Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Chrome OS Introduces Aura Window Manager

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the they've-innovated-through-to-the-other-side dept.

Chrome 162

An anonymous reader writes "Don't look now, but Google has officially revealed their intentions to go after Windows and OS X. Chrome OS 19 has arrived for Samsung Series 5 and Acer AC700 Chromebooks running the developer channel, and the changes it brings may shock you. The new Aura window manager has landed, bringing with it a number of features that you'd expect from a traditional OS. For starters, there’s the Shelf along the bottom of the screen. It’s set to hide when you’ve got a browser window maximized by default, but you can choose to have it always on top or auto-hide, too, just like the Windows taskbar or OS X dock."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

insane (1, Funny)

laserdog (2500192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39638869)

wow that sounds cool how come it doesnt come on my ailenware :c gimme

Still working on it. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39638887)

It surprises me they are still working on Chrome OS. Its probably not too bad, but I don't exactly see a huge demand for it, especially since they also have android which would work nearly as well for what they want to do with Chrome OS.

I kinda wish they pushed for Wave harder. That looked like something I would use.

Re:Still working on it. (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639081)

Yea, worst of all worlds. It only runs web apps but few are so totally 100% always on that they are going to be comfortable with that. So now they add a desktop but it has fewer apps than any other possible system and will for a while unless they dump a ton of cash into it. Even Linux (as in a typical Linux/GNU/X distribution) has tons more apps.

The problem is the whole net centrism of Chrome OS. By definition it can't offer anything that any other platform that can run Chrome the browser can't also run. So that means anything developed for Chrome OS also runs everywhere Chrome the browser runs. Which means Chrome the OS, by definition, runs a pure subset of what every other Chrome the browser platform can run. Every other platform gets 100% of Chrome OS's app pool + it's own. And since they were stupid enough to put Intel chips in the machines they don't even get a power/battery life advantage. In fact an ARM based netbook/laptop running Linux + Chromium (Don't think Chrome itself is available on Linux/ARM but the unofficial Chromium almost certainly is.) probably would be a better deal

Re:Still working on it. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39639247)

I used it on my netbook for quite a while and actually really enjoyed it. If all you are doing is web-based things (what I was using my netbook for 99.9% of the time anyway), it is actually a really nice OS.

Boot times were roughly equal, but I didn't need to worry about updating packages and overall the general maintenance of the machine. All I needed to do was turn it on and BAM instant web browser.

If it fits your niche nicely, its great since it does what it sets out to do very well; but if you want to do anything else, forget it.

Re:Still working on it. (0)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639371)

"And since they were stupid enough to put Intel chips in the machines they don't even get a power/battery life advantage."
Oddly enough, the latest Chrome OS prototypes that were leaked were running on ARM.

"The problem is the whole net centrism of Chrome OS."
The average computer user -- i.e., not you or me -- these days spends most of their time in the browser, so this really isn't as big a problem as you think it is... for the average computer user.

"Don't think Chrome itself is available on Linux/ARM but the unofficial Chromium almost certainly is."
Considering that most of the Chrome source code is drawn from Chromium project, calling Chromium "unofficial" is somewhat of an insult.

Chrome vs Chromium (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640617)

If Google builds the binary it is Chrome and gets bundled with the special version of the Flash Player. If you build the source it is Chromium and links to the NSPI plugin version of Flash. Kinda like if Moz Corp or someone who has entered into a trademark license agreement builds it you can call it Firefox, otherwise Iceweasel or something else has to get branded onto it.

Re:Still working on it. (5, Interesting)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639381)

The problem is the whole net centrism of Chrome OS. By definition it can't offer anything that any other platform that can run Chrome the browser can't also run. So that means anything developed for Chrome OS also runs everywhere Chrome the browser runs. Which means Chrome the OS, by definition, runs a pure subset of what every other Chrome the browser platform can run. Every other platform gets 100% of Chrome OS's app pool + it's own.

You're ignoring how that can be a significant advantage. The alternative is what you want when you're Microsoft: You want your platform to run everything everyone else's can and then a lot more, because the more stuff runs on your platform and not others, the less people are able to switch. But that only works when you're already in the dominant market position -- adding some cool API or whatever is close to useless if the only way you can use it is if all your customers have ChromeOS and nobody does.

Now look at it from the other side: Suppose you make it so Chrome on Windows and OS X does everything Chrome OS can do. OK, now you convince some companies that it would be a good idea to write their custom business application against Chrome -- that way it will run on all major platforms, and for the few users who need only that application, you can buy them a Chrome OS computer which is cheaper and practically immune to viruses. Which provides the thin end of the wedge: Get people using Chrome OS in a limited capacity and the next custom business application that comes around for a refresh gets "works on our existing Chrome OS machines" as a requirement. Five or ten years later, everything businesses do works on Chrome OS and they start wondering what sense it makes paying money for Windows licenses.

Re:Still working on it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39640075)

There will always be a need for local computing power. Even people who think they won't use it actually do use it without knowing. PCs, tablets and phones are all becoming more powerful because of that fact. Chrome OS and cloud-only computing is a pipe dream.

