Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 28th Jan 2013 22:38 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "Acer, the Taiwanese computer maker that's suffered two consecutive annual losses, posted strong sales of notebooks using Google's Chrome platform after the release of Microsoft's Windows 8 failed to ignite the market. Chrome-based models accounted for 5 percent to 10 percent of Acer's U.S. shipments since being released there in November, President Jim Wong said in an interview at the Taipei-based company's headquarters. That ratio is expected to be sustainable in the long term and the company is considering offering Chrome models in other developed markets, he said." HP is also planning a Chrome OS laptop, and it's been at the top of Amazon's charts (whatever that means) for a while now. In case you haven't noticed - the desktop world, too, is changing. Nobody wants Windows 8 (touch or no), so OEMs are finally looking elsewhere. We're finally getting what we wanted 13 years ago.
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Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.
by tidux on Mon 28th Jan 2013 22:49 UTC
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

Yay, they're using GNU/Linux!

Wait, ChromeOS? Isn't that some horrible piece of crap that refuses to even give you a local shell and has a whole bunch of proprietary crap in the GUI? How is this better than Windows again?

Reply Score: 4

project_2501 Member since:
2006-03-20

For most users ChromeOS offers just enough of what they need. Most users don't need a shell prompt.

If you do, I'm sure you know how to get one.

Reply Score: 9

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

Yeah, by nuking ChromeOS and installing Debian - assuming I'm physically able to do that on a Chromebook.

Reply Score: 2

ephemient Member since:
2009-03-11

Every Chromebook and Chromebox has a switch or button or sequence to enter developer mode — this turns off verified boot and allows you to install anything. See http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/poking-around-your-chrome-os-de...

Reply Score: 2

the_randymon Member since:
2005-07-06

For most users ChromeOS offers just enough of what they need. Most users don't need a shell prompt.

If you do, I'm sure you know how to get one.


Seriously, I was thinking the same thing. You'd say the same thing about Android ("it's a tablet OS, it just works, your mom knows how to use it, it's not for geeks, etc."). But go to the Google Play store and you'll find dozens of terminal/shell apps, and other apps that give you a command line on your Android device.

Seems like this argument has run off the rails.

Reply Score: 3

Casey99 Member since:
2011-07-14

Most users don't want shell. It is intimidating to them. It is one of the things that scares people from Linux in general.

Reply Score: 4

Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

Most users don't want shell. It is intimidating to them. It is one of the things that scares people from Linux in general.


Please don't make that kind of generalization, it's simply not true.

Reply Score: 3

Tractor Member since:
2006-08-18

Of course it is.

I know no-one in the non-geek world which find it a good idea to even being shown a terminal, let alone have to type any obscure command line in it.

However, i know of a few geeks which consider that basically anyone without the knowledge nor the will to use a terminal should not even be authorised to touch a computer.

Jesus, what an elitist/corporatist/extremist point of view. This is the very reason why Linux has never been a mainstream computer (and been a darling to IT/programmers).

I'm glad this mentality is getting hammered these days by Google and its imitators.

Edited 2013-01-29 00:03 UTC

Reply Score: 6

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Why has it to be one or the other ?

Shells are fine as a computer administration interface. They use up little system resources, make few assumptions about what works and what doesn't, are easily scriptable, and their commands can be trivially transmitted from one person to another.

GUIs, on their side, are generally more practical for everyday use. They allow for more advanced tasks, it's easier to find out how they work without piles of documentation, they make more efficient use of screen estate, and they tend to be more aesthetically pleasing too.

Now, what I can't wrap my mind around is why there hasn't been more work on scriptable software that can work well with both interfaces and then some more, considering how anyone who designs modern GUI software also ends up creating a form of CLI interface in the backend code at some point.

The way people currently end up creating dumb GUI frontends whose sole purpose is to feed a CLI interface, or give up on GUI or CLI altogether, strikes me as suboptimal. Especially when people subsequently end up creating nonstandard CLIs in an attempt to go beyond the limitations of a pure GUI approach, as with voice interfaces.

Edited 2013-01-29 05:33 UTC

Reply Score: 5

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Now, what I can't wrap my mind around is why there hasn't been more work on scriptable software that can work well with both interfaces and then some more, considering how anyone who designs modern GUI software also ends up creating a form of CLI interface in the backend code at some point.


Do you mean like ARexx on the Amiga, OLE Automation on Windows or AppleScript on Mac OS X?

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Do you mean like ARexx on the Amiga, OLE Automation on Windows or AppleScript on Mac OS X?

That's the idea indeed, except that for OLE and AppleScript at least it seems to me that applications had to do a significant amount of extra work to make their functions accessible from scripts.

