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GoogleOS Scenarios

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the larry-and-sergey-you-have-my-email-address dept.

224

ReadWriteWeb writes "Read/WriteWeb offers 3 scenarios for a GoogleOS and suggests it could be less than 6 months away. They say it may be a web based desktop (aka WebOS), a full featured Linux distribution, or a lightweight Linux distro and/or BIOS. They predict that once Microsoft's Vista rolls out, it will present a direct threat to Google's Web properties and so therefore Google will start a more punchy strategy — pushing Firefox and some form of Google OS in order to nullify Vista's potential impact."

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So in other words (5, Insightful)

ats-tech (770430) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949666)

"They say it may be a web based desktop (aka WebOS), a full featured Linux distribution, or a lightweight Linux distro and/or BIOS."

They have no idea.

Re:So in other words (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949808)

They have no idea.

That's pretty much it. The so-called "analysts" are regularly baffled by Google, primarily because they don't seem to understand them. Google does things according to what makes the most sense from a logical perpective, not necessarily what makes them the most money in the short term. (Or at least, what seems to make them the most money.) These analysts don't understand that mode of thinking, and expect Google to fit in the same box as everyone else.

Re:So in other words (2)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949842)

Analyst tend to focus on past trends and performance, Google baffles them because they ARE that different a company.

Re:So in other words (2, Interesting)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950432)

Maybe it's simply because Google hasn't been around for that long, but has done so much.

I'm sure analysts were doing the same sort of things during the first 24 months of MSFT or so.

Re:So in other words (3, Insightful)

breed13 (955316) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950866)

Maybe Google is just reading what the analysts are saying and then moving in another direction... This is Google's way of revealing how little analysts actually know about anything... Of course, this could also be my bias against analysts coming to the surface... I'm tired of hearing how company XYZ's stock price was driven up (or down) by analyst A's comments... (Let the "correlation not causation" debate begin!)

Re:So in other words (2)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16951032)

I'll skip the debate, but I'm fairly certain that at least a couple people are using their 20% on an OSS OS project. Frankly I think Google should support Ubuntu or some other ultra friendly distro for their desktop OS should they ever do it.
-nB

Slasbots don't understand Google either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16951126)

Google is an ad agency. Period.

Indeed, given Google's horsepower (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950178)

I'd go for a VNC(or similar) download. You heard it here first.

 

Re:Indeed, given Google's horsepower (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16951052)

You could be onto something. That is possibly what that huge 'secret' data center is all about. It's one huge server for us to be plugged in as thin clients.

Re:So in other words (1)

headLITE (171240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950346)

They have no idea.

It's not just that they don't know what GoogleOS might be; it's worse. Quite frankly, they have no idea what they're talking about at all.

out of thin air, but one things for sure (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950522)

It is all speculation, but one thing is for sure - google thrives off of personal information, so it will be a webOS or at least something that is heavily integrated to their databases online.

Re:So in other words (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950580)

It could be a hamster with a pencil and a laser pointer for all they know.

Umm... right (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950804)

Google does a lot of good stuff (maps, search, and I recently checked out their finance page... very slick), but an OS? That's nuts. People aren't going to switch to Linux; Slashdot has been pushing all the anti-MS FUD they can for years and years already, and been extremely successful in their anti-MS propaganda, but it the claims of "Linux on the Desktop" have never been farther from reality than they are now.

And even the OEM machines with Linux pre-installed were a huge failure, since people purchased them and installed pirated copies of Windows.

Every municipal Linux/OSS deployment has been a high-profile failure (Munich anyone?). In real life, "Free" can be way too expensive.

Re:So in other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950976)

They know that it may or may not exist, that it may or not be an operating system, and that they may or may not just be pulling shit out of their asses.

The list is missing something (4, Funny)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949692)

It's not a proper fake news unless it speculates on BeOS, too.

Re:The list is missing something (1)

andphi (899406) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950296)

You neglected to mention the Phantom console's main launch title: Duke Nukem Forever.

Arg (5, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949726)

What compels people that know nothing about technology to keep writing these "Google OS" articles? Do they even understand what an OS is?

MS bought into this "web OS" hype over 5 years ago. It was stupid then, and it's stupid now.

Re:Arg (1)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950286)

What compels people that know nothing about technology to keep writing these "Google OS" articles? Do they even understand what an OS is?