Re:Still working on it. (2)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640819)

But that's where it's so brilliant! I can have my Debian heavyweight desktop running Chrome as an app alongside firefox and everything else, still use the cloud tools from that along with my nice local ones. And when I'm on the go, I can use my phone which *also* runs chromium and use the same web applications along with it's local ones. And I can borrow a ChromeOS netbook from my employer for a task, run the same Chrome webapps, and not have to worr about getting software loaded on it...
No, a ChromeOS device will never replace a desktop for most. It won't even replace a phone. But it could /compliment/ both.

And, as the grandparent post pointed out, once you have your apps running via a web browser -- even if they are 'intranet' apps vs 'cloud' ones -- you just might give up on windows for a signifigant fraction of machines.
Some, of course, will always need a real OS. But not your Kiosks, database-frontends etc. -- All things that require remote servers anyway, so why not just use a webapp instead of a local app? And at that point, why not get rid of windows for Chrome OS, something lightweight, secure, and hard to screw up?

Re:Still working on it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39640877)

Using Native Client, Chrome apps can make impressive use of local computing power. Here are some impressive 3D games that run in the browser:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/oijfbknbncemokdnlboeabbcfhobechi?utm_source=chrome-ntp-icon
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hdahlabpinmfcemhcbcfoijcpoalfgdn?utm_source=chrome-ntp-icon

No one wants "cloud only". Plenty of people want "cloud as the data store, all apps sandboxed". Which is why Chrome provides it.

Re:Still working on it. (1)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639871)

So , Chrome beta for Android doesn't count a Chrome on Linux on ARM?

Re:Still working on it. (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640277)

Chrome On Linux/Arm

COLA

That's right, people, you saw it here first.

Re:Still working on it. (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640453)

I believe comp.os.linux.advocacy preceded you.

Re:Still working on it. (1)

El Rey (61125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640097)

Yeah, I was thinking similarly. Chrome OS is Linux based.

If you want Chrome on Linux just run Chrome on Linux...

Re:Still working on it. (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640515)

Which means Chrome the OS, by definition, runs a pure subset of what every other Chrome the browser platform can run.

/. causes the Android browser (is it not Chrome as well?) to crash on limited and cheap Android tablets. I suspect that Chrome OS could hold it better.

This is not to disagree with you, but to point there could be a niche for Chrome OS - low capability(=>very low price) mobile devices.

If I'm right in my assumption, we may see a boost in "HTML5 gaming" - I'm sure Google would love it, be it only to crack the garden-wall of the Apple (as in: being HTML5, the game plays well on iPad - and delivers the Google ads - without the need of loading the game through the Apple Store).

Re:Still working on it. (1)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39641055)

/. causes the Android browser (is it not Chrome as well?) to crash on limited and cheap Android tablets.

I've logged in and posted to /. on my ICS phone, and read /. many many times on my gingerbread phone. I believe what you meant to say is that things crash on cheap Android tablets (or cheap anything else).

Re:Still working on it. (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39641061)

And does anyone else smell the delicious waft of moist and chewy irony here? MSFT gets ready to shove out a desktop that is more like a tablet/smartphone hybrid so Google puts out something that at first glance....looks a hell of a lot like Windows 7, only replacing the start orb with the ...well chrome orb but it is a different KIND of orb at least.

Now all we need if for google to buy ReactOS and bitchslap MSFT silly by making a Windows desktop that runs better than what they are gonna be pushing in oct. The irony would be so sweet i'd probably become diabetic.

Seriously though Google just really doesn't seem to know what to actually do with ChromeOS. As you pointed out Linux has much more programs and Google just doesn't seem to grasp that not everywhere in the USA has high speed 24/7 connections. Finally what to me seems to be the biggest "WTF were they thinking" moment when it comes to ChromeOS....the price. ZOMFG have you seen how much the ones that have released ChromeOS netbooks want for the damned thing? Many are over $500! For an OS that is pretty much completely useless without the net and has less programs than both Linux and Windows AND if that wasn't enough to set off your WTF meter the specs on the hardware is beyond shitty. The ones I've seen have a shitty Atom CPU, shitty Intel graphics AND a crazy price...wow I wonder why those don't just fly off the shelves?

If you want a net based OS friends listen to old Hairy and just get a EEE PC netbook. Not only do they come with better hardware (ION or my favorite AMD Fusion) but you get Expressgate that is a NetOS that boots in less than 6 seconds and has tons of apps, both free and pay, in the ASUS appstore. Oh and you get Win 7 as well so you can still run any Windows programs if needed or if you prefer Linux or want to triple boot they are supported OOTB since IIRC Ubuntu 10.04.

This whole thing just seems more than a little pointless when compared to what is out there. Android is a hit so maybe they should either just stick with that or if they want to gain some real share subsidize the hw and get the price point down to around $100 which they could do with ARM, hell they probably could with X86 if they took a single core Bobcat as that would cut out the cost of the graphics chip. Don't view this as hatred for netOSes, on the contrary i just love Expressgate and can really see the appeal, but just not on weak hardware at crazy prices.

Re:Still working on it. (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39641503)

Google either buying or forking ReactOS would be a great idea - make Windows 7 the target spec on which to base it, build into it everything that it needs, borrowing generously from Chrome OS and only substituting IE9 w/ Chrome, so that there are no issues, and run w/ it. Offer different Window Managers at installation - be it XP, 7, 2k, 98, ME, Vista, whatever.... Have different editions, just like Windows does, and offer various options @ various price points, ranging from $20 all the way up to $200, depending on what's being sold. That way, most hardware would get covered. Oh, and call the new OS something else - since Chrome is already associated w/ Linux, give this one another name.

