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Sergey Brin: Windows Is "Torturing Users"

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the apple-is-waterboarding-me dept.

Google 645

jbrodkin writes "Google created Chrome OS because Windows is 'torturing users,' Google co-founder Sergey Brin says. Only about 20% of Google employees use Windows, with the rest on Mac and Linux, and Brin hopes that by next year nearly all Googlers will be using Chromebooks. 'With Microsoft, and other operating system vendors, I think the complexity of managing your computer is really torturing users,' Brin told reporters at Google I/O. 'It's torturing everyone in this room. It's a flawed model fundamentally. Chromebooks are a new model that doesn't put the burden of managing the computer on yourself.' Google claims 75% of business users could be moved from Windows computers to Chrome laptops."

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Isn't leaving things out fun? (5, Insightful)

Rhywden (1940872) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106148)

I love how "With Microsoft, and other operating system vendors, I think the complexity of managing your computer is really torturing users" becomes "With Microsoft, I think the complexity of managing your computer is really torturing users"

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (5, Insightful)

Rary (566291) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106270)

A more accurate headline would've been "Sergey Brin thinks managing your own computer is 'torture'."

More interesting is the implication that, with the exception of about 20% of their employees, the brilliant engineers at Google can't handle managing their own computer. I use Windows at work. I can't say that I spend a whole lot of time "managing" my computer. I'm too busy getting work done— and hanging out on Slashdot, of course ;).

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106334)

I use Windows at work. I can't say that I spend a whole lot of time "managing" my computer. I'm too busy getting work done— and hanging out on Slashdot, of course ;).

If you're working for a company of any appreciable size, there is a very good chance your IT department is using AD to ensure that the amount of work you have to do in terms of managing your computer is nil or as near as possible nil.

If you're not working for a company of any appreciable size, the amount of work you'd have to do is pretty small anyway.

Home users don't want to do even that much work (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106426)

If you're not working for a company of any appreciable size, the amount of work you'd have to do is pretty small anyway.

Yet far too many home users don't want to do even that much work. How much work is it to avoid installing fake antivirus?

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (2, Funny)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106474)

>>>"Sergey Brin thinks managing your own computer is 'torture'."

I think Sergey Brin is just off his rocker. I've had Windows XP for almost ten years now, and I don't have to "manage" anything. Every year or so I wipe the drive with a fresh XP-CD install, and need to reinstall my favorite programs, but that would be true of any OS, whether it's Mac, Lubuntu, or Chrome. Otherwise WinXP just works. Like my car. Or my microwave*. Or my stereo.

*
* The lightbulb burned out, but it still works after 20 years.

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106530)

I have had my Macbook pro for 4 years. I have never wiped the mac partition and it still runs just fine. I can't say that I really have to manage it all that much either.

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (2)

murdocj (543661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106646)

I've been running various Windows computers for 20 to 25 years, don't recall ever having to wipe the partition and reinstall. I don't do a whole lot of management either. I'm baffled by the whole "Windows is so hard for the average user to manage" argument. Maybe if you are managing a server farm you are way better off with Linux, but for the average desktop user it's just not a big deal.

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106572)

I've yet to wipe any of my Mac and create clean installs, including my 5 year old iMac.

The only users I know that have the sort of "clean-out every once in a while" mindset when it comes to OSs are Windows users.

Wipe and reload (1)

p4nther2004 (1171621) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106576)

--Every year or so I wipe the drive with a fresh XP-CD install, and need to reinstall my favorite programs, but that would be true of any OS, whether it's Mac, Lubuntu, or Chrome. Actually, I've had a Fedora Core Server I need to switch over to Ubuntu. Still haven't gotten around to it. It's been running flawlessly for years. Why would you need to wipe and reload the OS?

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106336)

Quick, name another operating system that for the typical user will require even one tenth as much caring attention as Windows.

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (1)

yakatz (1176317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106412)

I have 3 Windows desktops, one Mac and three Linux (Ubuntu and Red Hat). The Windows ones require the least amount of "caring attention". The Mac loses its network connection constantly and don't get me started on the troubles with Ubuntu and Red Hat.

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (3, Funny)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106604)

The Mac loses its network connection constantly

Now we finally know why it takes forever to copy that 17MB file.

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106608)

All of my Linux machines have been "fire and forget". That includes Slackware 96 and goes all the way up to Ubuntu 10.04.

(something else upon which this ChromeOS idea is based on)

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106466)

Are you talking about Desktop OS? Are we limited to just ones that people actually use? Wouldn't that just mean Windows and Mac which are pretty much equal in the care department.

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106600)

That's a load of dingo's kidneys. I've supported regular Mac and Windows users doing very much the same kind of stuff, visiting the same sites, et cetera and the Windows machines get stunk up faster and require more maintenance. And I'm more familiar with Windows and I still say that. I think OSX is a train wreck but as a user I'd far rather that than any version of Windows to date or probably announced and impending. If I hadn't turned off automatic updates then my Linux system would have maintained itself for me just fine.