Nope, and they don't know what an office suite is either apparently, as they attempted to call a dumbed down version of a word processor and the most basic spreadsheet application imaginable combined with gmail an "office suite." It's all hype about MS vs. Google. In all honesty, I believe the two have fairly distinct offerings, even if MS wishes it had Google's as well as its own to offer.

10% of Office (1)

jaweekes (938376) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950932)

Google's doc and spreadsheet are just for the "average Joe". I do not need all the features of Excel to make a spreadsheet of my CD collection, or to calculate my bank balance. This is the market Google is aiming for; people who are confused by Excel and all it's options (this includes OpenOffice). Like the saying goes; most people only use 10% of Office. Well, Google has given you only that 10% and it's free!

News that matters? (0, Offtopic)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949740)

More like science fiction for people with nothing better to do.

I'm not trolling, but this is why I have yet to subscribe to /.

BSD (4, Funny)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949774)

I think it will be a full featured BSD distro.

Or maybe the return of BeOS.

Or NeXT.

You might download the ISO and run it off a CD. You might not. Maybe BIOS will be involved. Possibly even TCP/IP. It will probably include some kind of menuing system and maybe a ribbonish banner that can be docked somewhere on the desktop or not, that might include items like Vista's Gadgets or OSX application launching capability or possibly some blend of both. Almost certainly the web will be involved.

Or none of the above, who knows.

NeXT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950368)

NeXT Did return.

It is now called OS X

and has really nice UI.

Re:BSD (1)

tigersha (151319) | more than 7 years ago | (#16951110)

NeXT is already back. It's called MacOS/X now, but its pretty much an evolution? Don't believe me? Look up the API for Cocoa and be amazed about why ALL the things there are called NSthis and NSthat.

Broadband addiction (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949786)

How is something like this going to run on non-broadband? MS can compete there because, well, you bought a real PC with a real OS. Google's going to be heavily reliant on bandwidth if they do anything more than an über-lightweight Linux GUI. You could argue that the non-broadband people don't matter, but they're still a significant piece of market share.

Re:Broadband addiction (5, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949848)

> How is something like this going to run on non-broadband?
Same as the answer to the question - how is this going to run on systems with 16MB ram, a 256 colour display and no cd-writer:

Who cares?

Re:Broadband addiction (2, Insightful)

z0idberg (888892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950604)

non-broadband (or at least non-internet connected) users DON'T matter to Google.

Google is all about advertising and AdSense/Adwords. If you arent on the net you arent in their target market.

Non-broadband people might be a significant part of the OS market but they arent a significant part of Googles market.

KDE, Gnome or Java? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949788)

A Google OS? Well, can't wait to see it live. Now, can someone knowledgeable advise on what this OS is likely to be running on its interface. Is it likely to be KDE, Gnome or some GUI patched up using the recently open sourced Java?

Re:KDE, Gnome or Java? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16949872)

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it an acid-crazed monkey?
The article certainly doesn't know.

Re:KDE, Gnome or Java? (1)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949900)

Considering that this OS has been denied, and mocked, by Google, I don't think you're going to get any sort of insider info. Google fanboys, just like those that follow Apple, love inventing products for their favourite company to release and spending days discussing features and details that exist only in their imagination.

Sorry.

Re:KDE, Gnome or Java? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950234)

Now, can someone knowledgeable advise on what this OS is likely to be running on its interface.

Google hasn't even said they're making one.

Jeez.

It's stupidities like these articles that makes people think there's actually some work being done on something here.

Google is not making a GoogleOS, at least not for public use, or in that case, it hasn't been announced.

They have not even hinted on it. They have however debunked they're making one when asked.

Re:KDE, Gnome or Java? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950414)

Yes, but Google also denied making an office suite, and then they came out with a word processor and a spreadsheet. Mind you, it's not an office suite in the way MS Office or OO.o is, but it's still an office suite.

Re:KDE, Gnome or Java? (1)

LindseyJ (983603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950966)

If that's what they have to offer in the 'office suite' department, I'll stick with MSO, thanks.

Google OS (4, Interesting)

MeNeXT (200840) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949874)

Linux/FreeBSD, Gnome/KDE, OOo, Firefox, Gaim, on Wii and PS3. At $50 a CD just the Wii with 4 million units to be released by the end of the year it would be a killing.

