Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Sep 2018 00:03 UTC
Google

A coming revision to Chrome OS will enable Windows-compatible network browsing by default. This means that Chromebooks will be able to connect with Windows PCs just as easily as other Windows PCs do today.

A very welcome change, especially among corporate users.

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Great
by WorknMan on Wed 12th Sep 2018 01:59 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Now, when is Android going to get this capability?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Great
by Alfman on Wed 12th Sep 2018 04:56 UTC in reply to "Great"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

Now, when is Android going to get this capability?



I've been looking for a solution to this problem in vein since day one with android.

IOS/Android make it extremely difficult to access/share one's local files locally without going through a cloud service, email, or a 3rd party application, which is very frustrating. Having access to LAN is a huge productivity boost, I want all applications to support network files.

Having individual applications bundle their own CIFS stack in order to access network shares (as some do) is just stupid. Forcing us to upload/download files through a 3rd party data silo when our data is already here is also stupid, especially if we're talking about large resources and metered internet connections.

What's a shame is that linux supported CIFS out of the box since before android existed, they just never turned it on and gave us a way to use it. I frequently find myself needing to transfer files to/from the LAN and feel handicapped by this limitation every time.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Great
by fretinator on Wed 12th Sep 2018 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Great"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

There are plenty of SMB addon tools for Android - I use Astro file manager.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Great
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 12th Sep 2018 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Great"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yes, but until recently CIFS was at SMB v1, very insecure. You'd of had millions or billions of insecure devices. I mean more insecure than they are now, insecure.

Reply Score: 4

v RE[2]: Great
by leech on Wed 12th Sep 2018 17:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Great"
RE[3]: Great
by darknexus on Wed 12th Sep 2018 19:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Great"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

And this is different from desktop.ini, thumbs.db, .DS_Store and ._AppleDoubles, or that weird folder Nautilus used to put there... how? Besides, it's not as if Android would have to create these folders, though the morons at Google would probably make sure it did. I do wonder what annoying extra files, hidden or otherwise, Chrome OS will stick in there when this feature comes out, thus necessitating another thing in the long list to clean up.

Reply Score: 0

Great for home/small businesses
by BlueofRainbow on Wed 12th Sep 2018 03:05 UTC
BlueofRainbow
Member since:
2009-01-06

The people running home/small businesses do not really have the luxury of time to play much around with their systems. And the 6-month upgrade cycle with Windows 10 is not helping here.

Having Chromebooks capable to natively share files with Windows systems on a local network opens the door for slowly replacing Windows systems with Chrome OS based systems. While some form of server (headless?) would likely be needed, the requirements may not be so high that an existing systems could not be converted to such a duty.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Great for home/small businesses
by avgalen on Wed 12th Sep 2018 13:20 UTC in reply to "Great for home/small businesses"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Do I understand this correctly?

So when Windows gets a feature update: Things change to often

When ChromeOS gets a feature update: Things have changed enough that we can replace the version of Windows that we don't update

I choose my Operating System based on the software that needs to run on it, what other people around me are using and what is allowed/provided by the IT-department. Getting "SMB-support" in ChromeOS makes ChromeOS better and is a great feature, but it won't make replacing programs any easier. It is like adding mouse-support to iOS...it will make that OS better but will not make it run programs that don't run now

Reply Score: 4

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

The owner of a home business is also the IT Department and simplification will always be preferred over increasing complexity.

Granted, the ChromeOS world is not perfect. Some key applications in the MacOS/Windows worlds do not have equivalent in the ChromeOS world. Even flagship devices have been orphaned like the Linux container capability not being back-ported to the Pixel 2015 (something to do with the underlying Linux kernel version).

More easily sharing files in a network environment consisting of a mixture of Linux, MacOS, and Windows systems (all supporting SMB) is a good thing for ChromeOS based systems.

Reply Score: 2

I disagree
by project_2501 on Wed 12th Sep 2018 13:39 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

I disagree with this direction.

The whole point of chromebooks and cloud services was the idea that we could have device and network independent secure and simple endpoints, and we could pick and choose cloud-based services to consume through the very open interface known as the web.

This simplicity had huge benefits.

Really simple devices, almost state-less. Easy to manage and own. Easier to secure. Easier to discard or lose.

Data was primarily stored and processed server side - with the appropriate security around that data.

This move breaks that model.

We now have to local LAN resources and a security model that has to loosen to allow that. We have more complex information security architecture - and devices are now holders of data not just passive viewers (even then it was mostly encrypted).

