Waiting for Google OS... should Windows watch its back?
The rumor that Google is launching an operating system is no longer breaking news and almost everybody is waiting for the final release. At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco (Nov. 2010), Google boss, Eric Schmidt, announced that the Google OS will be available “in the next few months". This means that a release candidate of Google OS is really close and everybody is waiting eagerly to get their hands on the free OS and start testing.
Update: The same Eric Schmidt has confirmed that Chrome OS will not be released neither this month nor in December, and most likely we'll be seeing the OS from Google in 2011.
Taking into account that the shiny knight Sir Windows 7 will not be in the spotlight for a period of time, I wonder how Microsoft will react. Will it prepare a strategy to defend its reputation with a new knight (Windows 8), or act fearless?
Google OS: browser + OS
You may be asking what's so special about Google OS that it deserves be in the spotlight?... Well, the guys from Google are trying really hard to release an OS that is first and foremost innovative. Google OS is in fact a browser that performs as an operating system (does this mean that the Internet connection is mandatory?), supported by a Linux kernel, and aims to become this way the fastest booting OS, and to allow users to surf the Internet in just a few seconds.
All the applications featured for Chrome OS are not classical desktop applications, instead the browser runs web applications. This means that the security of the system should be higher, and users won't lose time searching and installing applications.
Another innovative feature brought about by Google OS is that the OS doesn't trust itself. I know this might sound confusing but stay with me and read the following line. The guys from Google created a feature so that, every time the computer restarts, the OS will verify the integrity of its code. And, if the system is compromised, Google OS is designed to fix itself. This translates into no more losing time reinstalling the OS and hoping that the family photos are not lost :)
Also, rumors have it, that hard disks might not be needed anymore and that all the information will be stored on Google servers, which users will be able to access by using their own Google Account. If this is true, it could mean the end of the hard disks era, which is not necessarily a good thing.
Although Google OS is perfect for someone that is always on the road, it seems that it addresses only those users who have a connection to the Internet (hey don't forget me: the Home user :)). I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what Google has to offer for users who don't have an Internet connection (or have a slow one).
What we know for sure is that Google Chrome OS is free, so Microsoft may need to prepare a good marketing campaign.
Should Microsoft really fear Google OS?
As I see it, people are always attracted by the newest technologies, so the launching of Google OS may determine some Windows users to migrate to Google OS and try out the Google platform. If this is the case, Windows will have some serious issues and it needs to come up with some new exciting features in order to convince its users to remain faithful.
From my point of view Google OS addresses mostly business users, who need a very fast system which starts immediately. This may mean that Google OS could be targeting netbooks, threatening Microsoft's market share. Meanwhile Microsoft claims that more than 95% of netbooks run Windows XP. We can all agree that at this point that XP is rather old and can't withstand the futuristic features of Google OS. Microsoft should really offer some fresh features that will make worth buying a new Microsoft OS, if they want to keep up with Google OS, which apart from innovative features it is also free.
To be connected or not to be connected?
Today, more than ever, communication has become a major part of our lives and so has the Internet, making an operating system such as Google OS a real necessity if we want to communicate fast. Having a computer with an OS that starts very fast, and with applications that are associated to your Google account sounds great. But being connected to the Internet in order to use your computer it doesn't sound too realistic. What happens if the user has a slow Internet connection or no Internet connection, what about the users that are using PCs for watching movies, videos, gaming and other activities? Hopefully the launch of Google OS will provide the answers.
Somes remarks :
- All OS now don't trust themselves and auto repear at startup.
- Features provided by google online are more like what you can expect of a phone than what you could expect of a laptop. Come on, the average guy has easily a few gigabyte of data he need to access (from 10GB to a few hundred). People listen to music, use MS word, or iPhoto... Their mails are available offline and they can buy Sim 3 for their childs.
That's what people want : something that just works. That the whole problem with theses concepts. Network can be slow, network is not always available. Even in US or western europe.
Thank you for your comment!
Regarding your remark that all OS are now fixing themselves, I'm a Windows 7 user and I've noticed that the OS is checking the integrity of the code in the following situations:
- unexpected shut down
- unexpected restart
- unexpected crashes (bsod)
However, from the information that I've gathered about Chrome OS, the OS from Google is checking the code at each startup. I have to admit that such a feature can really make a difference, and I look forward to see if this feature will prevent the users to reinstall their Google OS.
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