They wouldn't need to develop it just negotiate with Ubuntu. It's easier to maintain than Windows.

I've even sent Nintendo an email last year. To bad I don't have the finances to fund this.

Re:Google OS (1)

@madeus (24818) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950576)

The Wii is the only of the latest generations of console that isn't HD capable, it's not feasible to use a display at Standard Definition resolutions for things like email or web browsing or modern GUI based productivity software. It's just a horrible experience (as demonstrated by Web TV).

This makes the PS3 the only viable option, unless it's just a distribution intended to allow viewing of specificly tailored made-for-tv-viewing content (e.g. news stories in large print and videos - with a custom interface to Google Videos/YouTube). I don't think mainstream PS3 users are going to have any interest in using it as a computer though, that will be restricted to the same sort of people who were into modding X-Boxes to do the same thing.

For anyone who does want a PC, it's a LOT cheaper just to buy a computer at your local Wall Mart / ASDA, complete with TFT display and Windows than it is to buy a PS3. The only thing about the PS3 running Linux to me, is that it means it ought to be very easy to turn it into a flexible media center, but I'm waiting to find out more about Apple's "iTV" system in January.

My wishos (4, Interesting)

cucucu (953756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949952)

I wish Google (or someone) did the following OS:
  • My computer image is hosted somewhere, is always with up to date software, upgrades are tranparent
  • There are a lot of access tiers:
    • An ajax based command line for pro users.
    • Google spreadsheet and Google docs let you browse and edit the files in your desktop
    • Specialized software lets you login with remote desktop or X windows or whatever

  • I can run servers on my computer
  • If I don't the provider can park my image while I'm not logged in
  • They provide a database if I want to run a server

Re:My wishos (2, Interesting)

cucucu (953756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950060)

(second time today I click on Submit instead of preview. Can't ./ add a confirmation alert before proceeding?)

  • If I run a server I also have a static IP
  • They can charge for some of the services, with a pricing model similar to the Amazon EC2 [amazon.com]. I.e. 1$ per Gygabyte, .10 per hour CPU, .10 per hour static IP
  • I guess they would charge for those who run the server option
  • The web & db scale automatically
  • Bandwidth is free within the provider's environment - this is very interesting for Google, they could absorve all the Web into their datacenters.


my 2 cents

Re:My wishos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950642)

Missing option:

* Moon on a stick
* Cowboyneal

Re:My wishos (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950784)

this is very interesting for Google, they could absorve all the Web into their datacenters

Which is what they are up to - like creating the biggest (post TV & print) market research engine & advertising machine ever thought of. VNU, Taylor Nelson Sofres etc. will be dwarfed.

CC.

Re:My wishos (1)

tomjen (839882) | more than 7 years ago | (#16951074)

there is no way to absorb all the material inside any datacenter. There is simply too much information on the WWW. Look at the amount of info in the wayback archive.

Re:My wishos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950062)

Do you want fries with that too ?

Re:My wishos (1)

Slipgrid (938571) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950086)

I like the idea of Google hosting my OS and my web servers. I bet they would do it, since I'm an Adsense user.

Re:My wishos (1)

DigitalRaptor (815681) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950880)

The problem with this is if the computer image is hosted by Google, it either has to be transferred to your machine in it's entirety and be run there, or left at Google and run there.

Due to the current limits of even the best broadband and the impatience of humanity, the first option isn't feasible.

The problem with the second option is that it puts the entire CPU load on the Google servers and your machine just becomes a terminal. Google's infrastructure is setup for massive storage, but not that kind of massive computing.

But for most people a basic Linux OS with OpenOffice and a few other app, and a browser with access to the web is all they need.

The kicker is games. 90%+ of our computing is (IMHO) driven by the requirements of gaming.

They wouldn't make it themselves... (0)

ChowRiit (939581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949966)

While it wouldn't suprise me if Google wanted their own OS, from their past history it seems more likely they'd buy their way into the OS market somehow rather than developing it entirely in-house. I would have thought any GoogleOS would be after a string of relevant corporate takeovers and purchases, which would make it rather obvious...

Re:They wouldn't make it themselves... (1)

domc (11897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950188)

I doubt it. If Google released any kind of OS, it would most likely be Linux-based (possibly an existing distro), and that could be rather discreet.

