rich on your back

Re:Too big a change too soon (2, Insightful)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572484)

3) so you never have to worry about backing up data

Re:Too big a change too soon (1)

mseidl (828824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572562)

I don't think google will restore their backup of your data.

Re:Too big a change too soon (1)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572592)

they would never need to

Re:Too big a change too soon (3, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572580)

Meh. REAL men these days just upload a torrent of their encrypted data to the Pirate Bay with the description "WikiLeaks insurance file" and wait for a few other people to start seeding.

Re:Too big a change too soon (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572714)

Personally I think the backup thing is a red herring in the consumer market. How hard is it to plug a USB hard drive in and use Time Machine/Windows Backup? It's a little more complicated in Linux, but not much and anyone with the technical chops to get Linux working in the first place can almost certainly handle it. Since Windows 7 (maybe Vista? I dunno, never used Vista seriously) and OSX 10.5 backups on the two major consumer OSes are incredibly easy. Granted, if you are hit by some major natural disaster or fire you might still lose data; but for most consumers that's probably the least of their worries when they're hit by something so serious.

To be fair, I do have a "cloud" data account. I used my Dropbox mainly for things that I feel like I might want to have available to me anywhere. There's definite advantages to being able to access my resume from my phone, for instance.

Re:Too big a change too soon (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572532)

3) To save a tiny bit on money on the client hardware
4) Automated backups and updates, etc.

Re:Too big a change too soon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572710)

Google doesn't sell your data - read their privacy policy (RTFPP) - they use it for targeted advertisements and that's it. Now Facebook, on the other hand, does sell your data.

Re:Too big a change too soon (1)

kwenf (1531623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34573000)

2) because you generously want to share all your data with Google, so they can turn around and sell it for beaucoup bucks to marketers and get rich on your back

No wonder ChromeOS is dead, we already have facebook for that.

Re:Too big a change too soon (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572508)

Even if it were a problem, it's a problem they've solved on all the other OSes, because you can access the same Google apps on those. Investing in a ChromeOS machine provides you a set of advantages that are all present on lots of other machines, with none of those machines' other benefits. It'll have to sell on simplicity itself and a low device cost if it's to really work as a product.

Re:Too big a change too soon (2)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34573030)

with none of those machines' other benefits

Also with none of those machines' drawbacks. You don't have to worry about compatibility issues, memory issues, hard drive space, hard drive crashes, backups, etc...

It'll have to sell on simplicity itself and a low device cost if it's to really work as a product

Uhh, that's exactly what they're doing. You plug it in, turn it on, it boots up instantly, and you go. And since it doesn't rely on all the extra hardware garbage that encumbers other computers, it's vastly cheaper. Sure, maybe it's not for everyone, but I can't imagine there isn't a sizable market for something like this.

Re:Too big a change too soon (4, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572578)

The problem with ChromeOS is it is trying to solve a problem them doesn't exist.
The problem that exists is your Mac, Windows or Linux box gives you the ability to 'change' to some clean state when you quit your browser.
Google wants to track you from power up to shutdown and Chrome is the first good attempt in that direction.
ChromeOS is like a browser that never gets its cookies cleaned and reverts to a cookie safe hardware state on booting.
A huge leap in tracking your habits.

Re:Too big a change too soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572684)

Bwa? You seem really focused on what you think cloud should mean to you...but there's a lot more out there for most people.

Cloud computing makes sense for people well outside of just renting compute (though a lot of consumer probs could be boiled down to just that...renting data/capacity...if us pocket-protectors ruled the world). A market place of CPUs-for-hire is kind of limited in vision to scientists and engineers on the face of it. Plus, it's strangely dinosaurish. "Madge, call up Central Processing. We need to fold us some proteins pronto!"

In addition to those kinds of uses, it's an attractive model for casual consumers that (potentially) allows them to have and change between multiple (and mobile) devices. If that doesn't strike you as something that's worthwhile or attractive to any variety of users....well.

While having a set of "Chrome services" packages for Linux or Windows or Mac sounds pretty cool (I'd use it), the idea that ChromeOS should only be that is similarly narrow...I mean look at what you suggested...swapping something that aims to be easy, cheap, device/location ubiquitous, and flexible for the general consumer with a full Linux desktop?

Re:Too big a change too soon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572790)

The problem with ChromeOS is it is trying to solve a problem them doesn't exist. Why upload data into the cloud if you don't need to share it or have access to it on the move?
You don't want to need to upload all your data to the cloud before you can do anything with it.

