So, I got a chance to take a sneak peek at the new Google OS. Or at least, what seems to be the new Google OS.
Not that I'm special in any way: http://discuss.gdgt.com/google/chrome-os/general/download-chrome-os-vmware-image/
However, I just want to throw a few quick thoughts out on the intarwebs.
1) I really like the concept. The computer is part of the network. Your sign in to your computer actually is your Google ID. I like that idea. Problem is? What happens if you're not actually connected? It'd be impossible to use your system. Not that most computer users these days can tell the difference between not having internet and not being able to do anything..
2) It's a good start. Which is exactly where I figure that they are. Starting. Inside of a couple years I am sure that they will have a lot of the bugs smoothed out. But as far as usage as a netbook system? It's just about perfect. Throw that with a 3g card in a netbook, and you've got an "internet based" computer. I never really understood what people saw in netbooks short of being used for that...
3) Not a geek in creation will be happy with it. I can hear the cries already: "I can't install my local server? Worthless!" "It's based on Linux and all you can do is browse the net? Are you kidding me?" Basically, the people who will miss the point of it entirely.
4) It wont be a competitor with Windows. Unless we're going back to dumb thin clients. Which is basically what the OS feels like. Even though it is a fully featured OS, it doesn't have that feel to it, since you are only able to be on the web. I think there is going to be a lot of resistance by the geeks before this ever truly becomes a reality.
That's all I have for now. I think it'll be some time before wide adoption. On anything other than netbooks anyways. I still think virtualization of software is more likely than everything in a browser.
I'm really tired of hearing anti-Apple talk from people that don't understand their business model. Microsoft is going after a different demographic than Apple is. Linux is going after yet another. For the sake of this post, I'm going to assume Apple vs Microsoft as the only competitors. Sorry Linux. You're still too geeky.
So, I was hearing things last night like "The video card isn't good enough in the Mac for me to justify it," and "They're just too expensive compared to PCs," nevermind that Mac's are PCs, and "They're too locked down." Basically all of which are statements that are filled with FUD. I wont refute any of these arguments, because they're half truths. Go out and look for yourself if you want to find their answers. Don't believe what you hear.
Lets take the car industry. Most people understand the differences in car manufacturers. Nobody would make the mistake that BMW, Audi or Mercedes are in the same market share as Ford, Chevy or Saturn.
When you buy a BMW, you give up a lot. All your decision decisions are made for you, and it's not extremely customizable unless you're an extremely talented auto mechanic. Even then, I highly doubt there are many mechanics out there that would say they need work. They're manufactured from the ground up to be a solid unit. Everything is taken in to account, and the owners experience is just that much better because every last little detail is scrutinized. It may not have the exact engine you want, or maybe it doesn't have a specific piece of piping in there that you like. It will just feel better. Maybe if you had that Ford, you could throw that single piece in there that you want, and you would feel happier about your purchase and yourself because you made a contribution to it.. That's just not how it works with the higher end cars. The experience is what you pay for, not the specific little pieces. That isn't to say you can't pay attention to the specifics, you just can't weigh them on the same scale as their lower end competitors. Sure, a truck has a bigger engine and more power than a little BMW car. Can it go as fast? Does it look as good? Will you be as happy? Will it fall apart as much? Just because you think it costs too much, or you can't afford it... That's not a good enough reason to look down on it.
That's the difference between a Mac Box and a Windows Box. Experience. I have (and do) own both. I use them for their respective strengths.
I play games on my Windows box, and I do everything else on my Mac. I've repeatedly tried to go back to Windows for many of the things I do on the Mac, and simply put, it just doesn't feel as fun. What would take five keystrokes on a mac system, takes ten on a windows system. Windows is good for certain activities, Macs are good for another set of activities. Right tool for the right job.
Optimistically, I'll hope that some day people are going to stop spreading FUD. I'll look forward to that day.