“If I asked you to name the internet’s dominant operating system, you’d probably nominate Linux, Windows or possibly Solaris. My answer would be none of the above. Increasingly, our most value-adding interface layer is Google—and our industry’s annals of operating system wars and browser wars are looking ever more like ancient history. It might seem odd to call a Web search engine an operating system, but look at the fundamentals.” Read the story at eWeek by Peter Coffee.
Search Engine as OS
2003-05-09 Editorial 17 Comments
While I would agree that search engines like Google are becoming increasingly important, I have trouble understanding the comparison to OS’s. Google is applications software that runs on an OS. I have to run an OS and a browser on my computer to be able to access Google.
It’s like saying that a file manager is the OS.
Wow, this article is reaching. I understand that there have been enough “Google Is Great” articles and in order to get one read, you’ll have to be somewhat original, but to compare it to an OS? Please.
Someone would argue that Mozilla is a sort of an OS too. It offers a whole platform to create additional applications, while itself is a powerful app. And in essense, this is what an OS does too.
ok, at what point does google manage my memory, schedule tasks, create a layer between my filesystem and the hard drive platter? This is what an OS does. Google is an application.
if ( SearchEngine == OperatingSystem)
headLights = automobile
Google is to Operating System as Headlights is to Car
Google augments users’ ability to access information they want, much like car headlights make it easier to drive to where you wish to go.
Does anyone else remember Bob?
Although the author could have made more distinction between an OS, and just the UI and file system functions of an OS, which is the meaning I believe he intended, I found this to be an enjoyable article. A really neat way to look at Google and the internet.
Oh, and no, my alias has nothing to do with Google.com, its a reference to the non-existant number as heard in one of the ‘Back to the Future’ movies.
Google is not an OS, since an OS provides an interface between hardware and software. Google is simply a data abstraction layer – it provides an interface between data and user. The data it is interfacing is vast and varied, but it is still data.
BTW, googolplex IS a number – 10 raised to the power of a googol. A googol is 10 raised to the power of 100. Also, googol and googolplex are spelled with “ol” not “le”… “google” is not a number.
>>Does anyone else remember Bob?
my aunt actually has a copy of microsoft of bob on her computer… it was sooo funny.
Well, not exactly non-existant.
Question – What is a googleplex and what is it used for?
A “google” is the number 10^100. A “googleplex” is an even larger number 10^[(10)^100]. You can find it, and other large numbers discussed in the book:”The Joy of Mathematics” by T. Pappus, published by Wide World Publ./Tetra (1989), or “Mathematical Mysteries” by Calvin C. Clawson,
published by Perseus Books.
Allthough I believe it’s supposed to be spelled Googelplex…
Did not realize it actually existed. I must admit that I did not do much research into it. (None at all actually)
This would also explain the appearent misspelling. Consider it corrected.
Too many dumbasses in this world, including Peter Coffee.
And I thought the web browser = OS articles were bad. Soon it will be there.com = OS.
I really hate this planet.
“Oh, and no, my alias has nothing to do with Google.com, its a reference to the non-existant number as heard in one of the ‘Back to the Future’ movies. ”
Err, isn’t it that Google.com got it’s name from “Googol” (the same mathematical term), and that Googleplex has it as a root word. So in definition they are related.
The trap here is not to think “client OS” but “server OS”. Google provides an interface, abstraction from the data, a wide set of application programming interfaces, and a few very useful applications.
In the same way that IBM’s mainframe OS is much more abstracted than a low level OS such as Linux, Google is aiming to be the server OS for information creation/use/management.
If only Google weren’t run by the CIA/NSA…
Hey, lay off. If KDE and GNOME can be “window managers,” then Google can be an OS.
In the original “mission” of KDE, Matthias Ettrich pointed out at the very beginning:
– X Windows is NOT a Desktop Environment
– A Window Manager is NOT a Desktop Environment
He also tells that he first intended to use Fvwm as the KDE Windowmanager and later modify it… so… as KDE is not a “Window Manager”, Google cannot be an OS.
Google would also be less OS than DOS – I mean, while DOS only provides process/disk management, when I click a site from the results window, I completely leave Google.
Michael’s message of May 10th, “Google is more and more of an OS everyday,” got my point: I’m sorry I didn’t succeed in making it as clear to others as I’d have hoped.
As he wrote:
“The trap here is not to think ‘client OS’ but ‘server OS’; Google provides an interface, abstraction from the data, a wide set of application programming interfaces…”
My intent was to highlight the need to seek out resources in a large, dynamic, and controlled-by-others environment as the challenge facing the OS of the future. That’s where there’s the most room, I suggest, for innovation and competition.
– Peter Coffee, eWEEK