some sane commentary on Chrome
Last week, Google released a web browser called Chrome, and the online tech media had a powerful Googasm. We were long overdue for another climax like this, having been lightly stimulated with half-baked Google web products in the four years since GMail was released. Every time the media fires off its gravy so violently, it …
you know the one - where you rent the software apps that run on server somewhere (which is obviously a software house's accountants wet dream) - I first recall it under Java, then Dot Net, then Ajax now Chrome (though I sure it has been seen many other times - but I was asleep) - and it is far away as it ever was, just like everyone using citrix style thin clients
But do I detect an element of anger the article ;)
Mines the one with despite everything - I still prefer IE :p
What I most like about this article is the constant use of "shit", "asshole" and fuck, it's brilliant! Keep it up because that's face it there's not enough wrtiting like this that makes me laugh.....
I personally can't stand the idea of another half baked google product, when it actually comes out of beta in 2299 I might consider installing it, presuming that I've got google coffin edition installed......(no nicking that idea google)
I really don't get the elite web browser market/idea, I couldn't give a shit to be honest, IE7 works, it displays web pages, loads flash, lets me use the web apps I want (banking etc) it crashes and then causes my whole box to reboot but that's just time spent grabbing a coffee and a break! What pisses me off is the constant high pitched squeel from the user community going on about how great the lastest version of mozilla/firefox/ie8/chrome/anyotherbrowser is, face it, WHO CARES!!!
I'm not convinced that this isn't just Google themselves peddling this stuff to give Muckysoft a quick dose of the heebyjeebies or something like that. I'm just glad that somebody is finally debunking at least one myth about the technology that is being peddled under the guise of all new buzzwords and hype but, when you look closely at it, it's just a return to the same old stuff I've been seeing in the industry since day one.
...except that it has fewer features, no adblocker, and has vulnerabilities that were fixed in WebKit weeks (or months) ago.
I've had IT-savvy friends of mine telling me it's "so fast" and they prefer it over Firefox because "they prefer simpler GUIs and don't use tabs". WTF?
This is the iPhone of the browser world. It looks pretty, does a couple of things nicely, but otherwise is miles behind in the technology. Although it does have nice ads, a dumb-ass comic to promote it, and a hord of fanbois to make out it's the best thing since sliced bread. Perhaps we should refer to it as the Jesus Browser? ;)
I'm so bored of every article (and not just the IT-based media) being about Chrome. Please don't become obsessed with it, El Reg.
"chrome is to increase opportunities for underrepresented minority and female students to enter science" - according to googlism :) but clearly we have the truth because it is also "chrome is a flash from the past" - been there, seen it, got the tee shirt...
I'll get me coat...
It's lovely to read a simple, accurate and well balanced story about Chrome by people who actually understand it.
>However, a significant number of the users you IT admins support are reading shit like this, and will be putting in support tickets to have Google Chrome OS installed on their computers as soon as possible, because they've had enough of Windows and are ready for a change
It's great. As soon as the Linux version is ready, there will be a Ubuntu + Chrome install DVD doing the rounds...
Any excuse ;-)
I'm putting the finishing touches to my meta-meta OS. Then I will have made a CLOUD OPERATING SYSTEM VIRTUALIZATION REALM that is not only O/S independent but will run INSIDE and INDEPENDENTLY OF the browser!
It will go head-to-head-to-head with Microsoft Office and Google Maps as the OS of choice! I call it VAPOR O/S.
Here is the source code for version 0.1:
<HTML><BODY><INPUT ID="loc" NAME="loc" TYPE="text" VALUE="http://gmail.com"><INPUT TYPE="button" ONCLICK="window.location=getElementById('loc').value;"></BODY></HTML>
"Case in point: People saying that Google Chrome is an operating system designed to compete head-to-head with Microsoft Windows."
Ok then, Ted, how about we call it a Windows OS Driver for AI Beta Vistas. A Third Party Hypervisor Remote Plug In........ although that would also be an operating system designed to compete head-to-head with Microsoft Windows ..... when So Configured/So Coded .... but as Ben has said it is only a clone of Pathfinding ForeRunners ...... ."Isn't it just basically WebKit with a tabs in processes? aka Safari aka Konqueror.
It's nice and fast 'n' all. But what's the fuss?" ... By Ben Posted Monday 8th September 2008 12:09 GMT
I'm sure it's been cathartic to write that down, but I don't think it's added much to the sum of human knowledge.
To me the underpinning truth of the hype around "the browser as the OS" noise - which has been going on for far longer than Chrome has been around - is that the more you can do in the browser the less you need in the OS. So the argument isn't that Chrome is going to replace Windows, and your destruction of that straw man demonstrated nothing of value, though it appears to have brought you great satisfaction.
Small, embedded OS + services coming from the network can benefit from the sorts of technologies Chrome - and others - are demonstrating.
So uses webkit but an earlier version than the current safari and it needs patching.
Design it's ok, minimal.
Hope the guys at Opera and Konqueror aren't too pissed off.
Yes it may have given Microsoft a prod, but I really doubt it.
All in all I'd say not bad for a first stab at it, just really would have expected better.
Now don't get me wrong, I do like Chrome. It's hella fast, and for general surfing, it's great.(Aside from the fact it mis-renders some pages and won't let me log into eBay for some reason.) That said, I'm typing this in Firefox for a reason. Chrome's developer tools look like a nice start, but in Firefox I've got Firebug, Console2, IETab, the Web Developer toolbar, ReloadEvery, and so on. When I want to surf, I use Chrome because there's no denying it's faster/easier. When I want to develop or get some work done, I use FF, because it's better.
All that said, Chrome is still a beta, so all those chucking spunk and brimstone over it should calm the hell down and see what the finished product is like.
Then again, does Google ever take anything out of beta, or is the beta label its catch-all excuse should anything go wrong? I seem to remember Google Maps being in "beta" for years.
Arrington even defends himself (badly) when challenged in the TechCrunch comments...
The previous persons comments are in speech marks.
Michael Arrington - September 1st, 2008 at 4:50 pm PDT
“The browser is not the OS nor is it an OS replacement.”
sure it is.