Windows has a lot of very real advantages, which is why I have a Win7x64 notebook, a WinXP notebook, and a WinXP dual-boot on my desktop. One of the big ones that I'm not even taking advantage of is the management tools. But that doesn't apply to a typical user... "are you talking about desktop OS?" Give me a break, I said typical user, don't be an obtuse dickwad.

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106632)

MacOS is not nearly as trouble prone as Windows. Not by a long shot. It has it's own flaws but being an ongoing maintenance and cleanup issue is not one of them.

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (1)

murdocj (543661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106694)

Just what "caring attention" does Windows require?

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106380)

The actual translation is "When you use Windows without Chrome, we can't track everything you do, and use that information to make money".

Re:Isn't leaving things out fun? (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106508)

Also, they completely missed the part about how "Using Windows was like living in a town of terror—it was like a terror town".

Google thinks people shoud use their os, shocker (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106156)

Really? This passes for a story, this is a blatant ad.

I feel no torture as I write this from my Windows box.

Re:Google thinks people shoud use their os, shocke (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106234)

I could see the "torture" thing specifically for Microsoft but it really doesn't fly for more robust products.

This really comes off like lame iPad propaganda. Except Google doesn't have any legacy products they're trying to trash.

Re:Google thinks people shoud use their os, shocke (1)

Tobenisstinky (853306) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106338)

I work with Mac OS Leopard and Snow Leopard, Windows (XP, Vista, and 7) and Ubuntu 8 and 10; and I agree. Windows is torture. It has improved over the years, but so slowly. Certain things make no sense. Why for data backup and restore do you use two different control panels? Why is this not integrated into one; like every other data recovery program? Unfortunately it seems that Ubuntu takes a lot of it's queues from Windows rather than taking the best of either or inovating the GUI? ...but I digress...

And yes it's a bit of a rant, and no I didn't RTFA or go to bed.

bye.

Re:Google thinks people shoud use their os, shocke (1)

thorntonmark (1223742) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106378)

Why for data backup and restore do you use two different control panels?

Because you back up every day and restore once a year.

Re:Google thinks people shoud use their os, shocke (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106592)

Not really a good point. You have been using backup for years, you know where it is. Now you need to restore for the first time. The first place you are going to look is the same place that you created the backups. Thats where the restore functionality should be.

Re:Google thinks people shoud use their os, shocke (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106452)

I've been kicking around the idea for a while that MS ought to be paying us to use their OS, given that they don't seem to have managed to get one out of beta in all the years that I was using them. I'm in the process of backing up my data so that I can leave Windows for good, dual booting only for games until games no longer are supported under XP. It's gotten to the point where, finally, the last few things that I needed Windows for can be done under Linux.

It's not just the lack of consistency, it's the lack of documentation and the inconsistent documentation. The Home version of their OSes will often times contain information meant for the Professional line, with very little to indicate that the Home version lacks the functionality. But, more than that it's rather insulting to the user that they get charged more for the Professional line despite the fact that it actually costs MS less to make than it does to yank those features from Home.

Not to mention the times when things just break, and there's only an obscure error code to hint at the problem.

Re:Google thinks people shoud use their os, shocke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106488)

Ubuntu takes a lot of it's queues from

My god...

Re:Google thinks people shoud use their os, shocke (0)

ratnerstar (609443) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106614)

You're being tortured, you just don't know it.

Actually, Sergey is a bit behind the times, linguistically. He should have said that Windows is conducting enhanced interrogations on users.

Re:Google thinks people shoud use their os, shocke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106702)

Really? Start examining your bloated winsxs folder. Mine is now at 10GB and the windows folder has ballooned to over 20GB. It truly is a POS OS built upon a foundation of legacy crap.

lol (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106166)

russki jew faggot

Another shocker (4, Insightful)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106226)

Company bringing out product says competition bad. News at 11.

Negative quote about "Microsoft and others" summarised on Slashdot as negative quote about Microsoft. News at 11.

Is anyone else as bored of this shit as me?

Re:Another shocker (1)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106264)

It's actually interesting in a horrible sort of way- kinda like watching American politics. /popcorn

Re:Another shocker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106358)

Actual statements were made, which could also be addressed, even if the high level interpretation of "We are good, our competition is bad." being expected is insightful.

So, having identified obviousness what do you think of the merit of the actual claim that one is a better model than the other?

Wait, what? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106228)

They use Linux (amongst others) because managing Windows is too complex. Seriously?

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106440)

You can just "use" a linux computer without wasting time with shit.

Never need to run defrag (sure it's scheduled now, but still a pain in the ass to wait on an unresponsive pc)
No updates for AV/AntiSpyware.
You can choose to update all vulnerable applications with one command. Good luck getting Windows Update to patch 3rd party apps. That's your job on Windows.
I can let non computer people use my Linux computer without any popups or spyware when I get it back.
I can upgrade or remove hardware without any painful activation garbage.
My filesystems are an open published standard. Good luck with reverse engineering M$ garbage.
I can audit the code and make updates myself. Yes I am a programmer.