Cloud computing makes sense for people who want to rent computer processing power on an adhoc basis to solve computational problems.

Students attending university or college for 2-4 years would be one market segment which might benefit from always-available from anywhere access to their applications and data (student records, course syllabi and materials, essays, assignments, computing environments, applications, etc.). While the cloud architecture might not be suited to everyone there are specialized niches that could potentially achieve benefit. Of course at the end of their studies the students should be able to retrieve all their data files.

Re:Too big a change too soon (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572972)

The problem with ChromeOS is it is trying to solve a problem them doesn't exist.

The problem that exists is that a fat OS with local apps is a bugger to maintain and keep up to date. Conceptually at least, the beauty of something like Chrome is that the footprint of what needs to ever be updated can be much, much smaller -- and hence, hopefully, need updating less frequently. Everything else is maintained remotely, so the user doesn't have to worry about it.

Application software upgrades "just happen" without the user having to do anything. (How many times have you performed a GMail upgrade install? And Thunderbird?). Users can treat storage as if it's limitless, because it's remote and the provider is always adding capacity.

I like these features.

By contrast; I'm prompted to update Android apps more than weekly, and I keep having to move apps around to make space. Windows and Linux, similarly.

Its all about who it is marketed to... (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572980)

Why upload data into the cloud if you don't need to share it or have access to it on the move?

So perhaps the target market for ChromeOS devices, when they actually hit the market, will be people who need to share data and have access to it on the move?

I'd see it as a product for the corporate market, where keeping central control of all your users data, banishing CDs and memory sticks and preventing the serfs from installing games and fart apps on their devices would be a selling point. Someone leaves their ChromePad on a train? No worries - just lock their account and check the log to see if anybody has used the account in the meantime.

Of course, all this has happened again (with Sun's plans for Java-based thin client network computers back in the 90s, but a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. For one thing, the proliferation of mobile devices, laptops, working on the move, hot desking has made maintaining a "fleet" of computers with local storage an even bigger headache than it was back then. Secondly, the 90s was the peak of the MS monoculture, and people might now be more open to a non-MS solution.

Its hard to judge based on "development machines" and people trying out ChromeOS on VMs. If Google finally launches this as part of a corporate-friendly "IT Outsourcing" package then it might just work.

Maybe yes... (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572410)

...maybe no. Surely the point is that Chrome OS allows Google and other devs to push the boundaries of what functionality can be contained within a web browser i.e. Chrome. If they can demonstrate that hey, you can do facetube/music/pics etc quite happily within a browser then a Google user could get a very similar experience across multiple devices with the same access to their data.
I'd see the natural home of Chrome OS as more on embedded devices - TVs, etc - rather than anything else.

I think ChromeOS will be a success. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572424)

With the ARM notebooks coming, and the fact that it' is rumored to support virtual machines, the cloud, and many other features, ChromeOS is far from dead. As soon as the ARM based notebooks are powerful enough, and the cost is in the $200-300 range, I'll buy one.

And I predict many others will buy it as well. Saying ChromeOS is dead is like saying Kindle is dead because of the Ipad.

Re:I think ChromeOS will be a success. (3, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572488)

Virtual Machines? I think you're thinking of "Chromoting" which I believe is a remote desktop-type feature.

I tried an HTML5 VNC client and it was as slow as molasses, though that's not a surprise because even on desktops I have found VNC to be slow. Hopefully Chrome Remoting will offer better performance.

Re:I think ChromeOS will be a success. (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572526)

With the ARM notebooks coming, and the fact that it' is rumored to support virtual machines, the cloud, and many other features, ChromeOS is far from dead. As soon as the ARM based notebooks are powerful enough, and the cost is in the $200-300 range, I'll buy one.

Please explain why you would want an ARM net/notebook running ChromeOS over an ARM net/notebook running Android and able to do everything ChromeOS can do and then some.

Re:I think ChromeOS will be a success. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572568)

Rumored to support the cloud? WTF are you talking about? Chrome OS relies on googles 'cloud' infrastructure.

ARM notebooks have been coming for years now while x86 (atom etc) gets more power efficient all the time - I wouldn't hold your breath. There is a reason why the Chrome OS reference laptop has an intel atom CPU in it.....

Re:I think ChromeOS will be a success. (1)

mrjatsun (543322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572576)

I would much rather have a Ubuntu based ARM netbook than a ChromeOS one. Just because an ARM netbook may be interesting.. Doesn't mean ChromeOS is.