Hope (1)

Lex-Man82 (994679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16949994)

Personally I hope that if they realise there own OS it's more than a Linux distro, we have enough already. Why can't they help popularise another distro they could start selling Google based PC's and Laptops with Ubuntu or somthing.

If they have to release there own OS can't they develop there own one using new technology.

Re:Hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950236)

Why can't they help popularise another distro they could start selling Google based PC's and Laptops with Ubuntu or somthing.


Because no one would buy one? Retail giant Wal-Mart tried it with Lindows or some crap, and that idea sank like a brick. Dell tried it too and people paid to avoid having to use Linux.

Face it: Linux will never make it to the desktop in any great numbers.

Re:Hope (1)

Lex-Man82 (994679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950394)

I may be wrong but Dell only sell Linux based servers not desktops.
Also I think that while Linux may only have a nish market it would still be a profitable indevevor . I would happily buy a Linux base laptop if I didn't have to pay over the odds for one. It seems to be impossible to get one here in the UK.

Also with a little support from Google Ubutuntu might be able to offer GUI support for WPA wireless networks. Which would help me a lot as I can't seem to get my machine to connect to them.

Re:Hope (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950442)

If we get to vote on Distros, I'd much rather they use Mandriva. I've tried Ubuntu and I don't see what all the hype is about. I find Mandriva a lot easier to set up, and manage. What is it that people find so appealing about Ubuntu?

Re:Hope (1)

Lex-Man82 (994679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950732)

I don't think it would really matter what Distro they used, they could even offer a selection. Just the fact that somone was selling Linux based home computers would be cool.

Please don't click this unethical story. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950000)

It was submitted by the blogger himself, and the website is more than 40% advertisement. Here is the article text:

Written by Emre Sokullu and edited by Richard MacManus.

There's no such thing as the GoogleOS in reality - but despite that, it is one of the most talked about Web products. People can't stop discussing it - and even imagining screenshots for it! Seems like everyone expects Google to get into direct competition with Microsoft, by releasing an operating system. However Google refuses such claims and even makes fun of this kind of buzz. Nevertheless we decided to analyze where Google may be heading with their product strategy - and from that determine what are the chances of a GoogleOS.
Possibilities

We see 3 scenarios for a GoogleOS:

        * A web based desktop (i.e. operating system)
        * A full featured Linux distribution
        * A lightweight Linux distro and/or BIOS

We'll try to explain each of these in detail - then in the conclusion, make our prediction. What's more, we think this could be less than 6 months away from happening.
A Web Based Operating System

If you asked "what will a GoogleOS look like?" - most people would answer that it'll be an AJAX-powered copy of the Windows desktop. In other words, a WebOS (aka webtop). To remind you of what a WebOS is, it is basically a virtual desktop on the web and has various built-in applications. Google already has a history of producing web-based products that mimic desktop apps - Gmail was the first desktop client like email reader, and now they have Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Calendar and other desktop-like products. Also note that Google's internal open sourced widget toolset, GWT, allows them to replicate any desktop capability.

On the other hand, a bunch of startups like YouOS , Goowy, DesktopTwo, Xin and open source eyeOS are already tackling this exact problem - and have been for a while now. So if Google engineers are not already working on their own webOS project, they may want to snap up one of these! AJAX powered YouOS, which is a yet another Paul Graham investment, seems like the most obvious choice at this time.

Screenshot from YouOS

Besides the startups we've already mentioned, there may be other surprises that Google looks at for WebOS purposes. Meebo, for instance, has created a very large user base with their web-based meta instant messaging product (it enables you to use multiple IM services on the same webpage). IM is a crucial application, because many people spend a lot of time on the computer IM'ing. So Meebo could use IM as a base - and utilize the empty spaces on their page for new applications.

Meebo OS with fictional Calculator application (taken from YouOS)

30 Boxes also has a webtop offering, but it looks less promising than their calendar. Start pages like NetVibes, PageFlakes and WebWag could also potentially enter the webos business.
A Full Featured Linux Distro

Another possibility for Google is to create their own Linux-based operating system. The free license of Linux allows anyone to create their own version of Linux. Although Linux is the most popular operating system in the server market and it's free, it is still far behind Windows and MacOS in the desktop market. Some believe this may change with the latest enhancements to the Linux user interface.