I don't think they should offer Android on laptops any more than MS should have offered Metro on it. Instead, make either ChromeOS or ReactOS look exactly the way they need, and stop overemphasizing on the web. They are big enough and good enough to challenge MS on their own turf. While MS is busy trying to convert everyone to Windows 8, take this opportunity to steal all those users, particularly the ones being encouraged to leave XP.

Re:Still working on it. (2)

FunkDup (995643) | more than 2 years ago | (#39641325)

Yea, worst of all worlds. It only runs web apps

Yeh but there are advantages to dumb terminals, like lower power requirements, more hardware architecture options and centralising resources. Think of how overpowered most office machines are already, getting all those spare cycles into a central location could be very fruitful (both in cost and power). If you've ever been responsible for more than 5 machines you'll appreciate centralised management systems. Think Active Directory with a whole lot less complexity exposed to Murphy and his team of gremlins.

Businesses run so many internal webapps nowadays that ChromeOS is likely useful as it is. If the chrome box speaks RDP then you can run legacy apps on terminal servers.

I'm pretty sure that somewhere in this plan is an appliance style server (in the vein of turnkey) which would pretty much change everything.

Re:Still working on it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39639089)

I also miss Wave very much. We organize lunch breaks for 30 people every 2-3 weeks and meetups after work. That would be so cool to do with wave!! It has worked soo well with the beta version!!

Re:Still working on it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39639097)

Chrome OS is a place to try out future options for Android, and to give a free OS to manf. so they feel less indebted to M$. Overall a win-win for Google. Plus... ChromeOS laptops are generally bargain basket buys, so throw a few people on it for just pure R&D reasons if nothing else.

Re:Still working on it. (5, Interesting)

kiwi_james (512638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639133)

I think you're missing the point. Chrome OS is not really for consumers - it's for Enterprises and Educational institutions.

These groups want a device that is highly secure, low / no maintenance and can be given to any random employee / student without much thinking about it. Add in the Enteprise controls that are available through a simple Web GUI and you can massively simplify the management and operation of your IT assets.

Is it something you give to your accountants or marketing team - no. Is it something you give to people working in the field or call centre staff or students - yes it is.

When you think of it this way, then Chrome OS is quite a unique solution and not worth the slamming that everyone here is giving it. There are some valid questions about how much of this could be folded into Android - but at present it has value, just probably not to you.

Re:Still working on it. (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639201)

> it's for Enterprises and Educational institutions.

In other words, wouldn't they be happier with TERMINALS? That is what we are talking about after all, reinvent terminals and centralized computing, the priesthood and all that stuff people snuk in Apple ][ machines all those years ago to escape from? Only instead of VT102 escape codes we are using HTML5 on much more capable terminals. And now there is a cool video by some hipster douche telling us we don't want a computer anymore, we just want to use Google's instead of a blue suited IBM rep selling a mainframe.

But it is the same siren song, users with computers is dangerous, expensive, etc. Let US take all that away... for low monthly payments.

Re:Still working on it. (3, Interesting)

kiwi_james (512638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639351)

> Only instead of VT102 escape codes we are using HTML5 on much more capable terminals
Awesome false analogy...comparing a terminal to a web browser experience.

> But it is the same siren song, users with computers is dangerous, expensive, etc. Let US take all that away... for low monthly payments

If you've ever worked in a large enterprise you'll have seen the cost that businesses spend on trying to manage and maintain their IT assets. Personally, in the days when things can be accessed via a browser, I prefer the approach of bring your own device and none of the corporate IT lockdown - but most businesses aren't quite ready for that.

I look around my office now and see half the people working in nothing but their browser all day (Email, CRM) - they wouldn't even notice the switch except for being pleaed about the faster boot time. But as I said in my early post - this isn't for everyone. The other half of my office would be hamstrung I gave a Chromebook to them to do their job.

It's a pity you can't take a small amount of time to understand the niche that Chrome OS fits into and respond to it based on that.

Re:Still working on it. (4, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640583)

I'm blessed with a glut of computing hardware, I suppose, but I have a desktop, a laptop, a chromebook, a tablet and a smartphone. Oh, and I have a bluetooth keyboard which can be used with the tablet or the phone. With all of those options, I would have predicted that I'd never use the chromebook. It seems like if I need a full keyboard I'd use the laptop or desktop, while if I just need to do something small, I'd use the tablet, or the phone.

In fact, I find the Chromebook fills a couple of important niches in my life. First, it's what I reach for when I want to look something up on the web, fast. It's more portable than the desktop, quicker to get running than the laptop and more useful (for web-based stuff) than the tablet or the phone. Second, it's my "shareable" computer. I'm not handing my laptop to anyone. I wouldn't even if it weren't a company laptop and therefore forbidden to be shared with non-employees. My tablet and my phone are even less shareable.

But the Chromebook? I log out, hand the little machine over and say "just log in with your Google account". And for people who use lots of web apps, all their apps are "there". If they use Chrome on other computers and use Chrome Sync, when they log in all of their bookmarks, etc., are all on the Chromebook already.

The combination of instant access, super battery life, built-in 3G data and shareability makes my Chromebook one of the most-used computers in my house.