Re:I think ChromeOS will be a success. (1)

disi (1465053) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572586)

Agree, I have one of those WM8505 netbooks (cheap enough) running Debian with an Android kernel and one of the Cortex Touchbooks running Gentoo.with 2.6.32 extra patched kernel
As for now I only use the netbook on console to hook up to some computers via ssh (which works great, even X forwarding etc.). The Touchbook is more for testing stufff, but E17 works also great on it.

I don't even see the purpose of some netbook tailored distribution. You just install/compile what you might need and leave out the rest.

The biggest problem for now is the kernel, because most ARM devices have some custom boards and need certain patches. Sometimes it's hard to reverse engineer some working kernel.

Re:I think ChromeOS will be a success. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34573026)

I don't even see the purpose of some netbook tailored distribution. You just install/compile what you might need and leave out the rest.

A tailored distribution would leave out things that won't fit on the device's internal display.

The only way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572446)

The only way I believe that ChromeOS will work is if the devices which use it are free (as in beer) or you can get one by mailing in some cereal box top or something.

They are web-only devices which are nice for having sitting around the living room for guests to use and for quickly checking your email.

Who is the audience? (4, Insightful)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572460)

Based on my experience, Chrome is a solution in search of a problem. I've had it running in a VM on my laptop. Seriously, if you're going to be springing for a low end notebook anyway, there's not much of a cost advantage to buying a ChromeOS machine and one that can run a full-featured OS. This might have made sense a few years ago when prices were higher, but a quick look around tells me I can get a refurbed notebook for around $200 that'll run Windows or Linux adequately to do anything Chrome does, and quite a bit more besides.

As a business tool, it's all but useless. Google provides no mechanism for installing even standard Linux VPN software which most companies provide for their remote employees. Or any other software, for that matter. Also, no company with a brain in their head is going to allow employees to be storing internal data on another company's servers. This might be a little more useful if a company could customize it to use internal servers rather than Google's, but as far as I've been able to tell, that option just doesn't exist.

As a striped down Linux distro, it isn't bad, but the lack of a mechanism for loading 3rd party software negates even that benefit. So you have to ask - who would use this, and why? There isn't even a cost advantage for the software. You can download a standard Linux distro that has all the features of Chrome, and a wealth of standard productivity tools to boot for the same price as Chrome - free.

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572498)

"As a business tool, it's all but useless"

umm.. unless you run your business in the could, want a 'laptop' that you can hand out to your employees and not worry about what the hell is on there if either it gets left on a park bench or another employee uses it.

sounds absolutely perfect for business and government.

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

IronWilliamCash (1078065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572606)

"As a business tool, it's all but useless"

umm.. unless you run your business in the could, want a 'laptop' that you can hand out to your employees and not worry about what the hell is on there if either it gets left on a park bench or another employee uses it.

sounds absolutely perfect for business and government.

I agree 100% with the added bonus that you don't even have to manage backups!

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572622)

Show me a business that's eager to keep their internal data on a 3rd party's *publicly accessable* server. That seems to me it'd be a little bit riskier than an isolated laptop getting lost. I've yet to work for a company that would even consider it.

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572964)

and I'll show you a contract to make the service more to your liking.

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

DarkXale (1771414) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572654)

That can be, and already is, solved by current implementations. Has for decades. Yes, it requires 5 minutes of the IT crew actually bothering setting the correct policies...

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572662)

I wonder how strong the wireless handshake would be from the park bench as an employee has lunch looking for free 'wi fi'.
I really hope its got one top spec wireless setting.
If the employee can roll back the wireless networking to some old standard ...

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572974)

encrypted network, everything on the servers, sandboxing.

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

timepilot (116247) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572572)

People keep saying this kind of thing. I remember predictions of the failure of the ipod too. And Ken Olsen from DEC said in 1977 "there is no reason for any individual to have a computer at his home."

Smart companies are going to dig into this kind of r&d to help meet the needs that we can't predict from where we are. If all a company does is make things that are obviously necessary or immediate successes, then we don't really make much progress.

Re:Who is the audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572826)

I agree. However, As a striped down Linux distro, it isn't bad, but the lack of a mechanism for loading 3rd party software negates even that benefit.

This is why iPhone/iOS/Windows/DOS/Android took off. It is *dead* simple to install an application and add new functionality you didnt have when you bought it. Make it hard or only sandbox ones (wince, etc) you end up with a 'cool' device that sells moderately well but eventually people dont care about it.