This scenario is a more traditional model to replace Windows - with a direct competitor, instead of creating a web-based replacement. Indeed this has already been widely speculated - Ubuntu, a semi-free Linux derivative, was rumored to be acquired by Google.

If this scenario happened, Google may open up their operating system as a free download and promote it on their homepage - as they once did with Firefox. They could also make a networked file system the default, instead of the complex UNIX file hierarchy of Linux - which is another reason why Linux struggles in the mainstream desktop market.
A Lightweight Linux Distro or BIOS

A lightweight Linux distro is a possibility. For example an OS that simply booted up the computer, connected to the internet, and then opened Firefox. Then leave the rest to Google's web sites and apps. This is possibly the most logical strategy, because Google could then create a homepage that connects all their services and applications - and people will have the freedom to use other web sites and services as well.

Similar concepts already exist. For instance, Puppy and Damn Small are 2 credit card sized Linux distros. The good thing about these is that you can carry them everywhere you go - putting the credit card sized CD or the USB drive into your pocket and using your own operating system anywhere you go. Why? Because these distributions don't need to be installed and can work directly from the CD or the USB drive.

ByzantineOS, a dead project now, was doing exactly this. Its sole purpose was to boot up and open a Mozilla based window manager - but then you could not get out of your browser window!

A screenshot of ByzantineOS, showing the user stuck inside the browser

However, Google may be considering an even more radical solution and planning to replace BIOS with their own version. BIOS means 'basic input/output system' and it is the built-in software that determines what a computer can do - for example it controls the keyboard and display screen. Google's latest sponsorship of LinuxBIOS may be a step towards researching this. In that case, Google could agree with hardware vendors to pre-install Google's BIOS-based operating system.
Conclusion: GoogleOS will tackle Microsoft's Vista OS head on

We believe that everything will become much clearer in the following 6 months. Microsoft will put pressure on Google with its Vista OS, which will receive relatively high adoption just like any other new Windows release (although probably not as high as historically Microsoft has enjoyed!). As Vista's adoption increases, so will the adoption of its default search engine Live Search. From Microsoft's perspective, this will have a positive effect on all Live and MSN sites. What end users are looking for is ease-of-use and satisfactory experiences - which in a lot of cases starts from the Vista OS.

In that scenario, Google's usage rates may be negatively affected. So we predict at that point, Google will start a more punchy strategy - pushing Firefox and some form of Google OS. Yahoo! has already responded to the Microsoft threat in a friendly fashion, by offering a customized IE7 for its users. But we think Google will be more aggressive and competitive and will push their own OS. The GoogleOS may be a reality within 6 months!

What you're doing is unethical (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950336)

The guy wrote this article in order to place ads on it and make a little money for his time. You're free not to visit or promote his page, but please don't steal his intellectual property.

Re:What you're doing is unethical (4, Funny)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950450)

I wrote this hyped up nonsense in order to place ads on it and make a lot of money for my 10 min of effort. You're free not to visit or promote my page, but please don't steal my intellectual property.

There, I fixed that for you. :)

The Thin Client (4, Interesting)

Slipgrid (938571) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950032)

I think the way that Google will go is to make thin client apps that will run on any old computer. They could use a simple file system to install on peoples old and insecure desktops to secure them, and have something to run Firefox or whatever client will access their products. And they will have all their other apps put together in a nice form or package. Whatever file system people install on their desktops will allow them to install third party software.

Really it's a hard sale for most people. Do you want all your info, or say just all your email, documents, video, and whatever else (depending on what products they create) on Google servers. Does Google want to compete with M$ in this arena? Of course the Google OS would be free as in beer with labels. I'm not sure.

I think the more likely scenario would be a Google OS for Servers. To be sure, they are using a custom file system, and they have that down pat. An end-user product is less likely. If it isn't perfect, they likely won't release it.

Re:The Thin Client (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950578)

You should pad this comment out some and post it in a blog somewhere, then submit to Slashdot. You'd probably make the front page.

Mention 'file system' another half dozen times. Maybe add your thoughts on how Linux is distributed under a free license that lets anyone make changes to it. I'd use the words 'underlying code'.

The dollar sign M$ thing is great, it gets the kids all foaming at the mouth. Durn Microsoft! When will we be free from your chains!

