Linked by Kris Shaffer on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:07 UTC
Editorial Wishful thinking? Yes, but let's consider the possibilities. The last couple years have seen significant advances in hardware production and design. One of the more interesting (and potentially revolutionary) developments to take place this past year is the announcement of a new CPU, the STI (Sony, Toshiba, IBM) Cell processor.
Order by: Score:
go google!
by 2501 on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:16 UTC

another OS in the near future???? that is great! They have the money and the power to do it. Why not????

I was really expecting Palm OS to come with something like that but at this point it seems that is just a dream.

-2501

Google has no secret plan
by Jeremy on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:21 UTC

This article offers some really good reasons why a Google OS simply isn't going to happen: http://daltonlp.com/daltonlp.cgi?item_type=0&item_id=424

But, assuming that all of that was incorrect, I still see another flaw in your reasoning: I doubt Google would bother to base their work on Cell hardware. They're commodity x86 systems already work great, what reason would they have to dedicate so many man hours into porting their work to a different hardware architecture?

Google OS
by steel on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:31 UTC

finally , im tired of windoze monopoly bugs and virii, and tired of bad usability on linux, somebody should make OS for people

And
by Legend on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:31 UTC

I don't see any useful relation to the Cell either. The additional cores in the Cell are mostly vector computers, although much more powerful then a SSE or AltiVec unit, they are not universal cpus, like the power-core that is for those generic tasks in the cell. At least everything would still have to touch the power core, which I would not call acting like cpus with several cores.

Where the cell's vector units could be helpful

- Encoding/Decoding VoIP.
- Encoding/Decoding Video/Audio streams.
...

But they for your article, Intel has a better fitting virtulization technology!

This guy must work for Apple!
by Dude on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:33 UTC

Google Grid Computing!

A catchy name, some good PR, Now the price must be just high enough where only those with superior intellect could ever afford to buy it.

Sounds like the business model is already done.

Poor
by Omega on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:40 UTC

Acting like several CPUs in one, the Cell will be able to power multiple operating systems at once, as well as bear the heavy computing load that a single system can place on the CPU

I stopped reading here.

What a new processor may be technically able to do in a possible eventual future has no value.

And when I read that a current CPU can't bear the load, it just proves that this article is written by someone influenced by PR and marketing, and that the author does not know how a CPU works or how to program one.

Article rating: 0/10

Cell
by Kris Shaffer on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:42 UTC

I think there may be some misunderstanding regarding the role I see Cell playing in this system. The system would not be built upon Cell technology. Rather, the need or desire for a Google OS would result from the increased complexity of the multitasking PC of which Cell will likely be a part. The Google OS that I suggest would likely reside on Google's servers, which could easily remain x86. Though I mention the possibility of an installable OS coexisting on Cell with other systems, the more interesting approach in this article would require no more than a high-speed internet connection and a supported web broswer.

A Google OS?
by Scott on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:48 UTC

Why are people so infatuated with the idea of a Google OS? I like the idea of an online operating system (although I think latency could be a real big issue) but why are these rumors always centered on Google? Anyone could do this. Yahoo!, Microsoft, Novell, shit even eBay has the infrastructure for doing it. Does it mean any of them will? No I don’t think so... Google will do just fine offering its applications in web-based forms, no need for a dedicated OS. Which brings me to point two, why do you need a cell processor to do an online OS? As if this wasn’t possible with x86. This whole article is reaching really far in my opinion.

RE: Google OS
by Sodki on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:52 UTC

finally , im tired of windoze monopoly bugs and virii, and tired of bad usability on linux, somebody should make OS for people

Switch to a Macintosh. Really.

Google
by Anonymous on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:52 UTC

Don't we have enough OS's already? Just because they do certain things really well... We need to streamline and optimize what we already have.

RE: Google
by Jon on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:54 UTC

>Don't we have enough OS's already?

Not really. It's either Linux, Windows or OSX lately. The rest of the OS players are too small to make a peep in the market.

RE: Google
by Scott on Thu 24th Mar 2005 19:59 UTC

>Don't we have enough OS's already?