Basically I just use the computer. I only fix things at work where we run Windows.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106538)

The only limitation to Linux as a wholesale replacement for Windows is that the GUI still isn't *right*. Gnome and KDE are both -good-, but neither are -great-, about it. They feel like Windows 3.1 to me, where there's a GUI, and that's great, but you could still see the DOS prompt trying to peek out under it everywhere. With Gnome at least, it feels (to me) like the GUI just helps you find where to put the command-line stuff, but you still need to know all the bashes and slashes to make the machine comply, when a checkbox would have gotten it done.

I haven't had a chance to try the new Unity interface on Ubuntu yet, hopefully that will be *it*. The old Ubuntu was the closest I could find to a *right* GUI on Linux to date, unless you count Android (which I'd love to run as a PC OS). We need a couple of game designers to come up with a simple, HUD-like interface for dealing with Linux. Give us a Linux you could use with an Xbox 360 controller or a Wiimote, and I'll show you the death of Windows.

Re:Wait, what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106582)

You can just "use" a linux computer without wasting time with shit.

Sure until your wireless, audio or video break after you run an update?

Never need to run defrag (sure it's scheduled now, but still a pain in the ass to wait on an unresponsive pc)

Umm, I can run defrag while playing a game in Win7 and it doesn't cause the PC to be unresponsive.

No updates for AV/AntiSpyware.

Or you can just be smart and not need one at all.

You can choose to update all vulnerable applications with one command. Good luck getting Windows Update to patch 3rd party apps. That's your job on Windows.

Almost any major app has it's own auto-update mechanism.

I can let non computer people use my Linux computer without any popups or spyware when I get it back.

And I can do the same in Windows.

I can upgrade or remove hardware without any painful activation garbage.

I can too on Windows.

My filesystems are an open published standard. Good luck with reverse engineering M$ garbage.

Almost no Windows users care about knowing the specs of their filesystem nor do they care to reverse engineer it.

I can audit the code and make updates myself. Yes I am a programmer.

Again, niche requirement that doesn't apply for probably 99.9% of people using Windows.

Basically I just use the computer. I only fix things at work where we run Windows.

If you're constantly having to fix things on Windows that means you're incompetent.

Re:Wait, what? (2)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106678)

You started off so well with "no need to defrag", but you list quickly went downhill. I mean seriously? You think Linux is easier to administer because:

My filesystems are an open published standard. Good luck with reverse engineering M$ garbage.
I can audit the code and make updates myself. Yes I am a programmer.

If you are having to care about your filesystem or read source code then your system is NOT easy to use. Nor is it anything in the realms of what ordinary people can do (or would care about). How can you possibly claim that you "just use the computer" (if it is not Windows) just after saying that you have to audit the source code?

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106482)

That was my exact thought, what's the most people have to do anyway? Disk Cleanup and Defrag (If that, seeing as it's semi-automated). And security such as anti-virus and adware? Bad security habits cause nearly all of those problems and they would simply do the same thing on any other OS except with a false sense of security.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106486)

I take it you haven't used Linux or Windows lately. I've spent an awful lot of time over the years on things in Windows which would be very quick to address in other OSes, but I can't conveniently deal with because I didn't spend more money on the better copy of Windows. As much shit as I give Apple, at least they've its got the decency not to release multiple OSes for the same market. Sure you can get a device with the iOS, OSX or whatever specific one they now use for servers, but it's pretty clear that if you're using a mobile what you have and if you're using a desktop/laptop what you have.

laptop desktop for business? (1)

dullertap (1733776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106236)

Why would people need to move from Windows computers (presumably PCs) to Chrome laptops? Are there any good reasons why a business user would want to be using a laptop? I know I wouldn't.

Re:laptop desktop for business? (2)

vlpronj (1345627) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106324)

Are there any good reasons why a business user would want to be using a laptop?

Because business users work in different locations on occasion?

Re:laptop desktop for business? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106414)

Re:laptop desktop for business? (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106590)

also, Google, WTG aspect ratio, with your ad text running right out of the billboard frame...

Re:laptop desktop for business? (2)

Patrick May (305709) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106672)

I'm responding from an airport lounge after two weeks in a different country with no permanent office. I do this every three to four weeks. Any more questions?

Windows is "torturing users" (1)

pancake_lover (310091) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106244)

Makes sense.

I believe windows is the favorite OS of masochists.

Mac's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106252)

Last time I used a Mac it tortured me, because I wasn't used to use it. How funny how that works. I'm sure he feels tortured because he isn't used to Windows.

Nothing to see here other than a marketing scheme. Move along.

News at 11 about Microsoft CEO mentioning that IE is faster and more user-friendly than Google Chrome.

And on that. I have Linux and Windows 7 at home. I have had better luck on using video conversion tools on Windows than on my Linux box. But I guess I mustn't be a good geek user. Then again I'm not a Google Employee, but working as a windows application/service programmer for a small company because that is their business model.

So 20% of Google employees are masochists? (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106262)

If Windows is torturing it's users, and ...

Only about 20% of Google employees use Windows,

... then at least 20% of Google employees are masochists.

... and when they're forcibly switched away from Windows, they'll be in the same position as the masochist in this joke:

Masochist: "Hurt me, hurt me, PLEASE HURT ME!"
Sadist: "No. SUFFER!"