“The browser is a installed application replacement. You still need an OS to actually power the machine”
correct. and linux works just fine.
“if you think web apps are going to replace a desktop OS anytime soon you are clueless. ”
Have you looked at what MySpace did with gears? Look, then comment.
Urm, so he thinks that installing Linux and Chrome means that he has a PC with Chrome as the operating system? What an idiot.
I have seen people moan about it being 'work safe' as well, although I assume that's what you meant.
Let me make this perfectly clear - if your IT dept and senior management think that their staff shouldn't see swear words on the net, then you are either working in a primary school, or your management are a bunch of dribbling fuckwits and you need to get a new job, possibly preceded by a nice, long, send-to-all email detailing what a bunch of pious muppets you [no longer] work for.
Fab rant, I repeat my suggestion of Dziuba for CTO of the US, if not the world.
Keep it up people....
Good points well made, as ever. A shit storm of hype about .... nothing. It is indeed JAFWB® and not even an especially exciting one at that.
"but I don't think it's added much to the sum of human knowledge."
Well, I for one didn't know that there really were people calling themselves tech journalists who didn't understand the rather easy to spot difference between a web browser and an OS. So I found that part quite enlightening.
It probably ought to sadden me, but instead I'll just let it bleed in to my smug sense of superiority.
And of course : Mod +1 for swearies and fuck the haters.
I don't know about opera or safari, but I thought "nice and fast" and "tabs in processes" was new and the whole point of it. It isn't really that exciting but good "under-the-hood" engineering isn't to be sniffed at. Isn't the point that you can deliver web-based apps in a manner such that one flash app doesn't take out your webmail when it crashes?
It Isn't visually stunning, but it raises state of the art rather rather more than the addition of tabbed browsing to IE. Maybe it will never become much, but if it pushes the other browsers to be something better, then its to be commended.
Google didn't expect to win large converts from opera, ff or even ie with this. Anyone who thought that didn't read the gomics - its all about processes, security, memory management and a more robust client architecture for delivering web applications. Its rather boring computer-science type stuff rather than "Ooh, with this new UI, I can access facebook just by _thinking_ about it!"
Paris - she didn't read the manual either.
"...it's hard to imagine a world where everything (and I mean everything) is done in a browser."
In the '60s it was impossible to imagine a world where computers would be more ubiquitous than motor cars. In the '70's it was difficult to imagine a world where all those computers would be connected at virtually no cost. In the '80s who would have dreamt of smoke-free offices and pubs? In the '90s, who saw Google coming?
Hard to imagine a world changing this fast. But it is.
So IT journalists know nothing about the technology? Big deal.
Motoring journalists, motorcycle journalists, cycling journalists, photography journalists and all the rest like to pretend they know something about the engineering behind their favourite tech, but they don't. Most of them are end users of said technology with some sort of ability to turn a phrase. Read, for example, any car magazine and you will find journalists spouting crap about motoring tech in a hilariously self assured way, they all think they know more than the people who's bread and butter is designing and building cars.
It is indeed just a web browser, but for most of the morons you quote the web browser is the OS because that's all they see of it. They log on, they open IE. Many of them would probably be surprised to learn that you can actually run other browsers on Windows and have been able to for years.
The saddest part of this is that Google claim to be developing a version for Linux, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that the finished Linux version is just the Windows version packaged to run under WINE. Chrome replacing Windows? Chrome relying on Windows tech more like.
Whilst I agree with the sentiment that Chrome is grossly overhyped and has attracted a huge amount of ignorant press, I will also take issue with the very simplistic and technically naive dismissal of the nature of the threat to what are regarded as conventional operating systems. This article misunderstands what an operating system is, and what it does. Common simplistic views of an operating system think of things like Windows, Linux, MacOS. These are not operating systems in the accepted technical meaning. They are large operating environments layered on top of operating systems.
In general an operating system is a simple idea - it provides a host environment within in which user programs run. That is it. This host environment is a virtual system that runs atop the native hardware. Probably the most critical nature of an OS is that it provides a useful abstract machine that can be reasonably independent of the hardware. After this it is generally accepted that a useful OS includes in the abstract machine the following: a protection/securtity model, resource management, a name space, persistent storage. In a modern system, add to that a network access mechanism (which pretty much means TCP/IP).
That is it. All the other stuff is utilities. Not operating system. Now there is no doubt that Chrome (being as it really adds nothing to what most other browsers already do) does not implement much of this - but it does abstract over it - and it provides therefore a new abstract machine layer - which is mostly independent of the underlying host OS.
It is in the word "mostly" where the threat lies. Currently the host OS provides a local name space and persistent storage. (Unix unifies the two totally. Windows never quite understood that trick.) Most people call this pair the file system. Local apps run against the local file system. The cuckoo's egg in the browser/cloud is that these now start to leak away. Not that they have not been leaking for a long time already. But when the core name space of the host environment ceases to be the local name space/file system, and persistent storage migrates off the machine as well, the remaining OS functionality is seriously emasculated. Here persistent storage will migrate to inside the walled cities of Google.
MS understood this idea a very long time ago. They tried in their usual manner to create an MS centric, whole of planet name space. That and the associated security and authentication mechanisms. One ring to rule them all. History showed that they failed.
Google are trying again. Sure, you might pour cold water on the notion that pathetic applications written in a scripting language that should have been strangled at birth in a bug ridden security nightmare is an operating system. But the reality is that it is an operating system. Although it piggy backs on top of the work done by the host OS, it still provides a new abstraction layer that meets the definition of an OS. And it does it in an insidious and dangerous manner. What matters is not that it provides nothing technically new, or that it is pretty awful. What does matter is that it is a new attempt to control the name space, provide the associated persistent storage, and soon the authentication and security mechanisms. One ring to rule them all again. Frodo, it seems, still has work to do.
I want to start out by making one thing clear, I don't think Chrome is an OS, it is just another browser.
However, is it the beginning. Are Google planning on creating a GLinux distro that runs Chrome, nothing else just Chrome. For your average broadband enabled home user would they notice if they did not have office but had Google Docs? Would they care if they could get it on a CD in Dixons the same way you used to be able to get Freeserve disks?