Ya because freedom of choice is a bad thing...

hmmm
by mojo on Thu 24th Mar 2005 20:19 UTC

I don't know about the whole "dedicated Google OS" thing, since a souped up web browser can easily handle all those tasks, but I do have faith in the web application's future.

The best situation would be to have the applications served to you off Google or some other large company and have that application save data on your local HD/DVDRW. I wouldn't trust 1000GB of my data to a company that I deal with only online.

But what happens when/if your ISP goes down? I guess the solution to that would be to have a cached copy of your applications on your computer, and when the ISP goes bust, you can use the applications for a limited period of time, after which, when you get online again, the applications synch with it's provider and your cache is refreshed, ready for another ISP nosedive.

Just an idea that popped up in my head when I read (parts of) the article.

Cell
by Patrick on Thu 24th Mar 2005 20:35 UTC

The processor sounds like it could really bring a lot to the table (estimates for the PS3), yet the problem is how to do so for the desktop. So you take an operating system that does not exist and match it with a processor that does not yet exist and voilà! I believe Sony or IBM said they would develop a desktop with this processor. Just port linux. If you want simplicity, don't install worthless crap. Just because Google does search well, doesn't mean that they will make a good OS. People were upset that their mail system would allow others to see your emails (I believe that had to do with customizing ads on the webpage). An innovative company they may be, but they are not perrfect.

OS replacement
by Gabor on Thu 24th Mar 2005 20:36 UTC

I think google is not gonna make an OS, but an OS replacement. Everyone should read this instead:

http://www.cnet.com/4520-6033_1-5759958-1.html?tag=nl.e501

@Gabor
by Legend on Thu 24th Mar 2005 20:41 UTC

The idea of thin clients is now getting stone age old. As long as it doesn't native in terms of speed and integration (which it would perhaps only with a 100 mbit/s line and ping of 10 ms) this won't be too good - or be a webpage to download an applet from, but then why not just implemented it as a stand alone app!

What about Security and Privacy???
by Varun on Thu 24th Mar 2005 20:42 UTC

Why should I trust anyone to keep all of my stuff online..
With so much of privacy issues, I would rather have my stuff on my encrypted hard drive rather than on a online service.. A single security breach would enable the bad guys to get data of all users.. That is a big no for me.. I do not trust any PC which is not built by me, why would I trust an online service..

google linux distro
by Joe on Thu 24th Mar 2005 20:50 UTC

What seems far more likely to me than a full internet based OS is a Google branded linux distribution featuring their popular windows software (desktop search, picasa) ported over to linux. The distro could be like Mepis in that it could run from the cd or be installed, and google could provide a personal online storage space that people could use to store files to be accessed from any computer. It seems to me that this internet OS concept can largely be carried out now with this method. The OS could be installed to any number of computers, with the personal files being mirrored locally and on the central google data storage area so that a change of a personal setting on one computer would carry over to all other computers. The only real issue is platform neutrality; how to get one CD to work on a PC or Mac or whatever else a user would encounter.

evolution
by Nex6 on Thu 24th Mar 2005 20:56 UTC

this is just a "take"

on the natural order of things, all the big players, msn,yahoo, and googles Gmail. offer alot of space the will evole into other things until, a "service" like gmail, or yahoo other tons of services with like a 5 GB space.

it wont really be an "OS" just a Gmail like webservice
and it wont be just google, remember yahoo and msn are in this race to.

even webservice'd IM, and file storage could be options. but who knows.

this is really not that big a deal, this change things evolve. in 5 or 10 years, it may not be a big deal weather you buy a mac, windows or Linux or anything else for that matter. and that is a good thing.

will they be "thin clients" no,

they will be 'fat' cleints access network based services.


-Nex6

The net is not the computer
by r_a_trip on Thu 24th Mar 2005 21:13 UTC

It seems attractive, the ever present computer that is cared for by others. An interface so simple that a monkey can operate it.

Yet it also means giving up any and all control to whomever supplies you with this carefree computer. This system is ultra-proprietary, because the thing you own is a dumbterminal and a for pay time-limited accessright.

I have an idea. You give your computer to me, I will host it and keep it safe and you can use it via VNC installed on an obsolete 486 I have lying around. If you want a program installed, just tell me and I'll immediately install it for a small fee.