And imply that all the software Google releases is perfect, even the stuff that never gets out of beta which is most of it. Like their spreadsheet application, how perfectly it blits out rectangles to the screen and pretty much that is all it does but it does it so perfectly well that those idiots on the M$ Ex$el programming team are probably cleaning out their offices in anticipatory capitulation.

File system.

Secure.

Thin client.

Data.

Freedom.

Terrorists.

Internet.

Happy I could help you out. I look forward to reading you on the front page!

Re:The Thin Client (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950818)

I think the parent poster is not far off. From the experience that I have had, shoving a live CD in the tray and booting is an impressive thing for people with some old hardware and requirements for not much more than web browsing and writing emails. The fact that its free, does what they want, doesn't take long to get used to, and can be virtually virii free with a reboot (depending on whether files are stored on the hard drive, if it is even used) is a big bonus for neophytes... or at least those I have had dealings with. Remember, I did say their requirements were in the low to nil levels, they are not gamers or graphics artists. There is a huge, yet relatively unnoticed population that fits this bill.

If Google puts out a live CD like AOL disks, and adds cheap dial-up and/or free access to applications via Google.net or similar, its will be an EASY SELL to a LOT of people who have low requirements for working on the Internet. I'd guess this userbase would easily hit the millions here in North America, and who knows how many globally. It wouldn't be a one size fits all answer, but it would batter the hell out of the AOL customer base!

Google's OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950092)

So, imagine a situation where you put a computer with an image of the GoogleOS in a box, along with a bit of radioactive substance and a Geiger counter connected to the computer. The computer is set to burn the image on a CD/DVD when one of the atoms decays resulting and it's detected by the Geiger counter...

Re:Google's OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950962)

I know the endcome of this box and nucular atoms thing...
The cat will be half dead, half alive!

Lemmings (1)

Simon la Grue (1021753) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950098)

1. Read everyone else's clueless speculation 2. Publish your own clueless speculation 3. Get Google to laugh at you 4. Profit?!

Well, do ya? Punk? (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950122)

I'd like to see a Google OS, if only because I have enough of a Discordian streak to appreciate all of people's systems, work, and data based around an "I'm Feeling Lucky!" button.

Remember Kiddos (1)

Lullabye_Muse (808255) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950126)

Google supports more than firefox browser wise. Google will probably move towards a WebOS vs an operating system, maybe expand their google personal search homepage - http://www.google.com/ig?hl=en [google.com] . But yeah I doubt they go all firefox as that would alienate so many people and is as much a bad idea as going all ie would be for them. Proprietary anything is bad.

OR (2, Interesting)

luguvalium2 (466022) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950132)

How about a virtual os that is optimised for web use that runs under vmware player. Google can manage all the configuration, updates, virus protection, malware protection (if needed) etc.

Bad tag (3, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950146)

GoogleOS isn't vaporware as it hasn't been announced for a public release by Google.
There was some news about Google using a custom *nix based OS internally, and it has indeed been deployed.

That it's not even vaporware also says a bit why I think these articles are a bit useless.

Soooo ... (4, Insightful)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950158)

Let me get this straight ...

Google is expected to release an entire operating system that's supposed to compete heads on with Windows Vista, which is the result of years and years of work and billions of dollars invested? Say what you will about Windows, but it certainly is a massive behemoth with sh*tloads of functionality. You don't just shake something like that out of your sleeve in a few months.

And what's the supposed rationale behind a GoogleOS? Better integration of Windows Vista with Microsofts Live Search, or whatever they call it. Here's where the flip side of the coin comes in. Google has, for their part, invested years and years and billions of dollars in creating the best search engine out there, bar none. Is Microsoft suddenly going to undermine their user base by making their search engine integrated into Vista? I don't think so, Tim. People aren't total morons. They know how to type google.com into their search bars when they want to use a real search engine. It's no small cooincidence that the verb 'to google' has become prevalent among the English speaking, and has even been adopted and localized by many other nationalities.

There is absolutely no logical basis behind these speculations. Sheez.