(Disclaimer: I work for Google, but have no particular interest in selling Chromebooks. I just quite like mine -- though I probably wouldn't have one if Google hadn't given it to me.)

Re:Still working on it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39641113)

How is that any better than opening your laptop's lid? It takes a couple of seconds for Mac OS X to wake up and connect to wi-fi. It can also do a lot more thanks to the way more powerful CPU and you can use Firefox instead of Google's proprietary browser. Other than boot times (which you don't care about as you put your laptop to sleep) the proprietary ChromeOS crap tries to solve a non-existing problem, and all those ChromeOS laptops are way overpriced.

--
Disclaimer: I work for TAGA (The Arrogant Google Assholes)

Re:Still working on it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39641241)

just log in with your Google account

Oooops.

Two scenarios.

1. A Google account? What's that?

= or =

2. My password is in the password manager file in Dropbox. How can I access that to obtain my Google account password?

Re:Still working on it. (5, Insightful)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639585)

In other words, wouldn't they be happier with TERMINALS?

I'm with you, of course, I'm of the opinion that the trends are but a pendulum between central and distributed. I'd say we're still on the waxing side of the central ethos, but give it time and people will eventually want their data back.

However, I think it's all pretty neat. I for one am tired of the two decades of Microsoft that we are waking up from. People are seeing that the field of computers is much more diverse (which comes as no surprise for the people here on Slashdot, but now Grandma is asking "PC or Mac?")

We all are thinking "yawn" but c'mon, the industry needed a big shake up, and while technically we all here see this becoming nothing more than what we had in the 1970. We are changing the vendor from being one to anyone on the Intertubes. We are changing the equipment from being just a terminal to anything that can have a web browser. We are changing the people who create the content from those locked in a warm basement with punch cards, to a varity of diverse people from artist to programmers and everything in between. However, more importantly, this is showing the general consumer that there isn't just one computer to rule them all.

Slashdot users can smirk all they want about how this was already crystal clear to us, but the fact that even Microsoft's position is now challenged, forecasters say that Apple cannot stay at the top, and Google is all over the place unpredicable; means that the rule of alpha vendor may just be in fact ending, hopefully.

Re:Still working on it. (1)

El Rey (61125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640213)

It's neat except that when developing for the browser as the least common denominator the dev tools are primitive and no multithreading so it feels like I'm developing for 16-bit Windows 3.1 again. Then of course not all code works in all browsers, so perhaps this is worse...

Limiting choice reduces anxiety (1)

bdwoolman (561635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640507)

And increases satisfaction in some contexts. Look at the popularity of fast food.?. "Do you want a hamburger or a hamburger with cheese on it? Maybe you want some fish shaped like a hamburger on a hamburger bun?"

A lot of users I know are sort of afraid of their complex flexible machines. (Sad but true.) And, it seems to them, just when they get used to them MS or Apple upgrades. Yikes! Of course, as you pointed out, that is exciting for a good number users (people like you and me) but a lot of people don't want to know anything about how their computer works. Quite aggressively so in many cases. "My computerz is busted!!!!! HELP HALP! "They just want to do what they want to do. I confess that this is most true of older users. On the other hand, people who grew up with computers, of course, want to have more flexibility.

It is hard to know what percentage of the overall market is savvy or slow. My guess is that the slow crowd outnumbers the savvy. That said, for large numbers of older users, and less well-educated users, a piece of cripple ware is just what the doctor ordered. Google is betting that a large number of people would be very happy to offload their admin tasks to the cloud and simply surf and communicate and do simple tasks -- especially on the road. With the added benefit that all data created on the box is safe in the cloud so loss or theft poses little risk to a persons unique information.. They will want their mobile computer to be light weight, fast, secure, simple. and bullet proof. With a little effort I have made my EEEPC netbook meet those specs. Most people can't. And they sure are not interested in learning how. Anything but.

One last comment. My observation is that Google likes to hatch several chicks and see what shakes out. Android is very free form. Lots of flavors --too many some complain -- and lots of apps. Just the ticket for those comfortable with tech. Chrome will be stable and rigid with few choices and little chance of malfunctioning. Perfect for grandma. And, as was pointed out, also useful in an enterprise setting. Chrome phone homepage Google .

Re:Still working on it. (5, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640553)

If you're going to be precise, we're not talking a move back to dumb terminals with Chrome, but a less restrictive move to more specialized computing devices instead of a general purpose computer. We are discussing putting limits on users, and limits that many here on slashdot would chafe under, but they aren't as drastic as the terms you chose.

For one thing, an OS such as Windows already has some of the same limits. Using the box for art may mean either a lot of expense for a legitimate copy of Photoshop or running pirated copies, or using something like the Gimp that may not be compatable with the next service pack and may never have good support. High prices for lots of business, math or music software similarly mean a lot of users can't afford to legally build the tool that can focus on some of those "General Purpose" uses. Keeping system hooks and APIs and such secret is a separate cause of making machines into non-general purpose computers, or specialty boxes, or whatever you want to call them. Apple's walled garden approach is effectively a vector pointed away from "General Purpose" computers in similar ways. Even Linux has some of this problem when you look at the whole package, i.e. what people mean by saying designers are 'dumbing down' the Gnome interface is precisely the same as saying they think less variety of purposes are suitable under it.