You won't have to worry about a thing, I will even keep it clean of illegal content and if you so desire I will spy on your kids to see if they look for content that doesn't align with your ideas on how the personalities of your kids should be.

I'll keep with the Personal in Personal Computer....

NetPC
by Madcap on Thu 24th Mar 2005 21:15 UTC

Didn't Sun talk about this years ago with their concept of the "The Network is the PC"?

How 'bout these?
by Mareq on Thu 24th Mar 2005 21:16 UTC

Oh, come on. How about speculating a new future-to-be Adobe operating system? Or Symantec? Or Mozilla? Heck, why not a Coca-Cola-Company-OS???? If the majority of those editors spent the time they waste on publishing this kind of pointless crap on doing something productive (a new OS, perhaps) then we'd be living in a much better cyberspace. But as long as this nagging continues, the only option I have is to read stories like this from OSNews which mostly belong to the Cosmopolitan domain.

--post scriptum
by Mareq on Thu 24th Mar 2005 21:18 UTC

...Or not read OSNews at all...

A Ridiculous Pipe Dream
by KaS_m on Thu 24th Mar 2005 21:19 UTC

It will be decades until an infrastructure on the level of Internet2 becomes a significant part of the mainstream internet. And even that would not be fast enough for thin clients to deliver apparent performance equal to that of today's computers. If advances in computer hardware and in software demands between now and then are accounted for, the whole idea is demonstrated to be unfeasible.

Moreover, it is undesirable. Why would people want to give up computer games? Why would people want to use a system that would be legally required to be a thousand times more restrictive and invasive than Microsoft Windows threatens to become today? Why would people want to commit their the fruits of their creativity or hard work, or their sensitive personal or business data into the hands of a single company, no matter how much of a buzzword its name is.

This article essentially amounts to a proposal that everyone put their computer in a locked box on the side of the house, like a power meter, that is only disturbed when the technician comes by to check it. Sure, you can hook up a monitor and use it, but it is no longer under your control. Computing has the value it does today because computers are TOOLS that enable people to manage information in incredible ways, rather than SERVICES that people use in cute, prescribed ways. Yes, you have to learn how to use that tool yourself, rather than let the technician handle it, but that is the price you pay for flexibility and control, and it is a price that seems less steep all the time, as each successive younger generation becomes more computer literate than the last.

My final objection to the premise of the article is that it demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of what makes Google great. The author seems to have the attitude that Google is a one-in-a-million company that knows how to do things right, and so they should do everything. This makes no sense - Google is master of only one field (web-based services, and NO general computing tasks have no value as web-based services) and has produced only a handful of great technologies (Google Search, and the distributed filesystem that underlies all its applications). They excel at these things, but were they to attempt to develop an OS right now, they would fail miserably. They have few, if any employees qualified to design software of that nature, and are no better a candidate for hiring a new OS development team en masse than anyone else. They know this, and have never suggested an intention to move into other fields.

I may not post much, but I've been reading OSNews for some time, and this is one of the sillier articles I've seen here.

...
by Fixor on Thu 24th Mar 2005 21:31 UTC

People put too much fate in Google...

a little uninformed
by mattb on Thu 24th Mar 2005 21:33 UTC

what google has shown us is that we have the technology right now to make webapps that are comptitive with desktop apps. what that can mean is that for circumstances that make sense, the thinclient mentality can not only make sense, but be preferrable. what that doesnt mean is that we will all be using thin clients in 2k10.

Not good!
by Mark Watson on Thu 24th Mar 2005 21:38 UTC

This is very, very scary! If google has everyones information, they can restrict access to anyone. The government can then tell google who can or can not have infermation. That way, if i disagree with the government, they can tell, and ban me from all the information in the world. It is not good at all. I'm sticking with my debian box and my pen drive.

Honda getting into the buggy whip business?
by Anonymous on Thu 24th Mar 2005 21:41 UTC

Google has no interest in operating systems. Give it a break!