Echo of Marc Andreesen. (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106272)

At the height of hubris on the IPO of Netscape, Marc Andressen was confidently predicting that the browser could become the standard interface for all applications and the underlying operating system would be reduced to some kind of commodity like the beige boxes. We all know what happened after.

This time around, the big difference is, Google has a revenue stream, some independence from Windows and management has some proven track record. But they are not competing against Windows95 either. Every niche from phone size all the way to 35 inch cine screen, from sub Gig memory machines all the way up to 128 GB monsters, are fully populated and variety of processors and OSes and business models proliferate. May be Chromachines will cut through the clutter and succeed. Or not. Only time will tell.

Re:Echo of Marc Andreesen. (1)

thetagger (1057066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106382)

Who knows, maybe Marc Andressen was right. A ton of infrastructure has been built to support his vision since then. Maybe the time is now.

Re:Echo of Marc Andreesen. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106578)

So this is like the Marc Andreeson prediction except in the numerous ways that it's not. And in conclusion, they may or may nor succeed.

Good post.

Re:Echo of Marc Andreesen. (3, Insightful)

gmueckl (950314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106606)

The opportunity for browsers to take over the desktop has been stronger than ever with the rise of such heterogeneous environments on phones, tablets, PCs, home appliances, gaming consoles etc. because it's a sort-of unified platform that faces the user and is simple to use with the juicy meat of the applications neatly tucked away in some server room in a totally controlled, purpose-built and professionally managed environment (for what that's worth - shrug). When you're able to target the browser you don't have to deal with half a dozen completely different system interfaces anymore on the client side, meaning you don't have to rewrite your client big time for every new platform that comes along.

And Google actually knows how to run the servers and write the software in order to make a profit. So the chances are that Google will take a considerable portion of the market with this. If this is for better or worse, only time will be able to tell.

Re:Echo of Marc Andreesen. (1)

Patrick May (305709) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106706)

I wish I had mod points for you. This is the most insightful comment I've read so far. Horses for courses.

75% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106292)

It doesn't have office. But 75% of businesses will be okay with using Google Docs instead.

Wow. I'm not 100% convinced they're wrong, but I must say, that is confident made-up crap taken to an Ubuntu Studio sort of level.

Windows tortures users... what's new? (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106316)

The things [exclusively] Windows users experience passes for "normal" most of the time and they never realize the abuses they deal with on a regular basis.

These things simply don't exist in other OSes. Things like shutting down taking almost as much time as starting up? What could be going on in the background in the shut-down process that could or should take so long?

But to be fair, it's not just Microsoft Windows that is the cause -- it's all those damned vendors who feel like they need to install a "quick load widget" with every program. And guess what happens when EVERYTHING installs one of those? Yup! (Damn you HP and all the rest! We don't want you quick-launchers and your damned ink/toner monitors!! We don't want your convenient drag and drop DVD burner tray applet!!)

This is what really tortures users. Any one of these things by themselves are not so bad. But any combination of them will cause torture.

Re:Windows tortures users... what's new? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106418)

A great deal of the pain of running Windows in a corporate environment comes from all of the "management" that corporations do to Windows. Some of this is clearly necessary in order to deal with n00b users and their tendency to do stupid things repeatedly. However, it does bog down Windows itself and annoys power users that realize that things don't have to be that bad (even with Windows).

Re:Windows tortures users... what's new? (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106644)

So give Windows a local permissioning system that works (a Win-chmod?) and come up with some simple profiles to select by default a point-and-clicky way.. stuff like, "Teenager", "Technical Adult", "Non-Technical Adult (n00b)", and "Computer Guy".

Re:Windows tortures users... what's new? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106616)

I agree. Quick load widget = don't know how to write a program without using boatloads of memory.

Choice. (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106318)

Some people are masochists and enjoy the pain of spyware and virus removal and/or dependency issues, upgrade problems, and lack of software support.

Some people are sadists and enjoy turning the "you don't own the hardware or software" model into a real life thing which they pretend won't be like leased access to a mainframe.

Others just want to use something that works for them and don't want to have some multi-billionaire telling them what they should want.

Sergey, I'm so very glad that your staff enjoys a mix of Windows, Linux, OS X, and Chrome. I like them all, except Chrome, too. I really don't feel miserable using Windows anymore (in fact, I feel far more miserable using OS X simply because I just don't know what's going on behind the scenes--and yes, I realize that's the way most people like it) and Linux has been powering my home network/servers for more than 15 years.

So to each their own. Go back to flying your planes, driving your boats, and making great ad-supported software which I can block out using AdBlock Plus for Firefox and keep your comments about what software and hardware choices I should make to yourself. We'll all be better off for it.

Re:Choice. (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106544)

Because you don't know what's going on behind the scenes in OSX...and yet you run Linux on home servers. I find that interesting because behind the scenes OSX is Unix. And it's not much different really from any other Unix or Unix-like OS I've used in the past 15 years.

Open up terminal and you can find out exactly what is going on "behind the scenes" the same way you can on any other BSD or Linux machine.

There is also Console and a host of other tools in the OSX Applications/Utilities folder as well that will tell you exactly what is going on in your system down to every error message that is logged including those silently logged and Activity Monitor...which will tell you pretty much every process that is running, how often your HDD is being read/written to, memory allocation, and what your internet connection is doing as far as sending/receiving packets.