Re:Soooo ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950430)

Well, Google could release, say, Goobuntu. Ubuntu, as a relatively new OS, competes well now, and has become possibly the most popular Linux distro. What it lacks, though, is some licenses and such stuff. Because of licensing issues, Ubuntu comes without many codecs, including basic MP3 codecs. Ubuntu, also I believe because of licensing, can't include the nVidia driver into their distro. The power of Google could really boost Ubuntu with the acquisition of some licenses. And maybe some other "special" things. Google does these contests all the time, maybe they could, for example, award a stipend to the best Goobuntu contributors every now and then. Open source contributors are enthusiastic, but something like that would sure bring even more enthusiasm - and contributors.

Re:Soooo ... (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950526)

Well, they could just release a google theme, atop of a finely tuned Linux distro. If they really threw their weight at it, they could get it running really well.

A better option for them, might be to fund improvements in Linux, and maybe some new applications. Spend some of that money they have for good. In fact, most companies should be doing this, the advantages are obvious. At the very least, the have fully functioning OS that they can use to bargain Microsoft prices down (by threatening to move to it!)

Re:Soooo ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950906)

Say what you will about Windows, but it certainly is a massive behemoth with sh*tloads of functionality.
You mean they finally upgraded Notepad, Paint, Solitaire and Minesweeper? Well, I'll just throw away my Ubuntu DVD and start queuing up for Vista release day, then.

Re:Soooo ... (3, Interesting)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950924)

They know how to type google.com into their search bars when they want to use a real search engine.
Actually I have come across many users who do not understand the whole typing of URLs in the address bar and are completely dependent on Google for ALL web browsing because someone (probably one of us) set it as the default page. In fact one person I know was having a problem where Google was not opening up, so I asked if it was just google or if it was every page. He replied that google was the default page and that he can't get to any other page without it. When I asked if he tried typing in another web address into the address bar, he returned a blank and confused stare. I encountered other people who used this same method of web browsing and my head almost exploded the first time I encountered this.

My point being (and I do have a point), that if the user is running vista, and he or she opens up IE7 (cause that's the default) and the first page they see is MS Live (cause that's the default), and MS Live is conveniently modeled to look almost exactly like google (can you blame them?), they probably won't even realize that it is NOT google. They will assume that this is the new Google Vista edition or something, and just continue on using MS Live. This is a serious threat to Google. Google needs to come up with a way to either compete directly in the way that MS is (which is what this article is about), or they need to educate users that they need to type in WWW.GOOGLE.COM for that Genuine Google Advantage (GGA, accept no substitutes. This would be interesting as it would involve some kind of media advertising which to my knowledge google has never done.

Something web-based and easy to start using... (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950162)

is what it would be. It would be something that anyone with a web browser could start using instantly.

They might then phase it into a complete operating system, perhaps by offering a lightweight Linux distro. I say lightweight, because web-based AJAX apps tend to be slower than native apps, so you want to reserve as much processing power as possible. And Google has a history of keeping things simple and lightweight.

They already have an online word processor and spreadsheet program and about 1,000 other services. It will be interesting to see what they do.

larger target audience (1)

sonixtwo (878390) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950190)

If Google were to chose a linux based os to distribute, I could see a lot more non-tech people saying "I'm gonna try googleOS" than "I'm gonna try linux"

Ah yes, ANOTHER distro... (2, Interesting)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950224)

They say it may be a web based desktop (aka WebOS), a full featured Linux distribution, or a lightweight Linux distro and/or BIOS.
Yes, of course, the bulk of end users are just waiting for yet another Linux distro before they drop Windows.
They predict that once Microsoft's Vista rolls out, it will present a direct threat to Google's Web properties and so therefore Google will start a more punchy strategy -- pushing Firefox and some form of Google OS in order to nullify Vista's potential impact."
Good luck with that. Say, which major hardware manufacturers have said said they will support this still-to-be-spec'ed Google OS?

hmm... speculation again... (1)

flosse (1029440) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950260)

I really don't think there will ever be such a thing as GoogleOS. you really think they would want to enter a market that is now pretty saturated already (OS/Linux)? I mean it would be a blank shot, yes quite a few people would use it and it might even have some novelty thing going for itself but overall OEMs would have to line up and why would they choose GoogleOS over something like Fedora, debian or Suse? I mean all those distros have a support structure already working, GoogleOS would have to start fresh, from the bottom up... I don't think that will happen.. but I can be wrong of course. In the end its all just speculation and all we can do is wait... //Flosse

games support (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950324)


Give it games support and the mass market will follow it.

