With all the recent hype surrounding Google’s Chrome, it’s refreshing to see someone taking a few steps back and looking at the bigger picture. Superlatives were abound about Chrome (I personally really like it), but some people really took it overboard – take TechCrunch for instance: “Chrome is nothing less than a full on desktop operating system that will compete head on with Windows.” Seeing my nationality, I know a tulip mania when I see one. So does Ted Dziuba.
All it takes for him to explain that no, a web browser is not an operating system, is three images. The three high-quality images, made in a simple image editor, pretty much sum up why I believe this mythical web operating system, over which every web journalist wets its pants, will remain a pipe dream. Dzubia sums up:
Users have pretty basic needs when it comes to computers. They want word processing, spreadsheets, communications, and games. These needs have not changed much since the advent of the personal computer. So, when your Aunt asks why her 1.2GHz computer isn’t fast enough to run an online word processor that has the same fucking features as the 1987 version of Corel WordPerfect, you don’t have an answer for her. There is no justification.
Google Chrome is a nice web browser for a beta release, but it’s not really revolutionary or all that earth-shattering as some make it out to be, and it most certainly isn’t an operating system. Ground, feet, keep. You put them together.