I personaly would not get sucked into such a ploy but it does not mean that I can say the same for Mr Joe Luser ?
Just a though.....
PS Why no halo/horn icon for Larry Page and Sergey Brin
'it's hard to imagine a world where everything (and I mean everything) is done in a browser'
sorry what is Windows GUI?
isn't that a browser??
or how about we all set our desktops to be 'active desktop' and hey presto windows becomes a browser, its not that far fetched, the 2 will one day merge.
Frikkin aliems have been doing it for years.
(they prefer to be called aliems, they told me so's)
Yes, I meant "Work Safe", though "Word Safe" works also. Though as I pointed out I was mentioning college filters, for the computers that they use at college whilst I do my degree. It might be pretty hard for me to do my degree if the filters pick up many uses of the word "fuck" and issue me warnings followed by "gerrof our computers ya fuck-wit!"
I'm all for swearing, but it would be nice to know which articles may fire up a filter which is looking for profanities, especially as the college terms of service is a catch all, you have no idea who would be using the computers, what age they may be etc. and whilst our tutor is a wonderful person, she isn't the admin who set up the filters. Would you really want a college filter to allow students to browse sites where every other word was fuck? I.e. the bbc? Heck the filter would tell me "I'm sorry, you're not allowed to do that" if I were to write the word fuck, which means I have to tone down the emails to my better half.
Intel q6600 quad core duo 2.4gz 4Gb ram
IE7 - 25077.4ms (Win64)
Iceweasel 184.108.40.206 (gecko 220.127.116.11) 11845.8ms (Debian i386)
Epihpany 2.14.3 (Gecko 1.8) 11792.8ms (Debian i386)
Opera 9.52 - 3948.6ms (Win64)
FF 3.0.1 - 2868.6ms (Win64)
Now the jesus browser! Now with web 2.0!!!
I've tried it and it is more like a browser you would use in a kiosk with only an address bar and tabs along the top (NO menus) plus a really useful (NOT!!) browser history as your default page.
It uses less memory than firefox, is a bit more stable, but... it cant run firefox plugins and the rendering engine IS NOT 100% accurate, more like opera at rendering pages, getting the odd bit here and there wrong.
I already tried safari for the pc, now this is a bit better but why the default Microsoft look'n'feel?
there is a GoogleUpdater.exe Process running silently in the background all the time.. I don't trust google being in my browser, they're already all over the web..
Well, I've been working as a software designer for over 20 years, so hopefully you'll consider me tech-savvy enough to not discard my opinion out of hand.
When I got Chrome, my reaction was: This could be the trigger that prompts me to get a Linux-based netbook. I could do all my work in Chrome, and never touch the OS. I'm using Google Docs, Gmail, etc. more and more, and non-cloud based software less and less.
The hyperbole may be overstated in the short term, but over the next few years, this stuff could be the MS killer in my opinion.
What has Google's simple browser got to do with Linux? It doesn't even build on Linux, let alone run, and having poked through the unbelievably vast source code I don't see it being ported any time soon.
* Simple in the sense that having discrete processes is how we did things back before threads.
probably one of the most flawed descriptions of an operating system I have ever seen posted
Any and all operating systems set the standards for all application programs that run in the computer. Applications "talk to" the operating system for all user interface and file management operations. Also called an "executive" or "supervisor," an operating system performs the following functions
Gui or command based
Like IBM’S JCL
like windows HAL
Some OS’S like windows use API’s to call functions in the os , however it does need any networking to be an OS, No need for tcpip or any other protocol’s netbios.
“That is it. All the other stuff is utilities. Not operating system. Now there is no doubt that Chrome (being as it really adds nothing to what most other browsers already do) does not implement much of this - but it does abstract over it - and it provides therefore a new abstract machine layer - which is mostly independent of the underlying host OS”
This is almost as funny as Microsoft consultants telling me keberos is policy independent, then it the next sentence telling me it has a policy manager. The above statement is horse shit Chrome runs on a application layer which requires the os to be running or no chrome, so the “mostly independent”…EH .. how to quantify no OS, no chrome and no gears.
” It is in the word "mostly" where the threat lies. Currently the host OS provides a local name space and persistent storage. (Unix unifies the two totally. Windows never quite understood that trick.) Most people call this pair the file system. Local apps run against the local file system. The cuckoo's egg in the browser/cloud is that these now start to leak away. Not that they have not been leaking for a long time already. But when the core name space of the host environment ceases to be the local name space/file system, and persistent storage migrates off the machine as well, the remaining OS functionality is seriously emasculated. Here persistent storage will migrate to inside the walled cities of Google.”
Did you by any chance buy a sinclair C5. you really don’t understand the corporate world or the home pc market.
Good article finally someone who isn't blowing smoke up googles blowhole. They already have god knows what information on your search history and emails, now they want all of your documents as well and your apps, favourites, passwords etc not such a good plan.
Yeah great Idea use all of your apps online, when the net connection goes down or you reach your cap you have a dumb terminal that can't do anything :(
Chrome could be the next great "never-ending battle for truth and justice".
First there was Microsoft vs the software crackers. I think we know how well that all worked out.
Then there has been the constant back and forth arms race between Apple and the iPhone unlockers.
So how soon will it before we get people writing ad-blockers for Chrome?
"probably one of the most flawed descriptions of an operating system I have ever seen posted"
Probably because you never studied operating systems. Curiously what I wrote is largely the accepted technical definition. What I get in reply is the usual marketing version.
The definition I gave is mostly derived from Andrew Tanenbaum. If you don't know who he is I would advise silence until you do.
The remainder of the rebuttal seems to suggest my point was totally missed.
Google does enough to annoy me at work, they're like the invisible axis of the world.
I did look at Chrome in a VM and though "hey, Java apps don't work and where's all my options?". Firefox with Adblocker and Noscript and other nice things for me.
STOP - for Stop The Bus, I want a WEE-WEE...!
Chrome is the term for useless decorative bullshit...why would they expect anyone to take it seriously?