However, if you call those limited boxes terminals, I suspect the people pushing Chrome OS, Cloud Computing, and other things will both point out the differences from those old 'green on black texty thingees' until the similarities are obscured, and keep treating the base Windows or OS X type system as though it were a totally pure "General Computing" environment and the browser based systems were just a small step down from that purity. We do better to stress that even the baseline OSes have many, many points where they veer away from the idea of supporting a box that can do anything the user wants, (at least if it has the raw computing power to handle that task). Most users have run into the problem of not being able to do some task or other any better, even on a much more powerful machine than they once used. Or they remember being able to do something on an older machine that they can't do at all anymore. Warning them that these browser focused 'solutions' will have more of that sort of problem is something many of them will understand.

Re:Still working on it. (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639379)

>>>These groups want a device that is highly secure,

"Cloudapps" and "secure" are not two words that belong together. The Chrome laptops I saw advertised were NOT aimed at enterprises, but at Joe or Jill Sixpack who just wants to turn-on a laptop and 5 seconds later the web is running with tons of free google software (Mail, Docs, etc). Kinda like how cellphones work but with the full functionality of a keyboard and screen.

Re:Still working on it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39639529)

You can get a highly secure, low/no maintenance solution without running machines that are nothing but Google datamine feeds.

No not really (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639719)

For one I see better terminal type options (RDP thin clients are easy to get). However if that is what it is for Google needs to L2enterprisesupport. Google is good at many things but supporting the enterprise isn't one of them. Their idea of support seems to be "Just read a webpage and if that doesn't have the answer, ummm, don't bother us!"

Also they could, you know, market it for that if that's the idea. Being that I work at an educational institution, quite a major research university, and they've never approached us or said word one about it that doesn't seem to be what they are after.

They want it for that? Fine, let me see their pitch. What do we buy, what does it cost, how does it work on the back end, what's the supports, etc. All this is shit I can get from Microsoft any day for any level of enterprise solution, including thin-client remote access type of stuff.

Re:Still working on it. (1)

sydbarrett74 (74307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39641135)

I think you're missing the point. Chrome OS is not really for consumers - it's for Enterprises and Educational institutions.

Actually, I would argue that you're right and wrong concurrently.

I agree with your second assertion: this is absolutely geared towards large organisations which have a user-set whose members perform routinised and low-skilled job duties (think data entry or customer service), and can access all the tools they need from a browser.

However, you're wrong in saying consumers would find no use for this. I can think of a number of people in my life -- older baby-boomers -- who do all of their stuff online and would love a relatively hassle-free computing experience. They just want something that works -- and a Chromebook is about as close to a turn-it-on-like-a-TV computing device as we have right now. It has a real keyboard, unlike tablets and smart-phones, but you don't have to fiddle with driver updates/antivirus/security patches like with Windows or OSX. The biggest complaint I hear from people in their 50's and 60's is that those virtual keyboards give little to no tactile feedback and are too small for their arthritic fingers, so the iPad won't work for them. But a Chromebook: now there is an entirely different game.

tl;dr: Don't be so quick to discount the utility of a Chromebook for consumers.

Re:Still working on it. (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639569)

Software projects are never done. Netware went into receivership with a considerable to-do list, as did every other retired project.

Android and Chrome may converge one day.

Re:Still working on it. (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640463)

It surprises me they are still working on Chrome OS

It doesn't surprise me at all because I have some insight into the level of hubris in the executive suite there.

XP replacement (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640821)

It surprises me they are still working on Chrome OS. Its probably not too bad, but I don't exactly see a huge demand for it, especially since they also have android which would work nearly as well for what they want to do with Chrome OS.

I kinda wish they pushed for Wave harder. That looked like something I would use.

On the contrary, seems to me that Chrome OS, or more appropriately, Chromium OS, would be a perfect replacement for Windows XP to people who can't buy Windows 7 or any extra hardware to run it. Unlike other Linuxes, here they would have Google behind the thing. Actually, more appropriately, Google ought to escalate the role of Chrome OS from being just a web OS to a general purpose one, like Windows.

I do worry about things like driver support. Incidentally, is there any reason Google chose to go w/ Linux, as opposed to FreeBSD? With FreeBSD, they'd be getting a driver ABI on which to base their device driver architecture, so that things don't break as they upgrade. From what I understand, that's a lot more difficult to do under Linux. Note that here, we're talking about having Chrome supported on a wide variety of hardware unlike Windows 7 or 8 - namely, all hardware that currently runs Windows XP or 2k.

Incidentally, does Aura run on top of X, like KDE or GNOME? How would it look? The Chrome OS site hardly says anything about it. And how far is the entire OS from completion?

Only 76 more versions (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39638939)

Then they'll catch up to Windows 95.

Re:Only 76 more versions (2)

theedgeofoblivious (2474916) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639603)

So next Tuesday then?

Has Microsoft trademarked "taskbar" or "toolbar"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39638961)

Drawer?!?!?!

About Aura (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39639035)

Here's the relevant info about Aura [chromium.org] .

Re:About Aura (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39639933)

IANAL, but what's the potential for getting sued for using the name "Aura" ? Avaya has it trademarked.

Re:About Aura (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39640029)

One is for VoIP and another is a window manager. It depends on how easily someone can confuse them. Is there any context where you'd refer to one and the other could easily fit in the sentence?