Edited 2013-01-29 08:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

And you assume that Linux is unusable without an access to the terminal.Yet Chrome OS is exactly that - Linux without a terminal.

I use Ubuntu and, with the exceptions where I need terminal access to compile my software or install something that is really old and very technical, I barely use the terminal. It's no longer an essential tool for day-to-day use.

Reply Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Most users don't want shell. It is intimidating to them. It is one of the things that scares people from Linux in general.

Please don't make that kind of generalization, it's simply not true.


You're absolutely right. Probably 90% of folks out there would tell you a shell is something you find at the beach.

Reply Score: 6

PieterGen Member since:
2012-01-13

I think that it IS true. Look, I'm a linux-user (various flavours of debian). I really like the shell. But if we look at the *general* public, the proverbial "grandmother", they want to point and click. Or rather, they want things to just work.

Reply Score: 2

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

Most users don't want shell. It is intimidating to them. It is one of the things that scares people from Linux in general.

Most users don't want a shell most of the time. That one time that it might help them is removed from the device. (kind of like being able to remove the battery/storage. when you need it you are really glad you could)

Reply Score: 4

Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

Wait, ChromeOS? Isn't that some horrible piece of crap that refuses to even give you a local shell and has a whole bunch of proprietary crap in the GUI? How is this better than Windows again?


Regarding ChromeOS, I was one of those who cried out in disgust regarding this locked-down system, but now I can see its redeeming features. And apparently it's based on Gentoo Linux. :-)

ChromeOS is a locked-down, secure system that offers a good chunk of features for a good chunk of people. I'm talking about people who mostly use the web for their computing needs, which is quite a large target. And if you consider that there are offline versions of Gmail and Google Docs, things start to get interesting.

Now, for the *very* interesting part. ChromeOS might be locked down, but the devices are hacker-friendly. You can simply grab a Chromebook and install another OS of your liking. A very cheap, good, open, light, silent ARM or x86 laptop running Gentoo? I simply haven't got the nerve to buy one yet, but I'm sure I will in the near future.

Reply Score: 7

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

You'd surprised but it's most people. Most people start their computers, open a browser and never leave it.
They may open some document to edit or run iTunes(because god forbid Apple to give you full access to your media library through icould.com)

Reply Score: 4

przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

You just need to set hardware switch witch is hidden under cover.

Easily doable. And proper UEFI Secure Boot implementation. Like one you will find in Win8, like one you will not find in WinRT.

What is really good about Chromebooks is hardware selection.

You can pick ARM hardware and other dirty cheap parts, to build dirty cheap offering. And you will still be able to run ChromeOS on top of it with good performance.

That is biggest advantage over Win8 and WinRT, first require too "big" hardware, second do not have lots of apps (compared to "the internet").

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Yay, they're using GNU/Linux!

Wait, ChromeOS? Isn't that some horrible piece of crap that refuses to even give you a local shell and has a whole bunch of proprietary crap in the GUI? How is this better than Windows again?

Because it actually works with very little configuration, unlike desktop Linux? Besides, the market these devices are targeted at don't give a damn about GPL vs proprietary. Actually, neither do I. Plus, the more of these devices that are sold, the less we'll see the web dependent on one operating system. No matter how you slice it, that is an excellent consequence. Besides, you can hack the hell out of one of these babies if that's what you want to do, and it'll help get rid of what so many open source fanatics call the "Microsoft tax." Sure seems like a promising situation to me, even though ChromeOS is far too limited for my needs.

Reply Score: 4

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

No, you just get to pay the Google Tax to get a browser trying to be an operating system.

Then you need to wipe it out of the system and install a proper operating system.

Somehow I think it feels similar to another operating system developed by a company in Redmond.

Reply Score: 3

nej_simon Member since:
2011-02-11

No, you just get to pay the Google Tax to get a browser trying to be an operating system.


So how much is the "google tax"? The 199$ C7 Chromebook is a rebranded 329$ Aspire One with windows so whatever the "google tax" is, if there even is one, it can't be that much.

Reply Score: 4

Chris_G Member since:
2012-10-25

0%. That's the Google tax for Chrome OS.

Reply Score: 2

cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Not exactly. The tax are all the many FREE (as in free beer) services they offer.

Reply Score: 1

pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

Wait, ChromeOS? Isn't that some horrible piece of crap that refuses to even give you a local shell ...

No, it's not: http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/poking-around-your-chrome-os-de...

Reply Score: 5

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

Cool! This appears to be Secure Boot done right - a verified image for people that want it, but a GNU/Linux system with root access for people that don't. Now if only they'd switch to an open source PDF engine and drop Flash...

Reply Score: 2

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Well, you can easily get at the local shell by enabling 'developer mode' at startup.