Internet
by Buck on Thu 24th Mar 2005 21:42 UTC

Everything has such a big inertia... Maybe it's because of Microsoft and its legacy user or plain users just don't need anything new, but instead something that just works, with average quality... Heck, IPv6 is still scarce in the world! So until Google starts providing free beer with their OS that's better than others' free beer, then they might have a chance.

@ steel
by helf on Thu 24th Mar 2005 21:48 UTC

There is one. It's called "BeOS" ;)

Unrealistic
by Carl on Thu 24th Mar 2005 21:51 UTC

How about nice 3d GUIs. Things you can't do using a web browser like animation, video editing. Try doing this using Javascript! Maybe we will see Open GL in the browser, who knows!
It takes much more time than that to create an OS. An OS takes around 10 years to mature.
The OS you're talking about is too simplistic. And by the way 2010 is just 5 years away.

not an OS but an application service
by tech_user on Thu 24th Mar 2005 22:13 UTC

there is a difference between an OS and an application server/service

my prediction
by Anonymous on Thu 24th Mar 2005 22:15 UTC

my prediction is that google won't be important at all in 10 years

Worthless.
by Termina on Thu 24th Mar 2005 22:36 UTC

"Though there is no indication that anything like this is in the works..."

Two pages of fluff and speculation. Move along, nothing to see here.

I thought this was OSNews, not OSMakeUpCrap.

remote desktop... not new
by mmu_man on Thu 24th Mar 2005 23:14 UTC

While Google may have more power and space to serve, this is not new, http://www.workspot.com/ has been doing that for some time using VNC and Linux servers. I had an account there some time ago, back when it was still free.
Of course it would be funny to see Google tackle this at a much wider scale, but I'd say it would lack integration with their other services...
A real GoogleOS would need query support, to handle searching google itself (and your gmail account) mounted as different volumes as you would on local files, and as I already do in BeOS, er, Zeta:
http://clapcrest.free.fr/revol/beos/shot_googlefs_006.png
*that* is a google OS ;)

googlefs...
by mmu_man on Thu 24th Mar 2005 23:31 UTC

for those who didn't get it, it is a real (well, virtual) filesystem, so google appears as a volume (virtual hdd) on the desktop, and can be queried (asked for complex attribute-based searches), which results in bookmark entrie files being created that match the result and can be copied, DnDed, ... and it can even be used from CLI:
http://clapcrest.free.fr/revol/beos/shot_googlefs_005.png

Lack of speed will kill the concept
by Joe User on Thu 24th Mar 2005 23:46 UTC

Gmail is way faster than regular webmails, still, having to establish communication back and forth with the server using xmlHttpRequest takes too much time. Using an E-Mail client is instantaneous and faster.

The increase in speed (1GBps several years from new?) will improve it, but I don't imagine retouch a 50MB photo over a network between Mountain View and the other side of the Earth. Having Photoshop on a high-end workstation will still be faster.

its so easy to place all of your aspirations in some future tech. the number of people who have hitched their wagons to the dream of 'cell' is laughable. lets see how the real systems really perform...my guess they will be in the amd64/g5 range and will stay competitive but that is about it. remember's sony's emotion engine? it was supposed to 'think' or whatever they said, just turned out to be another gpu. please refrain from commenting on cell unless you have some IC background.

as for google os, more stupid speculation. maybe this is all entertaining, but its baseless.

I dont trust google
by googlehater on Fri 25th Mar 2005 00:48 UTC

Why would I risk hosting all my data with google with no privacy ? They can keep all my data, do what ever they want to do with it and never deltete it!! ???? Can you really trust a company like google which has grey practices of privacy of users ? Atleast I would not

It will happen!
by Tom on Fri 25th Mar 2005 01:07 UTC

It wont start with the tech wizards of OSNews it will start with poor people that can only afford a used thin client for say $50 and a moderate priced isp. It will also start with people that travel and need their information with them every where. Then it will grow. The software possibilities are mindbogling and I don't think any of us can predict where it will be in 10-20 years. And, he is right. It won't just be google doing it but you can bet they will be at the front because they have the money and their network know how is top level.

