Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 27th Mar 2006 19:30 UTC
Google Phil Sim, a professional with technology editor journalist background, has written three interesting blog posts recently, discussing the much-rumored Google OS (1, 2, 3). He speculates that all user's data will be stored online on Google's servers and so one's desktop and files can be retrieved exactly as left by any other PC station, anywhere in the world, by simply using his Gmail credentials. It's like having your OS on a usb key with you at all times, only, without the usb key...
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Let's not discuss this
by DKR on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:01 UTC
DKR
Member since:
2005-08-22

I thought we agreed several articles earlier that we would not be discussing the probability of this anymore.

There is simply not enough bandwidth to have a web OS.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Let's not discuss this
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:03 in reply to "Let's not discuss this"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I thought we agreed several articles earlier

There is no we.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Let's not discuss this
by Eugenia on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:07 in reply to "Let's not discuss this"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

It's an "online OS", not a "web OS" (the first is a real OS that uses data stored online, the second one is based on DHTML).

As for bandwidth, you must think first what Google has plenty of: storage and bandwidth. Also, remember the recent "Free WiFi in the Bay Area" initiative from Google. And also, we should not forget that such an OS won't be ready tomorrow, but in a few years from now. Maybe a normal 802.11g connection is enough to do most things well with such an OS, I don't know.

And then, don't forget Ajax. You don't have to wait for applications to launch anymore, but you will wait for data to come through. And I can tell you, Google's Gmail is faster searching for me all my email than when I search on my "Archived Inbox" on my Outlook Express which has 70,000 emails in it. So while loading big pictures on an image viewer will be slower loading the same picture from a local drive, other kind of data and application loading will be faster. It's a trade off I guess, and depends on what people are used to think as "fast" or "slow". And besides, I don't think that this OS will ONLY be online, but it might allow for offline storage, so the problem gets balanced out.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Let's not discuss this
by JCooper on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:19 in reply to "RE: Let's not discuss this"
JCooper Member since:
2005-07-06

You don't have to wait for applications to launch anymore, but you will wait for data to come through

That, to me, is the key point of any online OS; data availability and access. For such an OS to be successful it would have to offer improvements over "normal" desktop usage.

With GMail, Google Suggest and Google News they are offering an awful lot of information condensed into their perception of what you need right now; kind of like Nat F et al's Dashboard. An Online OS from Google would be able to offer the benefit of local applications (executed locally = faster), but with an online backup of your data (log into any Google OS and have the same "desktop" a la roaming profiles), and the benefits of searching against a data farm rather than a 7200rpm disk (executed remotely = faster).

Google may be using Ubuntu (see the Goobuntu discussion from before) as a base due to its pretty good hardware detection at every boot, and its basis on Debian (the free-est of linux cultures). Apart from support for Hardware, and decent apps to get people started, the rest can be web based, or at least use AJAX/DHTML and other effects to offer a client via the browser. Remember Google are also developing GTalk support in Gaim - a thick client - and also have interests in Firefox.

I personally see the future of such a project, assuming it is real, as exciting. It's more than Web 2.0, offering a very simple solution to a really complicated concept - an online, always accessible "workspace".

Reply Parent Score: 2

paul.michael.bauer Member since:
2005-07-06

...don't forget Ajax. You don't have to wait for applications to launch anymore

Nope. Whether your app is a binary or bunches of JavaScripts in a browser, the app still needs to load and initialize.

In fact, the initializing of a comparable AJAX app (word processor) takes ages more time to load and resources to run than a native app.

I'm beginning to hate AJAX just because everyone is treating it like the solution to world hunger.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Let's not discuss this
by Cymro on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:22 in reply to "Let's not discuss this"
Cymro Member since:
2005-07-07

A web desktop has been done though. I remember signing up to one. You'd log in and get a Windows-style desktop with various apps, including an email client and office programs. It was very neat and all done in CSS, JavaScript and so on with it's own API for writing apps. It may have been webdesktop.com but I can't find a trace of it now..

Edited 2006-03-27 20:23

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Let's not discuss this
by JCooper on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:25 in reply to "RE: Let's not discuss this"
JCooper Member since:
2005-07-06

A web desktop has been done though [..] it was very neat and all done in CSS, JavaScript and so on with it's own API for writing apps

I think the Google concept would (emphasis on would - this is all speculation) be less "web based" and more "web orientated" - think thick clients for the heavy stuff, AJAX/JS/DHTML stuff running thin clients for the lighter stuff, with all data for your user profile stored (and fully searchable - Google's answer to spotlight, WinFS, Beagle etc) on Google servers.

Edited 2006-03-27 20:27

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Let's not discuss this
by penlec2 on Mon 27th Mar 2006 21:36 in reply to "RE: Let's not discuss this"
penlec2 Member since:
2006-03-14
RE: Let's not discuss this - Bandwith
by penlec2 on Mon 27th Mar 2006 21:29 in reply to "Let's not discuss this"
penlec2 Member since:
2006-03-14

"There is simply not enough bandwidth to have a web OS"

ZDNet.nl reported today that Essent Kabelcom, a Dutch cable internet provider, will start an experiment with 100MBps symetrical (!) internet in 20.000 households after their pilot with 10MBps in 10.000 households using a technology what they call Ethernet to the Home EttH. See: http://www.zdnet.nl/techzone.cfm?id=54988&mxp=105

And there is also NoMachine showing that even on lower bandwiths a remote desktop can be delivered.

It looks like bandwith will not be the problem.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"There is simply not enough bandwidth to have a web OS."

There's always enough bandwidth for baseless speculation and hype.

Reply Parent Score: 1

DKR Member since:
2005-08-22

Yes, however the capability to think free thoughts and express opinions is infinite.

My opinions are not baseless, because everyone has opinions. If there were no such things as opinions, perhaps you would have your way.

Unfortunately for you, this is not the case. Bandwidth is something that is finite.

My advice to you: Sit back, take a deep breath and a sip of coffee and calm down. It's just a simple post on the Internet that won't mean anything in the next 5 minutes.

Reply Parent Score: 1