So to say that you "Can't see what is happening behind the scenes" on OSX is something I find odd coming from someone having used Linux for 15 years.

Hell the reason I switched to OSX a decade ago was the fact I had my Unix with MS Office and Photoshop too plus hardware that worked. Didn't have this problem of needing to write drivers or spend countless hours trying to get a modem or sound card to work.

And I develop on OSX because it stays out of my way and lets me get work done. But if I need to, I can always go into said utilities and see exactly what is going on no different than any other BSD/Linux that I've used in the past.

Re:Choice. (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106670)

When the machine starts up I don't see anything. A desktop appears. I don't like that.

When I change a setting in the GUI I don't know what files were modified to make that happen.

I could go on but you get the idea.

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106320)

Computer Manages You!

Read between the lines (5, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106322)

If you read between the lines, this is a play to take away a user's ability to change the system rather than hiding that complexity to make the system easier to use. The difference is, in principle, about who ultimately controls the system. Google are going to roll out an Apple-like OS that locks the users in and make the same claim Apple makes about a better user experience to justify their choices.

Also, as a random aside, any company which moves their staff to Linux has lost a lot of legitimacy when they claim they have interests in bringing up the standard of usability or the user experience. Linux is far worse than Windows in terms of user experience (& complexity). I wouldn't even compare Linux to Windows 7, I would compare Windows 95 to Ubuntu 11, and honestly feel Windows 95 would win that battle.

Last point, I bet 70% non-Windows, means at least 60% on OS X, and approximately 10% on Linux.

Re:Read between the lines (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106370)

Silly Lemming nonsense.

For a corporate user, Linux presents the same WIMP interface that Windows or MacOS does. The main sticking point will be whether or not your proprietary applications are available. Beyond that, everything else is going to be pretty much identical from the user point of view.

Windows users still need to deal with anti-virus and defrags. Talk about Windows95 era nonsense.

The whole "WIMP is WIMP" principle is what this entire silly (ChromeOS) idea is based on.

Re:Read between the lines (1, Troll)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106458)

By that logic OS2 is as good as Linux, Windows, or OS X.

Windows 95 isn't easier to use, at least compared to OS X and Windows 7. But it is still at least a few years ahead of the best the Linux community can put out. But in fairness to them, they aren't aiming to make a desktop operating system just "anyone" can get up and use. They want to keep it as elitist and technically exclusive as possible. "READ THE MAN PAGE"

Re:Read between the lines (1, Insightful)

SiChemist (575005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106598)

Wow, just wow. So much FUD packed into so little space. It's almost impressive.

Re:Read between the lines (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106686)

Utter nonsense.

Windows 95 isn't ahead of anything. That's just stupid Lemming trolling.

Your nonsense wasn't even applicable back in 1995. Never mind now.

You should get your cultural mythology straight. It's the Unix users that are lazy.

Now that's missing the point (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106396)

Linux is not worse than Windows in terms of user experience. Perhaps Gnome or KDE are worse than Windows XP desktop (I personally prefer Gnome of the three). But Linux the operating system is not worse than Windows the operating system; most users never really come into contact with either of them, at least, not in a well run corporate environment. However, the point about Chrome is that it is Linux with a Google Chrome like front end. That's not stupid; webOS is a similar concept and a lot of people who try it like it very much. The user experience is defined by the quality of the applications that run in Chrome.

Wow. Nice shilling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106468)

If you read between the lines, this is a play to take away a user's ability to change the system rather than hiding that complexity to make the system easier to use. The difference is, in principle, about who ultimately controls the system. Google are going to roll out an Apple-like OS that locks the users in and make the same claim Apple makes about a better user experience to justify their choices.

So, no lock-in from Microsoft?

Linux is far worse than Windows in terms of user experience (& complexity).

My experience is exactly the opposite. Please give a specific example of what is so difficult with linux?

In terms of installation, Ubuntu blows any version of windows right out of the water. Also, linux setup seems far more logical since it actually reflects the under-lying file system - no putting desktop at the top level etc.

As a linux user, I never worry about malware, and I don't have to worry about BSA extortionist thugs either. In linux, I can actually remove software that I no longer want. With linux I don't have to worry about registering software, or being strong-armed into an unwanted upgrade.

Re:Wow. Nice shilling (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106524)

We aren't talking about lock-ins we're talking about lock-outs. Microsoft's technology absolutely has people locked in, but other than their mobile offerings, it doesn't lock people out.

I think you seriously need a reality check. Nobody, except Linux users, would use the installation, licensing, the file system layout to justify why a system has good usability. In fact the irony of that defence almost proves my point within its self.

Re:Wow. Nice shilling (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106588)

Again, please give three specific examples of what is so difficult with GNU/Linux.

Re:Read between the lines (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106664)

Last point, I bet 70% non-Windows, means at least 60% on OS X, and approximately 10% on Linux.

You're correct. Also of note: those stats are for Google employees' work computers, not their home use, and it's because after the China gmail debacle Google decided to switch all users away from Windows. They haven't completed the process, but soon the Windows user share in Google will be down to nearly 0, because already it takes some heavy petitioning to be given an exception to the rule and allowed to keep running Windows. A lot of people are requesting those exceptions, but they're not handed out very freely.