Re: pointless speculation and hand waving
by KaS_m on Fri 25th Mar 2005 01:57 UTC

Man, am I sick of seeing comparisons between EE and Cell. The two situations are NOT comparable, people! There are three major differences between Cell and the "Emotion Engine".
A. Cell technology WILL deliver superior performance
B. Cell is absolutely guaranteed to be cheap and ubiquitous.
C. EE was hype, Cell is Sony's new long term strategy.

A:
Cell's technology, as revealed by its patent, is much more impressive than EE was for its time. EE is a MIPS processor with extensions to its instruction set. Admittedly, it is set up in a very strange configuration in the PS2, but strange is very different from obviously superior. Consider the fact that Cell will ship with a POWER4 or POWER5 core, possibly dual-core, clocked at over 4GHZ in 2006. If that was the entire thing, it would be respectable, certainly the greatest POWER chip so far. It would be competitive with the offerings of AMD and Intel at that time. Since Cell is also going to come with 8 SPU vector processors, even if those SPUs are assumed to be completely idle when there's no OpenGL window onscreen Cell would still be great. While Cell would be competitive with Intel and AMD for general computing tasks, it would still absolutely destroy them in gaming performance, and therefore x86 would lose the entire enthusiast market (after the requisite inertia). Since the vector processors, in reality, will be useful in a very wide range of other tasks (pretty much all things that really require a fast CPU these days, actually), there will be no competition as far as performance is concerned. How can you compare this to EE, which was never even aimed at the general computing market?

B:
Cell claims a good number of transistors, but not any significant increase over current CPUs. It comes in a sensible package and has a sensible thermal profile. Therefore, it is safe to assume, with technology posing no obstacle, that these will become very competitively priced very fast. The reason is obvious: Sony is sticking this thing in every HDTV, PVR or other media device starting 2006. It will be manufactured in volume unprecedented for general-purpose CPUs. It will be manufactured by IBM, and any other reputable chipmaker that wants to get on board. PS2's EE was needed for a much tinier market.

C:
One final thing distinguishes Cell from EE most of all: the sheer scope of the project. EE was developed for a single division of Sony. Cell is depended on by Sony's entire high-end consumer electronics business, which is more than 10 times the size of its games division, and Toshiba's consumer electronics too, and whatever IBM sees fit to use it for, and for the countless other companies that will want to jump on the bandwagon immediately through licensing. Sony's entire future as a company rests on this. Most people assume the Intel/Microsoft duopoly is invincible, but here we have a company that is far larger than either that will be throwing all its immense resources at the project, and will have money pouring in from its great success in the consumer electronics space that they can use to support it throughout the initial resistance they will inevitably face in the general computing market.

That said, I don't want to sound stupidly optimistic. Unless Microsoft immediately gets behind Cell with a port of Windows, Cell will see very lackluster adoption for general purpose desktop computers. Linux is terrific, but it's adoption on the desktop is glacially paced and will continue to be so no matter what hardware comes out.

Nevertheless, Cell will be HUGE in high-performance computing. It will be HUGE in consumer electronics, and HUGE in gaming (Xbox Next's technology is so conventional by comparison, and its foothold in the market so tenuous, it can't possibly compete, Halo 3 or not). Comparing this new technology, revolutionary for vectorizable applications, to a MIPS knockoff is as ridiculous as comparing this new market behemoth to Sony's Playstation Divison. In case you noticed, the only people shoveling EE hype were Sony's Playstation Division, and the only people swallowing it were PS2 fanboys. The mere fact that this is being discussed on OSNews (and CNet and PC Magazine and everywhere else for that matter) should indicate to you the fallacy of the comparison.

umm.. gmail?
by davidm on Fri 25th Mar 2005 01:59 UTC

Have you looked at gmail lately? Maybe you've been carried along with it, but it is getting as overloaded with gadgety features as any other application.

Sorry, google is a cool, innovative company, but they're not magic, and they are as susceptible as "the devil is in the accumulating details" as any one else.

There is a startling lack of integration between the search and user functions in google search, news, orkut, gmail, etc that shows they really don't have any central integration that would make them special. They're just trying stuff. Stock's going up though.

I'm thankful for their approach though, they are absolutely cool people, and hope it can influence other dumb "sell out rather than try something thoughtful" approaches that exist.