The Microsoft SMB protocol isn't clean and open enough - which makes it both a technical and a security risk. Think about it - if it was so simple and open why do we keep having to play catch up with open source implementations?

I think this is a worrying counter-strategic move by Google.

They should, and have the resources, to stick to their no-network strategy.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I disagree
by darknexus on Wed 12th Sep 2018 15:02 UTC in reply to "I disagree"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Disagree. Google found out the hard way that not everyone, particularly businesses, want to trust their data to the dubious nature of Google Drive. They held to that stance far too long before allowing you to choose and add other filesystem providers, i.e. other cloud services. Besides, some data is simply too sensitive to put in the hands of others.
This is absolutely necessary, and has been far too long in coming. One can hope they'll add support for shared printers next. I will not ever buy the idea that I must send all my print jobs to Google in order for a Chromebook to have easy printing. Sorry, no. Especially not to a company whose number one way of gaining money is selling me to the highest bidder.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I disagree
by Alfman on Wed 12th Sep 2018 18:36 UTC in reply to "I disagree"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

project_2501,

The whole point of chromebooks and cloud services was the idea that we could have device and network independent secure and simple endpoints, and we could pick and choose cloud-based services to consume through the very open interface known as the web.

This simplicity had huge benefits.

Really simple devices, almost state-less. Easy to manage and own. Easier to secure. Easier to discard or lose.


I don't understand your opposition at all, all of the reasons that you give are actually one of the motivations to support network file sharing! Self-managed alternatives should be available too for those of us who prefer it!

Among my computers, android is the odd ball since it's the only OS that cannot access or save my files directly. On linux and windows, it doesn't matter if a PC breaks because all my files are on the LAN backed up and ready to access from another machine. The methodology is fast, safe, reliable, and convenient except for android where I have to resort to manually copying files to and fro.

Supporting 3rd party data providers is fine as a choice, but we should not be dependent on them to unlock basic file sharing functionality that has been around for decades. Let's not forget why vendor locking is bad: being locked into a solution where a 3rd party is the gatekeeper to our own files is bad, being coerced to trust 3rd parties with our private data is bad, being limited to accessing files over a relatively slow metered data connection is bad. And to make matters worse...

https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2375082
Linux: Backup and Sync isn't currently available using the Linux operating system. You can use Google Drive on the web at drive.google.com.


https://linuxnewbieguide.org/onedrive-client-linux/
So, the question is firstly, have Microsoft released an official OneDrive client for Linux? Put simply. No.



The Microsoft SMB protocol isn't clean and open enough - which makes it both a technical and a security risk. Think about it - if it was so simple and open why do we keep having to play catch up with open source implementations?


I'm not particular to the SMB protocol, I'd happily use any protocol at all that allows me to access my shared files. The great thing about linux is that you've got choices. I regularly use SSHFS to connect to my files from a remote location. I don't even have to open up additional ports since it goes over the standard port 22 for SSH. It's got the latest crypto, shared keys, public keys, you name it, it's simple and works!


They should, and have the resources, to stick to their no-network strategy.


I won't deny that 3rd party data services may be "good enough" for many people who don't have a computer network, but for those of us who have a working PC network with shared files, the inability to access it from android doesn't simplify anything. It only makes file access extremely frustrating and complex. I often find myself resorting to USB, which is a pathetic substitute for native network file sharing.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: I disagree
by darknexus on Wed 12th Sep 2018 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE: I disagree"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

At this point, Chrome OS and Android are as close to ubiquity as Desktop Linux is ever going to get, so I can hardly blame Google or Microsoft for not putting the resources into developing for a constantly changing and unstable platform when they can concentrate on the platforms that most customers really care about. It's just good business sense.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: I disagree
by zima on Thu 13th Sep 2018 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I disagree"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

At this point, Chrome OS and Android are as close to ubiquity as Desktop Linux is ever going to get

ChromeOS is still tiny, but it has potential; also, still a few billion people are left to adopt Android...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I disagree
by BlueofRainbow on Sat 15th Sep 2018 12:59 UTC in reply to "RE: I disagree"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

If I am not mistaken, iOS also does not support file operations we have come accustomed to do on a desktop.

Concur with the great thing about Linux is that it offer choices.

Reply Score: 2

And I'm SURE....
by eantoranz on Wed 12th Sep 2018 15:00 UTC
eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

... that Microsoft LOVES IT, right??? Would have loved to see Steve Ballmer's reaction, had he been Microsoft's CEO.

Reply Score: 0