Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 12th Jul 2009 14:03 UTC
Google Even though everyone's talking about it, fact of the matter is that Google's Chrome OS is currently nothing more than an internet announcement, with a supposed release date of somewhere in 2010. Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has now stated that netbooks running Chrome OS could appear as early as this year. In addition, Schmidt also talked about his position at Apple's board of directors.
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whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06

I find it interesting that we've come to the point where we're eagerly anticipating new closed systems.

Currently, we have pretty much open systems that we can selectively sandbox (using VMs, special runtime environs, etc.).I'm not talking about source code accessibility, rather simply system accessibility.

Most modern kernels are more open than ever, having modular designs, offering pluggable extensibility, etc. We can easily add new drivers, new hardware, new applications.

Now, with GoogleOS, we have effectively a closed at the get go OS, offering only as much extensibility as Google chooses to let us have. We will be second class citizens on our own software/hardware.

Perhaps they'll publish the capabilities that will let folks "do whatever they want" to breach the sandbox and run "real apps" at the OS level of the system. Maybe they'll make folks jump up and down and spin around 3 times before they can install such apps and software, you know, to prevent viruses and trojans and all of the other wonders of the modern internet age.

Or...not.

They may leave that to the purview of the manufacturer. With nominally closed systems like Netbooks with fixed video architectures and other unchangeable hardware choices, who cares if you can load a new driver, etc.?

All of this is, of course, to make the consumer safe...safe from the internet, safe from their coworkers infested USB drive, safe from themselves, and, of course, safe for the content providers.

There may well be no way to install alternative codecs, or software that have "direct access" to hardware resources. Only approved software can touch privileged IN/OUT ports or memory mapped IO.

Even more interesting, given the likely commodity nature of the platforms upon which it will run, there will be little motivation for users to hack GoogleOS. Why bother? Just install Linux on it instead, a system that doesn't need to be hacked, a system that can (or will) Chromium readily, and any web innovations necessary to make the users GoogleOS web application experience noteworthy will likely be ported and duplicated in to a FF add on within a short time.

Who can say, we really don't know anything about GoogleOS and how closed it will be, but I'm just guessing the the trend is for more closed than not.

But it is an interesting trend to see. iPhone, GoogleOS, etc. Closed systems for the masses.

Reply Score: 3

dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

Google Chrome OS will be released as open source, what's closed about it? And let's not forget that we also have Android and webOS on mobiles -- both are pretty open.

What scares me is this all of a sudden love with 'cloud computing.' Since when slapping a buzzword on decades-old technology make it so cool?

Edited 2009-07-13 10:03 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

kad77 Member since:
2007-03-20

I don't know if it's that its necessarily 'cool' but the cloud buzz is back because Google is already running zillions of servers all over the world in the course of it's search and Ad business. They debatably have the chops to actually make it happen this time around.

Jean-Louis Gassée (of BeOS fame)seems to think they want some of the MS Office pie, too:

http://www.mondaynote.com/2009/07/12/google-os-chrome-plated-linux-...

Reply Parent Score: 1