Make it hard to add functionality and people will eventually pass over your device for some other sandboxed device that does more.

The other reasons he gave were simply reasons *HE* will not buy it. That last one though is why others will not.

Now dont get me wrong a sandboxed device will sell moderately well. Hell in this case on the google name alone. But to hype up the 'cloud' part really is kind of silly. It matters not one iota where my data is. Just so long as I can add new stuff, and I can get at my data quickly. Cloud computing is a marginally better *way* to do the last one. However, if I need to bring a computer along anyway... 'Cloud storage' is a interesting idea. But needs work. It is why you see all of the big players working on it.

Now if it has a rich infrastructure for adding new apps. Then it may even be a cool device...

Re:Who is the audience? (2)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572638)

This might be a little more useful if a company could customize it to use internal servers rather than Google's, but as far as I've been able to tell, that option just doesn't exist.

Ever heard of Google Apps? [google.com]

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572652)

Addendum: I'm pretty sure there are packages that allow you to use your own servers, though everything I see there implies it's on Google's servers. :/

Re:Who is the audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572726)

Well duh.... any company site that runs on a web server is available....just a problem that most companies have not adopted web delivery for all internal apps,, which is simply short sighted

Re:Who is the audience? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572944)

While I consider ChromeOS to be pretty redundant as a separate entity to Android it did have support to write native code, or at least apps which thought they were running natively. The native client SDK contains a toolchain to compile C/C++ apps into LLVM bytecode. That might be sufficient to write a user land combination VPN / web proxy / SOCKS server that the browser & apps could be configured to use. Chrome is also a browser so corporates could point it at any web applications they used internally or externally.

The bigger issue for ChromeOS is that it's duplicated effort. I really don't see much benefit for it to exist as a separate thing to Android. The LLVM would be a good thing to include in Android (imagine the fireworks when someone emulates the iOS APIs!), and the Chrome browser might still have a place in netbook versions of the OS. But as a separate entity it seems pretty pointless.

Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572522)

Maybe this fad of "lets put a browser window around everything just because we can" fad is finally coming to an end.

Maybe because doing everything you use your computer for over HTTP using some company's server just because its modern and being touted as the inevitable future way of doing things is no longer enough of a reason for people to actually do things that way.

The tablets killed the netbooks (2)

Mbraz (1804942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572558)

He's right. But Google haven't spent 2 years and millions of dollars in a dead project just for fun.

Chrome was announced 2 years ago, when the tablet market was just a speculation, even the iPad was just a rumor at that time. But now, after millions iPads sold and the rise of competitor's tablets struggling for this new market, the netbooks -- the real Chrome OS target -- became irrelevant, or predicted to be dead in a 2-3 years from now.

The advent of the tablets killed the netbooks. So there will be no place for Chrome OS in a near future.

Re:The tablets killed the netbooks (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572644)

But for what it is worth, iPads are still crushing the competition, even in corporate IT [slashdot.org] .

This guy is an idiot, it's pathetic. (1)

xxdesmus (932581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572590)

For the love of god, can we just stop calling him the "Gmail creator" at this point? It's pathetic. Good to see it's his only claim to fame. Wait, you mean he created an online email system? Shocking! Gmail isn't exactly rocket science guys ...don't get too impressed when he talks about anything else.

Re:This guy is an idiot, it's pathetic. (4, Informative)

mrjatsun (543322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572630)

from wikipedia "Paul Buchheit is an American computer programmer and entrepreneur. He was the creator and lead developer of Gmail. He developed the original prototype of Google AdSense as part of his work on Gmail. He also suggested the company's now-famous motto "Don't be evil" in a 2000 meeting on company values.[1]"

Hmm, why the hate.. It sounds like he's done some stuff.. What have you done?

Long live the cloud (2)

Diav70 (1960156) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572602)

ChromeOS if far from dead, but probably a bit ahead of its time. Soon everything will be in the cloud. Already services like Spotify and Netflix are taking over from DVD's and MP3's and as soon as web applications get a bit better we will be using those in the cloud as well. Just imagine no more updates you log on and you will always be using the latest version. The chromeOS will be very light and less prone to bugs and the days of having to spend time to fix your system will be over giving you more time to actually use a computer for what you bought if for. Also the fact that you can access all of your data, music, videos and anything else is great. I say that all this is a bit ahead of its time as there are still many places in the world that do not have the bandwidth to cope with everything being on the cloud but someday they will. Long live the cloud.