Although this is the World2.0, where companies named "Fluff" and "Tar.tz" and "bollo.cx" and "BugrIT" get millions of dollars in VC funding, and here I am building spaceships for the Navy and we don't even get free soda.
Certainly Chrome is not an OS. And it can not replace one either. However, Linux and Chrome(when available) can replace many Microsoft products including their operating systems. And that solution does not require a cloud but a cloud is an option.
Chrome is significant because Google will make certain it optimizes what can be done in that infamous cloud. And while there are good reasons why some people do not use to depend upon that cloud, there is no way to deny that such services offer very real alternatives for many.
Years ago Microsoft engaged in illegal activities to eliminate Netscape from the marketplace. And the old Netscape (as a company) is long gone. But, the technology went open source. And now Google has arrived with the applications that Microsoft feared most. Replacements for Microsoft's overpriced applications.
Today Microsoft continues its illegal practice of commingling code between the OS and the browser. So if there is some confusion about what is an OS and what is an application (such as a browser), Microsoft created that. Of course Internet Explorer is not an operating system any more than Chrome is. But, Chrome on the scene can point out to all (even the slow learners) that being forced to buy, install, maintain and support Internet Explorer is equivalent to being forced to have sex.
Strange as it may be, many today think forced sex with a Microsoft branded product is just fine with them. But, they are incapable of deciding between applications anyway. So they do not count.
The importance of Chrome is that Chrome will illustrate to the market that superior technology is readily available and can be implemented as long as consumers are not continuously forced to buy and use the inferior Microsoft solution.
Despite its success, Mozilla is just not in the position to bring this point home. Google is. And the same could be said for Apple and Opera. All fine browsers. But, those companies will never be able to show ordinary users the benefits of using a high performance browser for running cloud based services.
You really do not think Microsoft would push the industry in that direction do you? At least Google does not think so. They have already gone on record as saying that one fine result of Chrome will be the significant improvement of the browser forced upon millions at a price. While Chrome is likely to remain free.
And for the slow learners, IE is not nor can it be free as long as it is bundled with the products you pay cash for such as operating systems. Unless you are stupid enough to believe that the fries are the free food in your happy meal. The cash bucks you pay are in fact allocated among the items in your happy meal. And if any one tells you the fries are the free ones, you have identified the fraud in your company.
Consumers should refuse to pay for or even accept Internet Explorer. Chrome, Firefox, Opera and others should convince even the slow learners of that. Not the Microsoft salesman mind you. But, any real customer what to decide what is purchased, what is installed, what is maintained and what is supported. Any one that suggests otherwise is not a consumer but rather the salesman. A fraudulent one at that.
Nice one, Ted. Thanks for pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. I liked the balance of invective, irony and hard fact. Gawd knows, hard facts are few and far between when it comes to press coverage of Google.
As to Michael Arrington, if he really thinks "Chrome is nothing less than a full on desktop operating system that will compete head on with Windows..." he deserves to be dragged into the street, doused in sewage, beaten on the kidneys til he pisses blood then shot like a dog. Not, you understand, that I give a toss about wannabe 'journalists' like him ... I just like violent humiliation for its own sake.
@ Sarah. Ooooh, I really LOVE it when you talk dirty ;)
"but I don't think it's added much to the sum of human knowledge."
Oh, I disagree. After reading this article I had learned one completely new euphemism for blowing your load and a variation on one I already knew. I'm now going to try to work the phrase "firing off your gravy" into general conversation as much as possible. Top stuff!
Paris, because she knows all about making gravy.
I have been using Opera for quite some time and it really took lot of media buzz to make me try the Chrome. To be honest, I was really disappointed.
I was hoping Google would come up with its own rendering engine which would face up to the ACID 3 test. Looks like Google is still not mature enough to create their on rendering engine yet. Sad.
Also, each-tab-is-a-process idea backfired, at least in my case. If I do not use a tab for some time, say 2-3 hours, and then click on it, it takes all the time in the world to paint itself. It appears that the OS senses that this process is not being used for quite some time and removes it from RAM to virtual memory (hard-disk). That would have been still OK, but it takes up a majority of my CPU cycles and I cannot do anything but watch the tab being re-painted, pixel by pixel. Which machine do I use? Pentium 4, 2,2 Ghz, 1 GB RAM. Powerful enough for my Opera to run 20+ tabs AND other desktop applications simultaneously.
Another thing I do not understand about all open source fans is that they are OK if Firefox is bit slower than Opera (hey, we got powerful processors now), but when Chrome JS engine is tad faster than other browsers, they go all ga-ga about it.
Grow up. While open source is good, its not always the best. Why don't we rate the applications solely on their performance and not on the brand (Google, MS) or the openness of the code?
How the f**k do muppets like that end up being journalists on IT when they evidentally don't know the first thing about computers.
Looks to me as if they haven't even studied for the most basic of qualifications of in Computing. How can you end up getting a job as a jorunalist if you don't know jack sh~t?
I'd love to aim the new proton beam particle acclerator, the LHC at their innards and watch them vaporize into a trillion billion fundamental particles ( whilst possibly creating a minature blackhold and sucking in planet earth).
I did not quite catch your point..oh right you did not make one remember this is About "Personal Computing Devices Operating Systems" grandad so keep up will you.
Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are in most recent OS's, but at one time all operations of the computer where performed by typing in commands DOS eng for example, even now messing about in linux will send you to a ?, so yes an OS can be COMMAND LINE only rather than have a graphical interface do the work for you or it can be both, but for a SYSTEM to OPERATE it needs the OPERATOR to be able to INTERFACE with the SYSTEM otherwise it is not by definition a OPERATING SYSTEM as user would be unable to OPERATE COMMANDS.
Your point was ?.
The definition of a "Personal Computing Device Operating System" requires a user interface....ethier Command line based or GUi or both. or any other way in which a user can input information.
and @Tanenbaum the man whose said "linux is obsolete" back in 92 yeah. he has the odd good duiscussion with mr penguin Linus Torvalds but they dont agree.
And why this is up for discussion over a internet Browser by google is probably why Ted wrote the article ....and yes it's still "just a f..kin broswer" even Tanenbaum would agree.