I'm amused that Google's response to a targeted security breach is to move to the operating system that is most vulnerable to targeted security breaches, as OSX loses pwn2own almost every year.

Let's talk about ANDROID then Mr. Brin... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106332)

Per my subject-line above, some "examples thereof":

http://www.net-security.org/malware_news.php?id=1718 [net-security.org]

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/10/android_malware_attacks/ [theregister.co.uk]

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/jacks-blog-10017212/android-and-facebook-attract-more-malware-attacks-10022271/ [zdnet.co.uk]

http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/10/12/30/1856242/Android-Trojan-Found-Spreading-From-Chinese-App-Stores [slashdot.org]

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/bf3d6002-452e-11e0-80e7-00144feab49a.html#axzz1FdlXHJmB [ft.com]

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/29/android_data_disclosure_bug/ [theregister.co.uk]

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/03/01/0041203/Infected-Androids-Run-Up-Big-Texting-Bills [slashdot.org]

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/01/29/1946202/New-Android-Exploit-Discovered-To-Steal-Data [slashdot.org]

http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/10/11/27/213219/Security-Expert-Warns-of-Android-Browser-Flaw [slashdot.org]

http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/11/21/1321200.shtml [slashdot.org]

http://linux.slashdot.org/story/10/11/02/2238205/Serious-Security-Bugs-Found-In-Android-Kernel [slashdot.org]

http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/10/11/05/2011243/Major-Security-Holes-Found-In-Mobile-Bank-Apps [slashdot.org]

http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/10/18/1910224/A-Tidal-Wave-of-Java-Flaw-Exploitation [slashdot.org]

http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/07/31/167255/Silent-Easily-Made-%20%20Android-Rootkit-Released-At-DefCon [slashdot.org]

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/09/30/1640223/Many-More-Android-Apps-Leaking-User-Data [slashdot.org]

http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/10/12/21/1849243/The-Smartphone-That-Spies-and-Other-Surprises [slashdot.org]

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/01/20/1422239/Cybercriminals-Shifting-Focus-To-Non-Windows-OSes [slashdot.org]

Want more? I've got 'em... MANY more in fact!

So, please - my "bottom-line" here, is this & quite simple:

Don't go telling folks that "Windows is 'bad'" etc., because ANDROID's not exactly "looking good" and on MANY grounds (see those links above).

APK

P.S.=> So, do I "hate google"? No, in fact, FAR from it... but, what I do NOT like is when someone in a position to make changes, good changes, starts acting like a "PR Machine" to attempt to "mess up the competition" - especially when his own platform has issues... MANY issues! apk

mbt shoes (-1, Troll)

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Re:mbt shoes (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106406)

This strategy won't really work here, the links are all tagged with rel="nofollow", so they don't carry any Google juice and moderation will prevent the great majority of users from even seeing your spam.

Ewww... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106354)

"Brin hopes that by next year nearly all Googlers will be using Chromebooks."
SSH, gcc, vim, Emacs in javascript?
No thanks.
Honestly yes Chromebooks would work for so many people it isn't funny. Even a small business could use Quickbooks online, and sales force. You average user can use GoogleDocs, Picasso, and so on. But local apps will always be faster than web apps. Yes you will reach good enough for a lot of things but at what cost. What benefit is there to a web based calculator vs a local app?
I will say that AngryBirds in HTML5 is impressive.

True for most users (3, Insightful)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106364)

Most users I know can not be trusted with managing their own system. Common users switch of UAC, clearing the path for virusses. Common users use outdated licenses of useless AV packages (so they will not get updates) clearing the path for virusses. Common users feel backups are a waste of time or forget about them. Common users install stuff to watch pr0n or puppies. Common users click links in mails from friends, even if it's clear the mail wasn't actually send by said friends. Common users don't know shit about how to use a computer responsibly.
For them a Chromebook could be a good solution.
I am not a common user (although I am not above doing stupid things). I want to be able to configure my system to MY preferences, not some default that makes me cringe in some corners of usage.
As with everything: there is no such thing as a single perfect solution.

moral (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106398)

the moral of the story is, don't hang your penis and tasty balls when there are alligators around.

Google, Apple, Microsoft. All the same.

Well I must be in that other 25%, then (4, Insightful)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106408)

I'd like to see a DBA, or anybody in IT for that matter, run Chrome OS nearly exclusively. That would be torture.

And I don't have to spend any undue amounts of time "managing" my computer. Maybe a new software package here and there, an occasional security update, driver update, etc. It's less effort than the real work I do, that's for sure.

Re:Well I must be in that other 25%, then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106560)

Yes, IT represents less than 25% of business users, that's not news to anyone...

Re:Well I must be in that other 25%, then (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106638)

"an occasional security update, driver update, etc."

see, you are too entrenched in the habit of maintenance. For most people doing that stuff is worrisome.

People in IT are in the MINORITY of users. IT's not for us, it's for users.
This is what most people do with their computer:
Write docs
Have some simple spreadsheets
Email
Facebook
twitter
Photographs
movies.
Some TV.