RE: Internet
by Mark Watson on Fri 25th Mar 2005 02:57 UTC

Giving free beer... That wouldn't be so bad. Of course you would still need invites.

@Kas_M
by CrapFilledTeaCup on Fri 25th Mar 2005 03:38 UTC

more hand waving...until you see cell in action, anything you have to say is speculation, unless you are one of the few playing with it in prototype form (i highly doubt given the abstract hand waving in your comments)

grrr
by Randall Danger on Fri 25th Mar 2005 03:40 UTC

Ugh, I am incredibly sick of the google taking over the world theories.... MAKE IT STOP!

Ridiculous
by BSDFreak on Fri 25th Mar 2005 03:40 UTC

This is just totally unfounded speculation. There is no "Google OS". Google has readily admitted they are a search engine company, with an investment in content. I think that's the truth. They have a heavily modified version of Linux with their own FS, that much is true, but why would they invest millions to compete against Microsoft? How would they really get the consumer recognition they need? Where is the mainstream application support going to come from? Apple is already gaining momentum, Linux has more recognition and BSD is starting to have some serious potential. What would Google offer? The best desktop search capabilities? This whole speculation of Google taking over the world is silly. They have a proven business model, they aren't going to risk it all for some idiotic attempt to compete with Microsoft.

Google + id OS
by biff on Fri 25th Mar 2005 04:58 UTC

Google and id Software need to team up and create an OS that will blow Windblows out of the water.

RE:Google + id OS
by Sunny Prakash Sachanandani on Fri 25th Mar 2005 06:37 UTC

You cant just blow Windows out.You dont even realize how many individuals and enetrprises use it.Agreed Google has been successful in the search industry but making an OS is a different issue altogether.There is a company called Microsoft which has a big huge bank account.You think they are going to let that happen?

Sounds uninformed.
by Kannan Goundan on Fri 25th Mar 2005 07:20 UTC

The reasoning behind the article is about as consistent as a movie plot involving computers -- it doesn't really make sense, but it could probably fool non-computer people.

First of all, as many people have already mentioned, I don't know why "the Cell processor" was mentioned. It's irrelevant. Everything described here can be done with existing hardware.


In addition to Google's signature services—a high-powered internet, ...


What the hell is "high-powered internet" and how is that a Google service?


Though there is no indication that anything like this is in the works, one can easily imagine a streamlined Google OS on its own hard disk partition, separated ... [snip] ...
Add Gmail: a clean, javascript-based application, stored on a server, accessed via the internet...


If Google was on your hard drive, then they're not going to limit themselves to JavaScript hackery. It would be better to provide a native application (or just a more capable framework than HTML/JavaScript) to deliver Gmail.


[A list of exiting Google products]. Extend all of this technology to typical desktop applications like office software, then combine them all into one interface and bundle the OS. Simple, powerful, and totally Google.


I don't think you can create an office suite by "extending" a photo manager, search engine, news aggregator, and web browser.


Additionally, you have the world's best IT department working on your behalf to protect your software, its accessibility, and its security. No viruses, no worms, no corrupted disks.


How would Google be better at protecting from viruses and worms without compromising a user's capabilities? Their desktop search would display results to users who shouldn't have access to them (because the crawler runs with admin permissions). Microsoft is not retarded; they could lock down your entire machine, but then you wouldn't be able to do many of the things you'd like to do. There is no evidence that Google can handle this problem better.

Also, I don't understand how you can claim Google's IT department is the best in the world. The quality of their services is not necessarily indicative of the quality of their IT department. The job of managing a centrally-administered dedicated cluster is very different from writing an OS that will protect home users from doing something stupid.


Let's say they go even further: Google gives you, say, 1000GB on their servers, hosts all your data (with multiple levels of permissions), ...


Grrr...why did you say "multiple levels of permissions"? It sounds like you're trying to deal with the question: "What about security?" If so, "multiple levels of permissions" is not a good answer.


... third, your work is finally mobile.


If everything depends upon the server, what do you do when you're disconnected? Having huge, powerful central servers with dumb terminals has always been an attractive idea for many reasons. However, it just doesn't take advantage of the fact that PCs are really powerful; having them do nothing but run presentation-layer JavaScript is suboptimal.