Found some details on the guy on the net:
"I grew up in California and Surrey, England. I started college at U.C. Berkeley, and transferred to Claremont McKenna, a tiny college located near Los Angeles, after my freshman year. I majored in economics. I went straight from college to law school at Stanford in 1992, and graduated in 1995."
Ah, studied for an economics degree ( doesn't say if he graduated or not, says he majored..., read in to that what you want).
Studied for an economics degree, well Sir, you are eminantly qualified to comment on Information Technology, evidentally !
The simple fact is that, although it is not implemented in the current release, "a small kernel on your local system could boot you into directly into Chrome, or a server-based operating system, and you could start working *sans* Windows."
Reading some of the opinions above, I feel like I'd better explain that "sans" means *without* Windows (or linux or mac OS, etc, etc . . .). :-P
No host OS is necessary.
I do not mean to argue for or against this app, or the writer's opinion (I really enjoyed reading this post) but this bit of information was missing from the article and the comments associated wth it. (apologies if I missed someone else bringing up the same point) However, my own tech training would tell me that when loaded as described above, this would qualify as an OS. Thank you to previous commentors for referencing Tanenbaum.
All that aside:
I am increasingly alarmed at the vitriolic ranting associated with tech news/opinions/information these days. When did techy's become fundamentalists? Appleites justify anything and everything Jobs and Co does, even if they've blasted MS for the same behavior, and MS fanboys are no different. Linux users, god love 'em, are the same as well, only with an open-source message to preach. And every time a company tries something new, all you read is how and why it couldn't/wouldn't or shoudn't work alongside gleeful predictions of it's failure or hateful rants about why it's evil. The more successful the company, the more antagonistic the response. Anyone with a positive opinion is immediately labled a company shill or simply called unflattering names.
How can we progress and move technology forward if we start our arguments before all the facts have been presented? If, instead of presenting information, we defend our positions and rely on name calling and derision to speak for us?
I enjoy The Reg for it's insistance on questioning everything. I live my life the same way; however, it seems like we've confused questioning with mindless mob attacks these days.
Isn't *anyone* else appalled by all of this?
I was begining to think that any sort of constructive thinking had escaped the world (of journalism) until I read this.
With all this cloud-computing hippieness and sprinkles of how microsoft is terrified of google, even though google are not trying to compete with any of microsoft's core businesses and it is microsoft who are trying to expand into the markets google dominates, surely the so called tech journalists should see that Chrome infact relies more upon operating system features than most other browsers.
It has a task manager for its processes. These processes however are structures that are created within the operating system kernel.
It uses permissions to sandbox things. It requires the operating system to have sufficient features for this.
Google gears is supposed to allow offline working of "web apps". Well surely that is relying on storage on your computer and operating system filesystem functions to allow such tasks.
Google Chrome is the Web 2.0 version of AOL's own web browser. They hope to hive people off into an ever more Googlefied web user experience where you only use YouTube for video sharing, only ever use Google Chat, Google Mail etc etc. This creates a captive audience for Google's main money generating business; selling ads.
I have myself fallen prey of the 'Windows killer' potential software hype in the past - but having tried Linux a few times now, I just don't think Windows will dissapear. Like QWERTY or base ten for maths you'll find better ways of designing keyboards or doing sums, but its too late to change to them. Its all down to how you define success. If success for a keyboard means 'allows best possible typing speed and ease' then QWERTY is crap, but if you mean 'can be easily used by as many existing computer users as possible' then QWERTY is clearly miles ahead of anyone else. With Chrome there is very little (I'd say at the moment that there is nothing) Chrome does significantly better than current systems. I'd go as far to suggest that Chrome is like Vista for web browsers - the new stuff it offers isn't really worth the effort of changing for a majority of users.
For the world to change from M$, we need an 'extinction level event' to take place in the OS sector, eg, the banning of M$ from China, or the nationalisation of M$ by the US government. Alternatively, we need a major evolution in Macs (eg, they learn how to price their products competitively, or find a way for MacOS to be able to port any Windows software automatically) or we need a freshly engineered version of Linux (GM Linux) that is acutually easier to use, better looking and more versatile than Windows (but that would take billions in investment).
Until then, Windows is the T Rex of the OS world, and furry or feathered Macs, Linux boxes and web-based computing systems can't compete.
I think it's fucking moronic that a college would install a profanity filter. What, do people these days spend thirty years being ten years old, and then magically and all-at-once turn forty? That's the only reason I can think of how anyone at a university, faculty, staff, or student, could possibly not be enough of a grown-up to handle seeing the word 'fuck' once in a while. Christ almighty, where do you people go to school that you don't hear worse than 'fuck' every damn day?
Fucking hell. You know, I really used to regret not finishing my degree, but at this point I'm pretty much thinking that I did myself more of a favor by dropping out and going to work instead. I'm never going to have a $120k/year job, maybe, but at least I've spent the last decade living like a full-grown adult human being, which apparently among the better-educated set is quite rare.
"Typing words is easier than critical thought, after all."
Apparently. What a steaming-pile-of-crap-excuse-for-a-story. Slow news day, El Reg?
"And furthermore ... Chrome is not a toaster, no matter how irritating it is to me personally that some bloggers have referred to it as 'the best thing since sliced bread'."
Yeesh. Go find yourself a quaalude, dude. Try and include something useful in your next article. This one was just you ripping off whoever pays you to write garbage like this.
Not really, most fully grown adults know not to use profanities so liberally, part of a good education is being able to substitute vulgarities for their less vulgar counterparts.
The reason a college filter would look for certain words, and ensure that students are not using certain words, is because the type of site where one would most likely use said words are not the kind of sites a college student should be looking at whilst they are studying. It would also help to prevent the college from any legal ramifications that may arise due to a student writing a large post, containing lots of swear words, aimed at a person whilst using the college network.
And also no, swearing, spitting, any activity which people may find offensive are against the general college rules aswell, college is supposed to educate a persons mind, keeping their mind in the gutter will not lead to any form of enlightenment, it will make the idiots drop out of their degree, claim to be grown up and never get a £60k per year job.
jeesh, do you even know what "user space" means?