Re:About Aura (1)

jaymemaurice (2024752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640475)

One could suspect that when google/messenger voice integrates as part of Aura, lawyers will make money. Ready the popcorn machine...

Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39639041)

...that's what was keeping it from being a real OS...

ChromeOS different to Android 4.0? (0)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639069)

How is ChromeOS really all that different to say Android 4.0 running on Tablets?

I guess it supports multiple windows, not just maximised only.... but is it really that different otherwise?

Re:ChromeOS different to Android 4.0? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39639441)

It has more Google tracking installed?

Re:ChromeOS different to Android 4.0? (2, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639495)

Chrome is linux running a web browser and nothing but a web browser. Android is linux with a bastard java stack that can run arbitrary applications.

Re:ChromeOS different to Android 4.0? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639587)

Chrome is running on Linux too, so the real difference is whether you like your apps local or webified. With HTML5 the boundaries may be blurring. For example, many Android apps (and iOS and Windows Phone too) are actually just websites in an app wrapper.

Re:ChromeOS different to Android 4.0? (1, Funny)

wmac1 (2478314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639739)

Google should just create a customized Linux distro and infect it with its tracking tools and Google applications (gtalk, search etc.)

Re:ChromeOS different to Android 4.0? (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640343)

I think someone already did that and called it Android. I wonder if Google knows their apps are being used in this way?

Re:ChromeOS different to Android 4.0? (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639987)

How is ChromeOS really all that different to say Android 4.0 running on Tablets?

Well, it's a full Chrome browser. (The Android browser is not Chrome.)

Chrome OS runs the exact same rendering engine as Chrome on any other platform. It also supports any Chrome extensions that run on those platforms. I've written a couple of custom extensions myself, and they run just fine on my Chromebook -- which isn't surprising, since they're just JavaScript and HTML anyway.

But if you look at it from another angle, Android 4.0 on a tablet can actually do a lot more than a Chrome OS device can. Chrome OS is still really just a browser and nothing more. This Aura stuff doesn't really change that.

Re:ChromeOS different to Android 4.0? (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39641229)

Well, it's a full Chrome browser. (The Android browser is not Chrome.)

Android 4.0 has real Chrome [google.com] now.

Just cut it out (0)

Relay3r (1451099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639093)

I can't think of a reason that anybody would want this. just cut it out google.

Re:Just cut it out (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639263)

*shrug* I've got a Cr-48 and I fucking love it. I have used it every day since I got one in Dec '10.

Re:Just cut it out (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39639689)

*shrug* I've got a Cr-48 and I fucking love it. I have used it every day since I got one in Dec '10.

Oh? I didn't realize it had a dildo attachment.

Re:Just cut it out (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640001)

It's an extension. ThinkGeek sells a programmable USB one with a Javascript interface.

Re:Just cut it out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39640017)

I hate javascript but I LOVE the python.

Re:Just cut it out (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640053)

Most of you people who say "there's no use for this" have probably never used a Chromebook. I have -- and though my initial reaction [infoworld.com] was not too far off from yours, I have to admit that I ended up using the thing way more than I ever expected I would.

My particular use case can be described as: "Eehhh, I guess I'll just leave it in the bedroom for when I need to look something up real quick."

Now, previously I might have done the same thing with some old laptop. But the genius of the Chromebook is that it's a Chrome browser and nothing but, so it never bothers you with anything that would go along with being able to do more than that. It never tells you there's a security fix for the printer driver, or asks if you want to upgrade to the latest Ubuntu distro (which changes the entire UI). If you have a few PCs lying around the house, you've probably rolled your eyes at least once when Microsoft's Patch Tuesday rolled around. That never happens here. It's just a Web browser that sits on the dresser.

There are security updates and it even gets new features, but it all happens behind the scenes, while you aren't paying attention, just like it does with the Chrome browser. Which is totally what you want when you really don't plan to use it for anything but browsing the Web.

Now, I'll go ahead and point out that this makes the Chromebook sort of a luxury item, because for most people who live in today's real world it's going to be a secondary computing device. You're going to buy another computer first, and then you'll buy one of these. But that's fine -- they aren't that expensive, and wasn't that pretty much the case with the entire netbook category, too?

You might say "but a netbook can do a lot more than a Chromebook, a Chromebook can hardly do anything" -- but I have no plans to do anything with it but surf the Web. Could I get a netbook and install Chrome on it? Yes, but that wouldn't be as convenient. Here, I grab it off the dresser, open the screen, and I've got a browser window. Three seconds.

It really is a pretty neat product. Google just hasn't done the best job of marketing it. Maybe that's because, unlike tablets, it looks like something you already have -- a laptop -- even though it's not one.

It may be that the price just has to come down even further. If Chromebooks sold for $199 and still had reasonable build quality, would that seem like a value to you?

Re:Just cut it out (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640373)

This. Precisely this. I don't have to maintain this thing like I do my desktop PC, or the computers at work, and in fact I seldom have to think about anything but the user interface.

Re:Just cut it out (1)

jaymemaurice (2024752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640511)

My particular use case can be described as: "Eehhh, I guess I'll just leave it in the bathroom for when I need to look something up while taking a shit."

That's pretty close to my use case...

Re:Just cut it out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39640715)

So this device sounds like a tablet with a keyboard and worse software support. I have a tablet (firesale Touchpad with Android 4.0 on it), and your use case is pretty near exactly what I use it for. It's an instant-on web browser, news reader, ebook reader, email checker, and Youtube device.