(this past week, Google released much of its code as open source, and posted some key APIs at code.google.com).


Did you even look at what they released? This is not "much" of their code -- not by any stretch of the imagination. I haven't checked, but I don't think "sparse_hash_map" comes with a "load_and_index_internet()" method.


Every user could have a personal database where you can put information about yourself, with varying permission levels.


I don't know what this has to do with a Google OS. Social networking does not belong in the kernel. You can do all of this just fine in userspace in Windows or Linux or whatever.


You can experiment with or switch to a new operating system (Yahoo, MSN, .Mac) without buying a new machine or partitioning your hard drive.


Wait a minute...I thought you said "Google OS" goes on a separate hard drive partition.

Or maybe you're now talking about downloadable code, I don't see how Google has any advantage here at all. Microsoft has finally committed to virtualized execution environments and is developing a lot of technology in this area. The CLR may not be completely ready for fully mobile code, but it's clear that Microsoft is committed to getting this right (and they can afford to).


But I'm truly looking forward to the time when I will be surprised to remember when a computer was its own machine, when software—and even the OS—was run off of a hard drive, when a computer didn't turn on—it booted, and when a TV and a monitor were two different things!


While I agree that this is probable where we're heading, it doesn't relate to the rest of the article at all. Google has nothing to do with this.

That's irrelevant!!
by Hakime on Fri 25th Mar 2005 07:20 UTC

This article is meaningless, sorry to say that. This article only shows the lack of knowledge of the reader about computing science and technology. The author does not seem to understand what an operating system is, and what should be defined as an operating system. He seems to confuse web services and operating system.

Google is an exellent compagny for developing web services, and they should keep to do that. Building an operating system is a complex task, and moreover if we assume that Google wants to do such things, how many years they will need to build something comparable to MacOsX, Linux, or Longhorn. That's completely unreaslistic to think that Google can build an operating system from scratch. And its also very naive to think that Google can do anything if they want, again web services and building an operating system are two different stories.

Moreover, running an operating system on a server from where the user can boot as having no boot drive in the computer is not a new idea. Apple is doing it very well at the scale of small working groups (class room, working groups in a compagny) with their Netboot technology.

Sun has proposed with their SunRay plateform a similar approach. They wanted to apply to very large working groups, but the problem was that the performance dropped very fast if a computer in the network was using too much network bandwidth.

So the idea of booting his computer via a server located somewhere is not new. Its works great for small working groups, but for large purpose use that's simply not possible. There is too much limitations factors.
So i dont see wher Google can change the things and why. Most of the users prefer to have all their applications and data in their computer. There is no reel advantages to have applications running in the server.

And concerning the interpretation of the Cell processor by this author, that's simply funny, the author did not undersyand at all the architecture of this processor, and for what purpose it has been designed.

Google OS
by Tux5 on Fri 25th Mar 2005 11:36 UTC

Excellent, well written article.

The holy grail
by Jensbot on Fri 25th Mar 2005 12:46 UTC

Google OS on top of a Linux Kernel...

Let Google do what it can do best - search the web!

So many things and people are promoted to their level of incompetence.

....
by helf on Fri 25th Mar 2005 13:16 UTC

I'm sick of these articles. and it doesnt help that this article is horrily written....

Re: sodki
by dryhnwhyl on Fri 25th Mar 2005 16:53 UTC

>>finally, im tired of windoze monopoly bugs and virii, and tired of bad usability on linux, somebody should make OS for people

> Switch to a Macintosh. Really.

He asked about a OS for his existing computer, and you suggest him to buy entirely new hardware. Not really helpfull, if you ask me.

OS X is quite fine, but attaching completely new and even more pricier hardware to it is flat out impudent.

How would you react if microsoft suddendly required anyone to buy their Office Suite and their Visual Studio IDE just to be able to buy Windows?

@scatological_name_of_the_day
by KaS_m on Fri 25th Mar 2005 20:11 UTC

As I said, my remarks are based on Sony's published patents and stated strategy. The only one waving hands is you - in a gesture dismissive of a lot of hard evidence. The fact that Sony has published a patent on a specific design strongly suggests that Cell will use this design, and all my technological speculation is therefore very well founded and not pointless at all. As for Cell's importance to Sony's strategy, this is something which Sony itself has explicitly stated.