Your OS presents one interface : system calls - hooks into the devices to provide user land services. It's a KERNEL, not a command line or GUI.
You'll be telling me next Notepad is part of the Windows OS.
Your GUI is provided by USER space programs making (abstracted) calls to your graphics device (VGA card maybe).
"Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad." Rob Pike - circa 1991
Linux is a crock.
I think this article has drawn as much hatred from the baying crowds as IE has had piled on it in a lifetime.
And that's saying something.
Got to say, I love the way the IE crowd get their toes stuck in. On the basis of lack of innovation no less.
In a slightly different tone of voice people, it's just a fucking web browser, calm the fuck down.
tip my hat to our pedantic, asshole overlord (de jour).
@ Mike Powers: My guess is because MS has "shit" trademarked eight ways to Sunday?
@ the gentle person who suggested combining of Chrome and the "Jesus" (pronounced GE-Zus or Hay-sus?) phone and the ensuing digital orgasm when the phone rings is "turned on".... I don't think there are any words that can adequately explain or define the pain I am feeling right now, because of the big gulp of warm ginger-ale that exited my sinus cavity at hypersonic speeds, when I read your post. It's been almost 10 minutes and my nose still hurts like hell!
OS? Funny... It's a browser with a bizarre name. BFD. You can polish a turd so much that you can see your reflection in it, but at the end of the day, it's still a turd.
I chose Paris because it was a moral imperative
...once you realise that (thanks to MS) the average user doesn't know the difference between and OS and a GUI. To them, the GUI *is* the OS.
So if we now have a browser (Chrome) which aims at allowing users to do whatever they want without ever leaving it (ie, become the one-and-only GUI) then the know-nothings will call it "the new OS".
It's wrong, it's pathetic, but then again half the population has an IQ under 100.
When Google persuades all major businesses to rely on a network (read Internet) connection and a small kernel running a browser to access their business-critical informations such as ... erm say banking details I'll be the first one to join in.
In the real world, the people who actually support the Win OS (i.e. big business) will never take such a risk. They will want their machines to be running even during a nuclear war. Thin client and virtualisation are coming slowly dragging their backup tapes behind them in a concrete box but a browser as an OS is no more likely then me trying to shag a slab of liver in a jar.
Great article, if The Reg was a slab of liver I would shag it.
...yet another article written by an IT journo who's as misinformed and technologically illiterate as those he decrys.
Quote: "However, a significant number of the users you IT admins support are reading shit like this, and will be putting in support tickets to have Google Chrome OS installed on their computers as soon as possible, because they've had enough of Windows and are ready for a change."
Bravo you muppet - that's the point, that *IS* the Google strategy.
Average Joe User doesn't give a shit about their OS - they care about their *DESKTOP*, and most of what "we" would consider an OS itself is hidden or restricted from the end user by corporate policies anyway.
Users won't leave Windows because they are "familiar" with it. When you deliver all their core apps (Email, Office, Web) in a web browser then you have abstracted the core user experience from the underlying OS - they don't need Windows per say anymore and Google can now push an OS agnostic desktop solution, marginalising Microsoft's core "strength".
Your entire GUI "desktop" experience is just a bulk standard UI window you can't close - unless you click "shutdown" or "standby". Now write a full screen web page that looks just like it and run it through the Linux framebuffer - job done.
Tie in a few gadgets, gidgets and gears and you have a perfectly usable desktop experience for 80% of the population. So it's not for the rest of us - who cares we're probably all running adblocker anyway.
I agree that this sort of stuff certainly isn't new: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_desktop, but only Google has the ability to tie it all together. You get the advantage of Citrix-esk thin clients except that the client offloads the vast amount of processing because it handles the UI locally, and Google can still deliver a consistent and familiar desktop experience to the end user.
Perhaps, most importantly of all, it gives Google a platform to simply aggregate data between apps and services *LOCALLY* and extract a deeper semantic context from the data without it touching their servers or hitting cross-site scripting issues - no doubt to flog more ad space.
Please please - engage brain first - then keyboard.
Doesn't understand the nitty gritty as well as he likes to make out he does, but has a good rant nonetheless. Something we're all guilty of.
I'm no expert either, I'm just an average IT professional. I haven't tried Chrome yet (no time at work, and run LINUX at home) but it does introduce some new features such as the optimisation of processes/threads per tab and the properly implemented inline spell checker. FF and Opera can nick from them in the same way that Chrome has nicked their features.While it's not revolutionary, innovation (even evolutionary rather than revolutionary) is not to be sniffed at or discouraged.
If I were writing an article decrying other journalists writing over the top bollocks I probably wouldn't have written the phrase:
"It's not unlike a World War I bloodbath"
Of course, I wasn't around for World War 1 and haven't personally experienced a bloodbath therein. However I think it's a safe bet that a few overly excitable journalists are, in fact, entirely unlike a World War 1 bloodbath.
"In any case, a browser is still going to need a proper operating system to run, and that operating system will almost always be Windows."
Except the ten percent that are Macs and the five percent that are Linux. But real numbers don't matter to tech pundits. Hell, you just proved it, better than they could!
Firstly, trust me when I say that you are genuinely mistaken as to what an operating system is. Secondly, I suspect that in calling me "grandad" you were trying to suggest my opinion was out of date, when in fact the definition of an Operating System hasn't changed in forty years.
Thirdly, it is fascinating that a reference to Tanenbaum excites in you a response about some disagreement between him and Linus Torvalds, as if such things were the defining issues of computer science!
Here's the thing. I hold an honours degree in CS from one of the world's leading informatics schools. I was barely fit to tie the shoelaces of some of the people under whom I studied, but I know my subject well enough. And if you ask any computer scientist for the definitive work on operating systems, they will point you at Andrew S Tanenbaum's "Operating Systems: Design and Implementation".
I do love your little history lesson in which you tell me that in the olden days some OSes didn't have a GUI, and instead you had to type words on a command line. It's hilarious.
For your edification, that command line is what we call a shell - a program which runs on top of the OS just like any other program. When you type in that box you aren't talking to the OS, you're talking to a command interpreter.
Operating Systems don't have user interfaces. Trust me, I'm a computer scientist.
