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.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
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.