If that's too abstract for you, maybe this will help:

Cell is a 4+ GHz Power chip, with 8 vector processors, in a small package, with ordinary power consumption. It will be manufactured in both smaller and larger configurations than that to scale to all sorts of Sony and Toshiba devices. I didn't make it up, Sony did.

Teaser
by Stephen on Fri 25th Mar 2005 20:16 UTC

Great! I like articels like this! I`v been reading cyberpunk for years and although we don't have regular neural interfaces with the net yet, we are well on our way. It's defenetly interesting to see that people can still dream and sometimes dreams become reality. Thanx for the good read.

a VMware OS would make more sense IMO.
by ttr on Fri 25th Mar 2005 21:31 UTC

No?

OS?
by ozn on Sat 26th Mar 2005 00:30 UTC


operating system != google integrated services

try again and you'll be luckier ;)
best regards.

Which Planet?
by Mahakem Malakey on Sat 26th Mar 2005 06:47 UTC

The article is emotive, not factual. Sounds like they came from an AOL user.

Powerful computers ?!
by Reader on Sat 26th Mar 2005 14:55 UTC

What's the point of having powerful workstations then? If you use only your browser, 256MB RAM + 650Mhz Processor would be just fine.

Who would buy a Pentium 4 with 2GB DDR RAM memory then?

Google OS could make sense.
by VolkerW on Sat 26th Mar 2005 15:40 UTC

Especially if you look at Google's latest hiring list. Further will technology like virtualization make it possible to run small, 'few task' oriented systems in parallel with other 'multi task' OS. http://blogs.msdn.com/volkerw/archive/2005/03/17/397778.aspx

hmm
by Anonymous on Sun 27th Mar 2005 11:35 UTC

The author thinks that the Cell processor is revolutionary on the desktop markets. I really wouldn't say so. Even if the desktop markets are going to advance in a rapid pace in the next few years, I highly doubt that the Cell has anything to do with it. And anyway the technology Cell offers will be old in a couple of years. It's utopistic to think that the Cell could compete with Intel on the processor markets or against x86. Also porting all to the Cell seems like a stupid task. I don't see the advantages that would bring.
I think if Google put up with an OS, it wouldn't be thin client. It would just be a masked Linux with basic tools and links to browser-based apps like gmail.
I think that we are a bit far away from desktops hosted somewhere else than our own hard disks. Though someone should give a good thinking how this could help the current situation of the 3rd world. Maybe 486-based thin clients could rapidly increase the development of low-tech countries.

I wouldn't say that the author is totally away from his tracks, except on the Cell and Google. 5/10

no way
by moOw on Mon 28th Mar 2005 02:19 UTC

The power of the Cell processor is clearly good for gaming issues. I see no need of this for dekstop computer.
- You like games ? See what xBox 2 and PS3 will soon be able do
- You use it for Internet/mail/Word/mp3/divx/DVD ... in fact, low power needs ? No need of this Cell computer, a good Centrino Dothan do the job on ;y laptop with 5 hours of battery and not a simple noise. No need of a cell.
- You use it for a specific task ? For video editing, we have Avid dedicated stations or Apple VideoStations ... like said in a previous post, i think a Adobe dedicated station would be a nice idea too, why not on a G5 CPU.

So:
- for video -> Avid
- for sound -> ProTools
- for everyday use -> Centrino with Zeta (Zeta for to simplicity of use, the responsivness and cause no viruses)
- for the attitude and Images/print -> Apple
- for 3d stuffs -> PC

That's what would be my way ... dedicated plateforms


Eh Kris, want Google to store your datas ?? Use gdrive and put all your documents on it if you want ... but open a A3/300 DPI PSD file from this account, even with a 100 mb/s internet connection and you will understand what i mean ;)

buzz words
by ralfoide on Mon 28th Mar 2005 08:02 UTC

Whishful thinking indeed.
There is nothing new here, just plenty of buzz words.