"Dziuba, your personal hate campaign against Arrington is getting boring. I expect insightful articles that are interesting to read, not this constant petty crap. If you want to pursue a personal vendetta keep it to your blog as you usually do, not The Reg"
Morning, Arrington. :-)
Jesus? Never mind the mere offspring - Chrome is the browser God will use!
Did you really think it was pure coincidence that 'Google' and 'God' both begin with a G and an O ?
Beware! Don't piss off God! S/he likes Chrome - woe betide you critics! "And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord when I shall lay my vengeance upon them." Ezekiel 25:17
Rather than discuss the semantics of "OS" and "browser", better to focus on the specifics of what users can and cannot do with what's available now, and planned in future.
Question: if GNU/Linux on the desktop has so far failed, despite being a far more capable "applications platform" than a jumped-up web browser, why should a Chrome-led strategy succeed? Just because it's Google?
I use Ubuntu on my laptop, despite it being a worse user experience in some important areas (multi-monitor support, ease of power management, gaming, lack of certain niche applications). Consequently, I would not recommend it to power users, nor people who lack patience, but would for my mother, who is confused by a cordless phone and just needs an internet appliance.
If GNU/Linux is unable to reach critical mass despite it's sophistication and quality of engineering, I just can't see a browser-as-desktop solution doing the same, unless people's expectations of a PC suddenly drop by 90%. In which case they may as well use an Eee.
For some it is a browser, for others an OS, for another it is a Driver and for Some All Three and So Much More.
It all Firmly Depends on How Good you are at Using IT in the Cloud for Stealthy Powerfully ControlLed Storm Surges........ HyperRadioProActivity.
Well somebody has to Pay Dearly for Yesterday's dDOS Attack on the LSE ...... and just whenever Punters were Looking for a Safe Haven Harbour in dDeeper Waters. Another One of those Boomeranging Curveballs which Knock Out the Sender?
The advantage, of course, of a rich client, is that it is fucking aware of the fucking internet and will fucking use fucking web service. This could easily be the fucking "The Cloud" that every fucking analyst is spunking into their fuck-socks over and the user won't give a fucking shit.
They want to fucking edit a fucking word fucking doc? The fucking open their fucking word fucking rich client, it does a quick check of fucking local and fucking remote resources and fucking presto. You can write and many fucking irrelevant fucking expletives as you fucking like.
"The Cloud" is, of course, just another fucking piece of over-hyped bullcrap and little more than the old client-server model wearing a new fucking strap-on. Whilst the corporate luvvies bend over and take a pounding in the fundament from the Cloud zealots, users just want their fucking docs/pictures/data wherever they happen to fucking be and don't give a flying shit what system, OS, browser or foreskin happens to provide it.
And who wants to use a fucking browser for fucking everything? Are people forgetting about local fucking storage or fucking document repositories. Systems which have been solving these problems o the fucking enlightened for fucking ages?
So Google spurt out a new browser (with that fucking hideous license). Who gives a shit? Does it solve my problems? No better than FireFox. So it can fuck the hell off.
You can't hate Chrome... much.
It's lighter, faster, cheaper, smarter. The dream of any Techie related to sales.
It's only good for my mom. I can't manage my bookmarks. I can't get extensions in (yet?). I can't decide what to do with particular types of cookies. I can't allow some sites into a safe list. I don't have a password to protect me from anybody sitting at my machine wanting to peek at all the passwords that it saves for me.
Great for a newbie user, I'll give it that.
But I, like most of the reader here I'll bet, work in IT. In Software Development R&D to be precise...
Chrome just makes me think of all those bloody pink phones that have no features except being pink...
Although, mind you, if I could get my hands on a device that was a BROWSER and NOTHING else, I would still be able to do EVERYTHING that I do today with my computer. They'd have to make some java-enabled browser-readable version of WinAmp and plug it to some massive 40GB+ storage account for my small collection of music, but honestly. How much stuff do you do aside from go online on a daily basis?
(I do web development and need Adobe CS3, so I can't quite toss my lappy. But I would still see value for a browsing device. Odd, no?)
"I'm putting the finishing touches to my meta-meta OS. Then I will have made a CLOUD OPERATING SYSTEM VIRTUALIZATION REALM that is not only O/S independent but will run INSIDE and INDEPENDENTLY OF the browser! It will go head-to-head-to-head with Microsoft Office and Google Maps as the OS of choice! I call it VAPOR O/S."
The first browser using multiprocess technology and a separated rendering engine was the Voyager browser from Vaporware written for Amiga os many many years ago. Later it was ported to more 'popular' platforms, like qnx. So the idea is old and the name is already taken.
"...once you realise that (thanks to MS) the average user doesn't know the difference between and OS and a GUI. To them, the GUI *is* the OS."
This is how microsoft sold it's dos based windows systems. This is why nobody cares that the xbox360 console is running a ppc version of windows 2000, with the hypervisor of the upcoming windows7. This is why google decided to take parts from various projects and make a software mashup and call it chome. It's name probably comes from the fact that it's just a presentation interface for web based services and could only be considered as a service component not even an application.
ps: Does really nobody noticed that Google is building:
-it's own hardware
-it's own datacenters
-it's own network
-it's own power stations
-it's own satellites
-it's own navy
The question is: What's next? They build a spaceship or land on the moon?
It doesn't matter that Chrome does nothing new. The fact that it does it faster could make a big difference for some apps.
Some revolutions are due to quantitative changes rather than qualitative changes.
Although that remains to be seen in the case of Chrome, of course :)
It seems to me that everyone is really missing on something important about Chrome.
The Mozilla guys have been saying for years that adding more options and functionality to the browser is a bad idea as everybody is used to IE 6 interface level, and showing things like tabs by default scare people off.
Well everybody, and I mean everybody that uses IE and dislikes Firefox like chrome. How can this be? functionally speaking Chrome is nothing else but Firefox with the most popular extensions built in, and a polished GUI.
Could it be that Google, like Apple have become design gods? Able to steal Firefox 10+ year work thunder in a single well painted stroke.
I do agree that the ones to lose the most are the Mozilla guys.