Having a device for those people that they never need to worry about. When they go to get a new one, they just buy one and it works with what they do.

And if you can open a virtual machine, then you could use it for IT. Not the best way, however.

Re:Well I must be in that other 25%, then (2)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106688)

I run OSX at home and the office is now 100% OSX as well. This morning I was greeted by the "Please restart your machine for software update" box when I walked in. I looked at the packages wanting updated, saw a security update, java update, so clicked "Restart and Install". The machine shutdown and I went to get a cup of coffee. By the time I had my cup of coffee and was back at my desk it was installed and ready to go.

And that is about the extent of the time it takes me to "manage" my computer on a typical basis. I mean in the past three years I think I've had 2 hours of down time to install OS 10.6. The rest of the time for "updates" it's a matter of click the button and get up and use the restroom, stretch the legs a minute and grab a snack. And usually by the time I get back, everything is back up and ready to keep going.

Really (0)

cozzbp (1845636) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106442)

Really people just need to STFU with all the MS bashing. Windows 7 is great, and I'd take it over any OS any day. Some people feel differently, and that's perfectly fine. I'd suspect this man's "torture" isn't Microsoft's fault at all, but rather the fault of his own incompetence (or he just happens to be exaggerating for marketing purposes).

Re:Really (-1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106518)

No.

While Win 7 is MSs best OS, there is still a level of maintenance that is burdensome on most users.
Every time a security alert pops up, a users has to try and figure out if it's legit or not.
Every time you want to get a new computer, moving your data over is a pain in the butt.

I could go on.
I use Windows 7, but Sergey Brin is correct. Using a computer cause a lot of people to worry.
For the vast amount of users, Chrome OS computer will be a breath of fresh air.
I'm probably going to get one for my mom, and possible one as a shared internet device in my home.

Re:Really (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106676)

I've already modded so I'll make my comments as AC.

Windows 7 sucks, plain and simple. What used to be a breeze in nearly every other Microsoft OS is now, just as Brin says, a torture. Want to add printer? Silly user, you don't go to printers, you have to go to ANOTHER control panel, find the server you're looking for, right-click that server (there is no link for adding a printer), select add printer then, and only then, can you begin the process of adding a printer.

Want to change the path of where your My Documents goes? You can't change the My Documents directory, you have to go to the user's account, pick the correct documents path, change that path, save the changes, then remove the second entry for document locations.

In every aspect so far, it takes twice as long to do something in 7 than it did in XP, 2K or even 98. Twice. As. Long.

Things are hidden. You cannot, under any circumstance, see every piece of software installed on your system in one location. You have to go to multiple locations and hope you find what you are looking for.

Want to open a program? Now everything is in a flat field design instead of being readily available. You have to constantly scroll up and down to find what you are looking for.

What I've said isn't new. These issues have been brought up since day one when 7 came out. It's a mess. It's almost as if Microsoft decided to deliberately make things harder to find and do things.

Captcha: abused. How appropriate.

Yeah, try installing Linux sometime, boddy (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106446)

I used to think Windows was torture until I tried to get Ubuntu to recognize my goddamned dual monitor setup.

Re:Yeah, try installing Linux sometime, boddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106556)

I feel exactly the opposite. In ubuntu, I close the lid of my thinkpad and pop it onto the dock. Both screens are turned on and set to the right resolution and layout.

In windows, however, the screens always end up reversed from how I want them. Or I plug in an HDTV and both monitors are set to 1024x768 mirroring. What the fuck, windows?

Re:Yeah, try installing Linux sometime, boddy (1)

phatrabt (985838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106610)

I fell your pain! It's the main reason that I don't use Linux. Before I get flamed, yes I know that it isn't entirely Ubuntu's fault since they have to depend on third party drivers which don't seem to work very well, but that shouldn't be my problem. I've used a few different flavors of Linux on different machines and I like it, but overall I still like Windows.

Re:Yeah, try installing Linux sometime, boddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106684)

I know you're going to hate hearing this. But its easy. Not sure of your specific problem, but dual monitor setups on Linux with nvidia hardware are a piece of cake as in all I have to do is go into the nvidia settings panel and tell it that I want one monitor right of the other, etc. It "used to be" that it would take quite a bit of tinkering and perhaps recompiling X to get dual monitors working. THAT was a pain. People who complain about how hard Linux is to install now either have fairly unique setups that aren't encountered by the developers or are just complaining to complain because something is different.

Those that used Linux in the 90s know how much easier it is to setup now than it was. By many orders of magnitude.Not just on Ubuntu either, but most of the major distros. It wasn't even that hard in the 90s, you usually just ran into trouble when a piece of hardware wasn't well supported, but how is that our fault that the hardware manufacturers don't help the developers write drivers?

And what the fuck is wrong with Slashdot's auth cookies? I have an account, I'm logged in on one page, but then on a story page I'm not logged in. But this doesn't happen on all articles.

Dear Sergey Brin (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106462)

Please be more aggressive in getting people to us Google Application.

You need more info in management rags, and some good superbowl ads.

Thank you,
A tortured windows user.