The shell isn't proprietary. Most of the code from the Chrome-browser is from the open source Chromium-project. The same applies to ChromeOS which is based on the open source ChromiumOS-project.

It is a lot more open than the Android project. Development all happends in the open.

Reply Score: 3

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

whole bunch of proprietary crap in the GUI?

What is this 'whole bunch of proprietary crap'?

Reply Score: 2

ChromeOS shell
by robojamie on Mon 28th Jan 2013 23:43 UTC
robojamie
Member since:
2005-08-26

Secure Shell for ChomeOS gives you access to the terminal.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Tue 29th Jan 2013 01:25 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

We're finally getting what we wanted 13 years ago.

13 years ago I was dead against the emerging trend of running thin clients and storing our data in the cloud. Now that it's here, I'm still dead against it.

It's great that Windows is finally under real competition, but this feels like a hollow victory.

Edited 2013-01-29 01:25 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Laurence
by pgeorgi on Tue 29th Jan 2013 08:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by Laurence"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

13 years ago I was dead against the emerging trend of running thin clients and storing our data in the cloud. Now that it's here, I'm still dead against it.

"The cloud" is fine once it's yours: owncloud, SoGo, roundcube, ...
It helps you getting your data from everywhere, and to everyone _you_ want to give it.

The missing link is something like the Freedom Box (just without the zeal) that provides a plug&play experience of obtaining some space of your own on the net.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Tue 29th Jan 2013 09:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"The cloud" is fine once it's yours: owncloud, SoGo, roundcube, ...
It helps you getting your data from everywhere, and to everyone _you_ want to give it.

True. I do run some services myself (eg Subsonic, my own hosting photo gallery, etc).

Even then though, I still dislike OSs that push processing away from native binary clients. eg webmail is great - possibly the best example of the 'cloud' in fact - but I still want a binary client that I can run locally. If just in case of emergencies (loss of internet, backing up stuff from the cloud, etc)

Edited 2013-01-29 09:32 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Laurence
by pgeorgi on Tue 29th Jan 2013 09:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Laurence"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

If just in case of emergencies (loss of internet, backing up stuff from the cloud, etc)

loss of internet is mostly worked around by html5 local storage - which will take another 2 years or so for widespread use.

But I actually expect chromeos, firefox, etc to push this forward.
For backup, downloading a zip with all data is probably the way to go.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Tue 29th Jan 2013 09:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

HTML5 local storage is insecure[1] and ZIP files aren't as easily searched as a client with built in search tools against indexed content.

Of course, there will always be ways you can work around the limitations of the web; Javascript runtimes have come a long way and many web apps these days are pretty sophisticated. Plus I'm not ignorant to some of the unique benefits they offer (eg easy to roll out bug fixes). But native apps have their own benefits as well; they're generally more responsive, can be better secured for offline content and they integrate with the host OS better (this is even the case on many platforms that are internet orientated devices; eg smartphone and tablet OSs).

So while I do appreciate that you're trying to demonstrate that you can replicate some functionality in HTML5, it's really not at a stage where it's ready to replace native binaries entirely.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbOaRle4Pw8

Edited 2013-01-29 10:01 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by Laurence
by Lennie on Tue 29th Jan 2013 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Laurence"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I'm sorry, but the video wasn't uploaded correctly or something. I was never able to get to the part where he talks about why it is insecure.

Anyway, HTML5 with CSP really isn't that bad:
http://www.w3.org/TR/CSP/

You can even do encryption (draft):
http://www.w3.org/TR/WebCryptoAPI/

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Wed 30th Jan 2013 09:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Laurence"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Sorry, you're right about that video. Try here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PmCQ8qJCV4

Basically it's like working with cookies; you wouldn't store sensitive information in cookies and thus you shouldn't store them in local storage. They're both susceptible to the same kinds of attacks.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Comment by Laurence
by Lennie on Wed 30th Jan 2013 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Laurence"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

OK, if that is what you mean, then I guess I might not even have to watch the video. :-)

However with both suggestions I mentioned they can be solved if done properly by people who understand these things.

Do you agree ?

The biggest thing missing would then be signed javascript/html/css.

That would solve any last hurdle anyone could object too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Laurence
by lucas_maximus on Tue 29th Jan 2013 13:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Laurence"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

One caveat though, local storage has a size limits of a sort.

http://diveintohtml5.info/storage.html#limitations

Reply Score: 4

Why this is aweseome
by andrewclunn on Tue 29th Jan 2013 03:23 UTC
andrewclunn
Member since:
2012-11-05

Finally, fully built machines I can buy, and then put whatever operating system I want on, without paying the microsoft tax!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Why this is aweseome
by moondevil on Tue 29th Jan 2013 06:58 UTC in reply to "Why this is aweseome"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

You pay the Google Tax instead.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why this is aweseome
by Fergy on Tue 29th Jan 2013 07:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Why this is aweseome"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

You pay the Google Tax instead.