Re:Just cut it out (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640827)

I don't know much about Android 4.0, but I have an Android 3.0 tablet and the Web browsing experience sucks on it. I can install Firefox, but it's still more complicated than the Chromebook, where I just open the screen, use it, and close it again.

Re:Just cut it out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39641365)

Chrome is available on 4.0 now. I haven't noticed any rendering discrepancies between it and the desktop version. There's also Opera, which is pretty nice.

Re:Just cut it out (1)

sydbarrett74 (74307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39641151)

This x 10e6. Agreed.

Re:Just cut it out (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39641233)

or asks if you want to upgrade to the latest Ubuntu distro (which changes the entire UI)

Isn't TFA all about an update that, essentially, "changes the entire UI"?

I will sell my soul to Google only (1, Offtopic)

dpqb (2608183) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639117)

if it means taking down Microsoft and I will bear their children if they take down Apple as well.

Re:I will sell my soul to Google only (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639535)

Meet the new boss same as the old boss.

Re:I will sell my soul to Google only (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639583)

if it means taking down Microsoft and I will bear their children if they take down Apple as well.

Given this is Slashdot, I assume you're a guy - which makes your statement rather creepy and unsettling.

Re:I will sell my soul to Google only (1)

dpqb (2608183) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640569)

Your assumption would be correct, but if the 90's taught me anything what you just said was sexist. We should all strive to be gender and color blind.

Looks like Gnome to me (1)

Davoid (5734) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639151)

and pretty much like the default Gnome desktop on Fedora 16, which is actually kind of annoying. Been playing with it for three months and I still find it awkward.

Re:Looks like Gnome to me (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639663)

Go into fallback mode - much more usable. So much more that when I dropped opensuse I also found myself switching from KDE because it works so well and uses fewer resources.

Will this bring back the cheep SSD netbooks? (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639313)

That will run Linux. If so I am excited.

Instead of all this new crap, why not FIX YUR BUGZ (1, Flamebait)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639355)

The spec for CSS 2.1 was laid down in 1997 - 15 years ago. Today, you're STILL lucky if you can get non-trivial pages to render the same on different browsers without all sorts of tricks and tweaks.

This is ridiculous. 15 years, and CSS 2.1 is still broken. At this rate, it's a safe bet that you won't see CSS 3x implemented properly in your lifetime.

People want new features, but more importantly, they want stuff that works. Web browsers are not application platforms, and the whole DOM tree concept is part of the problem. Sure, for a text document, but NOT for a "real program."

Apple has it right - people want apps, not web (cr)apps. Real programs.

We were stupid. Instead of a browser and its dependencies on servers, we could have spent the last 15 years building untold numbers of real internetworked applications. No worrying about facebook or google nosing around with your privacy ... but no, we listened to the "experts" at CERN rather than the people building graphical BBS systems complete with virtual worlds, animations, and sharable graphics, like 17-year-old Seth Hamilton back in 1993.

So go ahead and waste more time on Chrome and all that other crap - if a camel is a horse designed by a committee, the whole web "experience" is a turd that continues to be polished by committees of committees.

Apple will continue to make hundreds of billions, because we are too stupid to admit that the underlying design is really, really amateur hour, and that even a 17-year-old kid could (and did) do better.

Re:Instead of all this new crap, why not FIX YUR B (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639511)

This is the reason that CSS 2.1 isn't bug free yet in any browser. CSS 2 change list [w3.org] . It's a moving target. Granted there are some browsers with very terrible CSS support, but the CSS Spec is very complicated. Add that to the fact that most pages don't even start out with standards compliant HTML, so the browser has to guess what to do because you didn't close your tags properly, or you put a div inside a span.

Re:Instead of all this new crap, why not FIX YUR B (2)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639713)

It's not a "moving target" - it's a badly written specification. Pick a change at random - a lot of them are mistakes - whoever wrote the spec left too much as either ambiguous or "assumed."

So you can have perfectly-formed html and css, and it will still break. It's "broken by design" - just like we used to say about Windows. Also, no amount of back-filling is going to change the fundamental problems - html and css and javascript are not a good way to build programs, and never will be.

Re:Instead of all this new crap, why not FIX YUR B (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639579)

Apple don't make their money because people want apps. They make their money because people want Apple. It was the iMac and iPod that brought them out of bankruptcy. People want something that is easy to use and just works. They'll pay extra if it makes them look like a douchebag hipster.

Re:Instead of all this new crap, why not FIX YUR B (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639735)

"It was the iMac and iPod that brought them out of bankruptcy"

Apple never went bankrupt. And no, Bill Gates' $150 million investment didn't amount to more than a month or so of working capital - they had enough to last, but they needed the public assurance that Microsoft would continue to make Office for the Mac.

"People want something that is easy to use and just works."

Which is why they want Apple. And why, given a choice, they'll take an iPad and an app as opposed the the crapfest of browser-world on a chromebook.

It has nothing to do with wanting to look hip, and everything to do with it actually working as expected. Some people are actually embarrassed to be seen with an Apple device, because they don't want others to assume they're a poseur.

Re:Instead of all this new crap, why not FIX YUR B (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639949)

Apple nearly [businessinsider.com] went bankrupt.