Echos OS X vs. iOS theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572696)

This premise echos MacWord's comments on the relevance of Apples's OS X in these days where iOS proliferates.
Why should a technology company develop two OS's when they would be better served to make one OS better and universal across several devices?

Sounds familiar... (1)

KnightMareInc (978421) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572728)

Didn't a number of people say this about Android when it (seemly) went no where its first year and a half after release? Either way I'm sure friendfeed being bought by faceobok had zero influence over his comments.

You Twit (1)

madcat2c (1292296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572738)

Why pay beta testers, when people will pay to beta test your product?

Surprised it took so long (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572768)

ChromeOS is Google's Kin. It might have seemed like a good idea on its own, but it's sharing the nest with a more viable and more successful sibling. It should have died a long time ago or become part of whatever tablet / netbook profile Google are coming up with for Android. I can't think of many reasons that the chrome app couldn't be running over Android when all is said and down and the Native Client (which is LLVM + APIs) could come too and would probably complement the existing Dalvik framework.

is this for real or a hoax? (1)

minirock000 (1085613) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572852)

i was going to link this to FB from this site then changed my mind. i copy pasted it this is the story that link comes up with, Job's And Ellison Prank - Slashdot http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/12/16/ [slashdot.org] here is a screenie on fb http://awesomescreenshot.com/09a4rpo9f [awesomescreenshot.com]

I suspect... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34573004)

That ChromeOS is not necessarily going on to the brightest of futures; but that it serves a number of valuable purposes to Google:

1. Serious 'dogfooding': Google's business is pushing 'web' and 'webapps' and whatnot, both to sell adsense impressions and to steal MS's lunch money to keep them from subsidizing their search arm until it becomes a real threat. Building an OS around this exclusively allows them to bundle in a few neat features(widespread single sign on without a corporate IT team, some interesting security/sandboxing stuff, easy restoration/backup) and also forces them to think carefully about how all common user use cases can be addressed in a 'web' way. Does HTML5 need something else? Do we have to get serious about NaCl? Is Flash still necessary, etc. Assuming the program doesn't rack up serious losses, it makes sense as an R&D project.

2. Possible basis for moving Android applications/features into larger form factors: I can imagine two possibilities: 1. ChromeOS, as noted above, is an R&D project about what a web browser needs to be able to do to fulfill the desired use cases. Android has a web browser. Therefore, roll what you've learned into Android's web browser and call it a day. 2. Android, in effect, consists of a java-esque(but don't call it Java(tm)) bunch of applications running in a VM on top of a relatively spare linux base. ChromeOS consists of a browser running on top of a fairly spare linux base. It would not exactly be rocket surgery to use the browser/HTML as a "windowing environment" in which dalvik VM applications from Android can be embedded, just like the Java applets of old. Throw in a way for the user to full-screen an embed, if it is designed for a larger screen, integrate Android's notifications into the system(given the R&D about sandboxing and security in the browser, in point #1, you could conceivably allow the Dalvik embeds to interact with the DOM of the page, present Android system notifications/address book, etc. as JS accessible elements, etc.)

3. The "big business IT for small business" pitch: With a competent IT team, and some investments in servers and AD and stuff, an enterprise IT department can already to centralized data storage, remote application access, single sign on, etc. If you have enough users, the cost/user isn't bad; but it isn't trivial, and there some costs that are fixed enough that things get more expensive in $/user, as you get smaller. So, a lot of small outfits basically make do either with painfully expensive consultant setups-and-pray-it-doesn't-break-so-we-don't-have-to-call-him-back or seriously ghastly "just a bunch of computers and some good luck, plus sneakernet". So, Google says: "Hey, subscribe to Google Apps for business for $/person/year and get all Google apps, a Gmail storage and interface for mail from your own domain, and seamless single sign on and backup on any "ChromeOS" device on the market! Since the hardware requirements are low, our numerous hardware partners have netbooks, laptops, desktops, even virtualized option cards for full laptops(analogous to Dell's "Latitude ON" card). If one breaks, just toss it and get another one, you'll be back up and running in 10 minutes just by opening the box and typing in your username and password. No IT guy!(except to keep your network up...)"

It will only suceed in sub $100 devices (1)

roger_pasky (1429241) | more than 3 years ago | (#34573038)

It's a good idea to have an "aimed to browsing and nothing else" device, just like the Network Computers envisioned by Sun 15 years ago (the computer is the network), but anything more expensive than an iPad touch is a worthless effort. It must beat sexyness, efficency and the lot of things it also does besides price.
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