Hello Apple v2.0 (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106484)

Forcing users to a standardized and completely controlled hardware platform allows for easier software development and less potential configuration issues. It also arbitrarily allows blocking competitors or potential competitors out. And after a while you jack prices way up above production cost and hope you get away with it because your users are bunnies that don't like to think for themselves.

They must be thinking "Apple is doing well with this, let's try it too!".

Google, if your motto is "Don't be evil", you're doing it wrong. At least Microsoft didn't try to control your hardware.

Features (1)

awitod (453754) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106498)

It's easy to criticize the complexity of Windows, OSX, and Linux machines when you are pushing a product with very few features.

And an Acer Chromebook isn't torture? (1)

MarkoNo5 (139955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106510)

Guess he never used^H^H^H^Howned an Acer before. After my laptop underwent half a year of destruction^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hrepairs, the repair note said they "reattached the cooling block to the video card". They cleverly had removed it during the first repair. No wonder my laptop died every time within 24 hours after I got it back. After the last repair, they had also put a scratch on my screen, and when I reported it, they said there wasn't a single 15" tft panel left in Europe. I would have to wait for months to have it fixed. One colleague had similar problems. After hearing what happend to our laptops, a second colleague literally ducttaped the disintegrating body of his Acer laptop together instead of sending it in for repair, even though it was still under warranty.

Okay, maybe I'm getting old here. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106540)

This is a re-run of the old "you don't need a full-blown PC on your desk, you can make do with a dumb terminal" meme that was going around when I was at University. (Scary bit is that's ten years ago now).

The argument then was that networks were fast enough that you could use a bunch of dumb terminals (cheaper than Windows PCs) and save much of the messing around with things like domains and (then quite new) Active Directory.

IIRC, it wasn't that great a solution because instead of hiring a half a dozen support monkeys, you had to hire a couple of server gurus who really knew their stuff and were considerably more expensive to hire - and even then there were all sorts of caveats that didn't exist in the "PC on desk" paradigm. ISTR printing was a big one.

I don't really see that these arguments have been entirely eliminated. They've been greatly reduced by the advent of AJAX-driven SaaS applications, pervasive wireless and 3G data dongles, but I wonder if that's enough.

Cloud? (0)

Evtim (1022085) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106542)

Chrome will rely heavily on the cloud, I read.

No, thanks! Realy Google, don't bother.

But kudos to Brin - he earned me my first +5 post on /. With his traumatic experiences during his long life in totalitarian state between the age of 0 and 4.

Well... (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106558)

"With Microsoft, and other operating system vendors, I think the complexity of managing your computer is really torturing users..."

Yeah right, guess who is "another operating system vendor" now.

"Chromebooks are a new model that doesn't put the burden of managing the computer on yourself."

Most Windows users are already "not managing their computers themselves". SCNR

Forget you Google.. you sound like the new Apple (0)

Wingfat (911988) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106634)

I'm sticking with Bill Gates all the way. Windows is not flawed. My systems never crash. and I would rather do my own system maintenance than relay on some other company, in particular a search engine co, that would most likely sell my info off to make coin. And I highly doubt that corporate America would use it since banks don't even use Apple because they are not secure (and highly effected my magnets still too).

Errr... Development ? (1)

Altesse (698587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106636)

I'd like to be shown how to use an IDE on a Chrome netbook. And don't mention online editors, please.

Until then, I'll keep Windows and Linux.

If Windows is torture (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106666)

90% of the world MUST be masochists.
But seriously, until someone offers a better, cheaper, and more useful OS than Windows, people will use Windows.

What do you mean you can't install and configure Linux? What do you mean you don't have $1200 to drop on an Apple macbook?

I think its true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36106668)

I think that there are a lot of jobs that we do on a PC whether that be Windows, Linux or MacOs that we can avoid on the chrome OS.

1) Updating Applications
2) Reinstall
3) Syncing files across multiple computers
4) backing up
5) De-fragging and cleaning HD
6) updating antivirus

These are jobs that we all do or should do that has come as second nature to us now. Chrome OS is a great Idea that is a little ahead of its time as for it to work well there is a need for faster broadband all round and more complete web apps. but 10 years form now we will look back and think how we coped without the cloud as we look back 10 years ago and think how did we cope with no Internet. The Cloud is coming and there is no avoiding it.

Hire competent admins (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36106700)

If Google's 4000 Windows users are tortured by their computers, Google should hire some experienced Windows admins.

At my job, we use Active directory policies to keep users from having to admin their local workstation - in fact, we we restrict them from many admin tasks through AD policies.

How do you disable USB storage devices on thousands of Ubuntu (or Chrome) desktops because you don't want your sensitive documents walking out on portable storage devices? And then how do you easily enable it again just for your research department because they have a business need for external storage?

Note that I'm a hard-core linux geek, I run only Linux at home (and on my phone), but I realize that many of the applications my business users want to run don't run on Linux. Office is the biggest one - not everyone *needs* Office, but some people need it to run various macro packages (either self-developed or purchased)... and once we start giving Office to some departments (i.e. finance, busdev, etc), it's easier to give it to everyone for consistency. Plus any new employee we hire will already know how to use MS Office.

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