What does ChromeOS cost?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Why this is aweseome
by moondevil on Tue 29th Jan 2013 08:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why this is aweseome"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

You have to ask Acer, not me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Why this is aweseome
by Fergy on Tue 29th Jan 2013 08:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Why this is aweseome"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

You have to ask Acer, not me.

So you know that Acer has to pay for ChromeOS but you don't know the amount or you don't know anything about the cost and are just trying to get ChromeOS to Windows level.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Why this is aweseome
by moondevil on Tue 29th Jan 2013 09:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why this is aweseome"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

"You have to ask Acer, not me.

So you know that Acer has to pay for ChromeOS but you don't know the amount or you don't know anything about the cost and are just trying to get ChromeOS to Windows level.
"


ChromeOS does not come for free. Acer surely has to pay the engineers responsible for doing Acer specific extensions as well as integration into their own hardware.

On real life people working with FOSS do get salaries to buy food and such, so Acer has to pay those engineers.

How much from each ChromeOS Acer device sale goes into those salaries only Acer can tell.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Why this is aweseome
by Fergy on Tue 29th Jan 2013 09:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Why this is aweseome"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

ChromeOS does not come for free. Acer surely has to pay the engineers responsible for doing Acer specific extensions as well as integration into their own hardware.

On real life people working with FOSS do get salaries to buy food and such, so Acer has to pay those engineers.

Following your reasoning you pay a tax on every product and service you use. Can you still call it a tax? Or is it just the price of the product or service.

Edited 2013-01-29 09:48 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Why this is aweseome
by moondevil on Tue 29th Jan 2013 10:21 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Why this is aweseome"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

That is why I don't agree with the Microsoft Tax comments.

All devices have a Something Tax component unless you buy plain hardware.

If you buy a computer to install something else than what came with it, you are effectively taking away a component that has cost in the overall price.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why this is aweseome
by andrewclunn on Tue 29th Jan 2013 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Why this is aweseome"
andrewclunn Member since:
2012-11-05

Can't be very high since there's a free version:

http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Why this is aweseome
by cdude on Tue 29th Jan 2013 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why this is aweseome"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

And punked with one link. Epic and other prove for: clever argumentation includes links and sometimes doesn't need more then that.

Edited 2013-01-29 16:53 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Ubuntu based laptops
by microFawad on Tue 29th Jan 2013 05:34 UTC
microFawad
Member since:
2005-12-09

They must also release Ubuntu based laptops with good specs. I think they can earn more if they get serious about Linux (specially Ubuntu, Chrome OS) based devices. I think they must also consider building phones for Firefox OS instead of crap Android.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ubuntu based laptops
by Kivada on Tue 29th Jan 2013 12:04 UTC in reply to "Ubuntu based laptops"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Or you could just buy from one of the shops that does nothing but factory installed Linux hardware.

https://zareason.com/
http://www.system76.com/
http://www.ohava.com/
https://www.thinkpenguin.com/

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Ubuntu based laptops
by microFawad on Wed 30th Jan 2013 06:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Ubuntu based laptops"
microFawad Member since:
2005-12-09

You are right and I think System76 is the best among them. But the problem is none of them ship their products to my country. So currently I am using Dell Latitude E5530 which is Ubuntu certified laptop and comes with 11.10 pre-installed. Of course I upgraded it to 12.04.1 LTS ;)

Reply Score: 1

v RE: Ubuntu based laptops
by twitterfire on Tue 29th Jan 2013 12:21 UTC in reply to "Ubuntu based laptops"
Microsoft, what are you waiting for?
by jbauer on Tue 29th Jan 2013 08:43 UTC
jbauer
Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows 8 is not locked-up enough. Bring us those IEBooks already!

Edited 2013-01-29 08:43 UTC

Reply Score: 4

It's not Chrome OS!
by twitterfire on Tue 29th Jan 2013 12:23 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

It's Gnu/Chrome Os/Linux, because they use the GNU Operating System and the linux kernel.

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's not Chrome OS!
by cdude on Tue 29th Jan 2013 16:54 UTC in reply to "It's not Chrome OS!"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Not, its X11/Linux because they use X11!

Reply Score: 1

Meh
by twitterfire on Tue 29th Jan 2013 12:29 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

Instead of using a browser as an OS, I'd rather use World of Warcraft as an OS. It's more fun. Maybe Blizzard catches the idea and release WOWBook, where you can run your shell as an addon, right in the middle of a raid.

Reply Score: 1