Re:Instead of all this new crap, why not FIX YUR B (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640405)

Not even close. Not only did they have a lot more than $150 million in the bank, they had already returned to making a profit the year before Gates investment. Profitable companies with money in the bank can afford to do things like buy NeXT for $429 million + 1.5 million shares. Companies that are "nearly bankrupt", not so much, hmm :-)

Re:Instead of all this new crap, why not FIX YUR B (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640535)

Yes. Apple, run by Steve Jobs bought NeXT from Steve Jobs.

Re:Instead of all this new crap, why not FIX YUR B (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640607)

Steve Jobs didn't get any money from the purchase - that went to the investors (people like Ross Perot and Canon Corp.) He did get 1.5 million shares, the sort of performance-based incentive plan that's quite common. Grow the business, your shares grow, tank it, your shares tank.

Re:Instead of all this new crap, why not FIX YUR B (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39639765)

Are Barbara Hudson and Tom Hudson the same person, just with different online gender identities?

Re:Instead of all this new crap, why not FIX YUR B (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39641039)

Not exactly. 'Tom' is an acronym (backronym?).

yet another 'alternative OS'... (2)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639403)

Hey, google, do us a favor and actually do something ground breaking with your OS. Take some cues from Plan9 that were never implemented on a desktop. Maybe make it more like a network OS than a hardware OS?

It sounds like it's going to be little more than a bootable interface to the web, I know. But google does employ people that were part of the Plan9 project, so it's not like they can't do something NEW.

Also, let me not be the first to say...I hope they realize they have to respect their users' privacy on their actual hardware...(I suspect they wont.)

Re:yet another 'alternative OS'... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39639467)

Because this isn't about doing something groundbreaking? It's all about tying you into Google services so they can datamine you.

Re:yet another 'alternative OS'... (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640137)

It sounds like it's going to be little more than a bootable interface to the web, I know.

Uhhh... you know... Chrome OS has existed for three years now. This is just a UI update.

Re:yet another 'alternative OS'... (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640517)

Uhhh... you know... Chrome OS has existed for three years now. This is just a UI update.

Yeah, I know it's existed. I just wish they'd do something other than a webos...something original, new, useful, interesting.

Officially revealed? (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639567)

Don't look now, but Google has officially revealed their intentions to go after Windows and OS X.

So creating Chrome OS in the first place wasn't enough of a clue for you?

Looks like Android mated with Windows 7 (1)

sammcj (1616573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39639651)

What a waste of screen real estate!

Google moves ever closer (2)

djlowe (41723) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640037)

Google moves ever closer to gaining complete access to our personal information, and more.

Imagine a full Google OS, no monetary cost, offered under their current licenses. It's slick, clean, multi-platform, perhaps always in beta, but backed by a company with some of the best software engineering resources the planet has to offer, creating a near-perfect end user experience, all the while farming information from its users by default.

Sorry, but I'm not having any.

Paranoid? You're damned right I'm paranoid. Google scares me now more than any other company in the world. They've created a paradigm that seduces people into using their products in return for their personal information, in ever-increasing detail, all while promising that they're not evil so as to reassure them.

I don't know - maybe they'll prove themselves to be so. But if history is any indication, it's not likely, and I can't help but think that a company that exists only to gather and sell information about people will eventually abuse that in order to make money.

Cynically,

dj

Re:Google moves ever closer (1)

jaymemaurice (2024752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640587)

Paranoid? You're damned right I'm paranoid....
...that a company that exists only to gather and sell information about people will eventually abuse that in order to make money.

That's cynical, yes... but I wouldn't think that is the same as being paranoid. Being paranoid is thinking that the money (which they are swimming in already) is nothing to do with anything. I mean is there anything that google can do with more money then it cannot already do? Being parinoid would believe that such abuse of your information will be used against you and the people you care about.

Why didn't they just use ubuntu Unity ??? (0)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640273)

Unity is the interface of the future.

This is the future (1)

Wattos (2268108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640697)

This is certainly the future. The only problem I see is that this future is not "now". Dataplans are currently too expensive (limited) for this to make sense.

I do not want to be locked out of all my software once:
  - I go over my monthly cap.
  - I leave the country (and am not willing to pay the roaming costs)
  - My internet connection goes down
  - Go into a rural area

I also experience hickups when travelling in the train. With my 3g i-net (in Switzerland) traveling in the train is really hit and miss. Sometimes I get excellent service and sometimes I get really bad service (and its the same train line!)

So, while I think that the future is certainly somewhere in the web, this future is still a bit off, until we fix our connectivity issues. But it doesnt hurt to have a head start for google I guess

VMware Image? (4, Interesting)

Amiralul (1164423) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640917)

Is there a way to test this new Chrome OS dev release in a virtual machine, like VMware?

Picasa/Google+ Integration (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39640939)

Another cloud feature has been added, this one to the updated photo editor. Photos can finally be uploaded individually or in bulk to Picasa. Curiously, it’s the only option currently available when you click the share icon in the photo editor — Google Plus hasn’t been added yet, though that seems inevitable.

Picasa and Google+ Albums became one [google.com] a while back, almost a whole month ago. Keep up. ;) - HEX

Online Freelancing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39641485)

Our company train up on online freelancing on CMS Wordpress.

microsoft won't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39641491)

until it can play tf2 and run word.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?