Fail to do that and it wont get used by the people that advise other people on their software purchases.

Re:games support (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950918)

No to be jerk, but "games support" has to come from the game makers, not the os makers. Linux has very good gaming infrastructure with OpenGL, SDL, and OpenAL ... it's just that most game makers don't bother to write games based on those components. Actually, the game engine makers are probably more to blame, but that's a whole other topic.

Google Apps (2, Informative)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950330)

Google Apps for My Domain is pretty close to being a "web-based desktop." combine this with the fact that they purchased Jot.

Because all of the heavy processing and data storage is done on the Google end of that desktop, there is nothing that is stopping them from releasing a $250, all-solid-state appliance which consists of linux/X/firefox. But that's not going to find any buyers until a large number of people are comfortable trusting all of their data to Google, and its perpetual "beta" applications. Which won't be any time soon.

If a product manufacturer is not confident enough with a product to call it anything but beta, you shouldn't trust that product.

I like the idea (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950396)

I like to think that one day I could "log on" to any "computer", and see all my documents, email, and all the other data I use every day just appear on my "desktop" - or any other directory I put them in. The ultimate remote-desktop if you will. It could all be done from a full-screen web-browser, with the local OS just interfacing with a set of complex online APIs and clever client-side scripting to give the impression of real-time updates.

In fact, I think 90% of users would love to see this too, but I see some rather large problems with doing this...not least that in doing so, one would effectively be putting all eggs into one basket (Google's in this case), which is rarely a good idea - promises of "not being evil" notwithstanding.
Personally, I'll never seriously use a system that is based on this paradigm, as suddenly, my very personal information is now owned by a company and not by me. I don't think i'm the only one too.

There's other reasons I think this wouldn't really work too (such as offline connectivity), but I won't go there. Still, that's just me....everyone's different.

Screw GoogleOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16950508)

I think I'll just stick with Gentoo [gentoo.org]. It's the most baller OS ever!

Weird sitemeter report. (1)

GKThursday (952030) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950560)

About a year ago, I had a strange report on sitemeter, it said operating system unknown, and browser google 0.9. The weirdest was the ip was Microsoft's Redmond offices. here's a picture of it [blogspot.com] I thought it was weird then, and I still think it is weird. ~Thursday

Re:Weird sitemeter report. (1)

bugg_tb (581786) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950852)

Not to put a dampner on things but isn't this just a msn webbot trawling your blogspace? I may be completely incorrect and why it would identify itself as google I don't know but it does seem to be slightly more plausible

Re:Weird sitemeter report. (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16951024)

MSN Spider

Look under the Google 0.9 (an old google spider or a bot misreporting itself) msnbot 0.9

You're going to need to try harder, MS isn't testing a nonexistent OS.

these guys get paid to write this stuff? (3, Interesting)

not already in use (972294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950726)

These WebOS's that keep popping up are nothing more than proof-of-concept web pages that do nothing except prove that you can emulate the look and feel of a desktop OS using web technologies. They are in no way practical and anyone who thinks that a real company would pursue this option as a real OS solution rode the short bus as a child.

Looking at things from Google's perspective, they should want to support whatever could help topple MS. They have a spot of Apple's board, so they are helping Apple from a strategic standpoint. I think it is also important to note that Google is a supporter of open source and Linux, and it would not make sense for them to release their own distro when they could help to support an existing and privatly funded distro that has already made huge inroads (relatively speaking of course, in comparison to other linux desktops) in the desktop market, that being Ubuntu. I personally would like to see google throw their weight behind Ubuntu, as it would really get linux out there as a viable alternative to windows.

The idea that google is gonna release their own OS? Never gonna happen.

OS: You keep using that word. I do not... (1)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 7 years ago | (#16950994)

You keep using that word...

I do not think it means what you think it means. :-)

That said, why would google be interested in their own OS? To increase their marketshare? That doesn't make any sense.

What the Google OS is... (2, Interesting)

nigham (792777) | more than 7 years ago | (#16951094)

Google is a minimalist company. The Google OS will probably be a basic OS with the ability to check mail, maintain basic documents, your calendar, photos, and your news. Oh wait... thats already here! Am I the only one who realizes how much we're in the browser these days? When I'm writing in Writely I actually try to Alt+Tab out to my browser... before realizing I'm in my browser already.
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