As per MS IE8 demands so much resources that people will stick with IE6 for ages to come. (Except if you run vista of course)
So Chrome's great triumph is to show the uneducated masses what 21st century browser features are without scaring them out.
Look people, critical thinking is dead. Hype is the new social currency, fed by the scent of verbal ejaculate surrounding the brave new idiots of the blogimedia.
So yeah, Chrome is what it is; another browser with it's own take on things. Whilst I applaud the Ted Dziubas of this world, I take a momentary break to observe that there is strength in diversity, and should measure our response accordingly.
So well done Google, you can do what many others do, and do it in your own way.
And well done Ted, for telling it how the fuck it is, which appears to be something many others can't do.
Tux, because Paris has nothing to do with this.
FFS. even with the geek pedantry level turned up to 11, Chrome (or any other browser) could be considered at best a VM. ALL the typical OS functions (job scheduling, memory management, I/O, concurrency, etc) are provided by the underlying OS. It would of course be possible to provide a 'kernel' of functionality that would simply load up your browser, but then you would have actually provided an OS.
So you're all wrong (but especially Alexander), and Francis, before you start advising others that they know nothing, please go away and check the veracity of the following statement :
"In a modern system, add to that a network access mechanism (which pretty much means TCP/IP)."
There's no reason whatsoever for that to be an OS function, provided that the I/O provisions are sufficiently flexible, and as yet, there are many many more networking protocols than TCP/IP in active and widespread use.
It also competes with your (correct) assertion that an OS can be considered the most minimal set of functionality required to allow applications to talk to the hardware. (As does much of your argument, in fact, since a web browser is an abstraction layer on top of software, not hardware, and if you're more than one layer of abstraction away from the metal, you're an application, no matter how clever you are, VMs very much included)
In any case the whole debate is pointless beyond measure. Chrome is not an OS, it hasn't been coded with the requisite functionality, it relies upon a host OS for everything. Let's have this argument again when it has even been coded as an actual VM (not just a slightly faster JS parser), and not an OS hosted application. (And Alexander has read a book about operating systems).
As of the now, it really is JAFWB.
You might not be able to polish a turd, but you can sure make it shine. My dog once ate a bar of 'Lush' soap that had those little sparkles in it. Imagine my surpise when wandering round the garden on dog-shit patrol when I discover that shining little beauty in all it's glory basking in the mid-day sun. Just wish I'd taken a photo.
Regarding the OS/Browser stuff, I thought the OS was the bit that tied the command languages into the hardware to make it work. In order to make this device work, data should be formatted so and so, then I will make a satisfying beep-beep noise for you etc. etc. Some people also fail to see the difference between a GUI and a UI. i.e. none.
As for the gratuitious use of the word fuck strewn throughout this article and comments, that's fine. Just as long as you don't say cunt.
@Sarah, rather than moderate this entire post based on that last word, would you mind just starring it out if indeed it gets moderated ?:) Did anyone tell you you sound sexy when you swear :P
Not that I'm that bothered because I can't use it at the minute, but the beta argument is no excuse with google really - their release model is "everything is beta", gmail is still beta and yet they sell it to enterprise.... so yes, it's a beta, but it's a google beta, which makes it a release basically... and I'm fairly certain that's been said at lease a few times in Chrome related comments the last week or so.
Why the fuck are some of you dudes getting so worked up? I am sat here typing this from Brazil, having just given all the money I got from selling the house to some friendly Columbians. I know plan to retire back to the mansion I am renting for the next 2 days with some very nice Playmates.
I mean, fucking hell, you're all squabbling over what an OS is or isn't, or whatever browser has the biggest dick when all the time you seem to have forgot that its all moot anyhow. Come tommorow (10 Sept) a black hole will devour the Earth and the local time-space plane. Fuck me guys, you sure have your priorities mixed up. 1 Day after 9-11? Is it not plain enough that its the terrorists who are planning so smash atoms together in the worlds biggest WMD!! Jeez.
Anyway, gotta go I kinda feel funky right now and Minxie is calling me over. Have fun you bunch of losers!
Interesting but probably meaningless...
PB G4 1.33GHz, 1.5GB RAM, OS 10.5.4
FF 3.01 12744.6ms
iCab 4.2 20730.4ms
Safari 3.1.2 23050.0ms
Opera 9.52 24306.2ms
Shit. I forgot to use "fuck". Fuck.
/duffle coat with the mild and bitter stains
Regardless of what Google is or is not doing, you simply don't need this much profanity in an article on your site. It's downright unpleasant to read, completely unnecessary, and reflects badly on TheRegister. I didn't get beyond halfway before giving up.
Normally you tread the line very well, missed on this occasion.
Hmmm I thought a Kernel was the core of the operating system (though not called that in all cases)
If one loads a kernel and then a Chrome then, it most certainly Chrome hasn't replaced the OS.
On top of that it would have to render to screen, output sound, accept keyboard input & mouse clicks, network stack & have file system access for cookies
The rendering to screen, keyboard and mouse tends to point towards a GUI of some form (even if it would not be as extensive as MS, X11 & Apple offerings)
Hmmm sounds like it needs a it needs an OS before it does anything dosn't it.
Unless it was on a restricted hardware platform fully under Googles control it's going to sit on top of one of the "usual suspects"
Personally I would vote for a QNX version for a Chrome to give me some of my RAM back
My coats the one without an axe waiting to be ground
I fucking give up." .....By Sarah Bee Posted Tuesday 9th September 2008 13:39 GMT
They are very naughty boys, Sarah Bee. Humour their Merry Ways if they're not for Turning to the Sunny Side of the Street.
"There's no reason whatsoever for that to be an OS function, provided that the I/O provisions are sufficiently flexible, and as yet, there are many many more networking protocols than TCP/IP in active and widespread use."
Ah well. this starts to bring on the micro-kernel wars. Something that I will admit I thought were done over a decade ago. Yes it is quite reasonable to run the network stack in user space. But as Brent Welsh's seminal paper "The file system belongs in the kernel" so clearly argued - there are some things that so clearly are system wide, totally well known, and immutable in function, that putting them in user space is simply silly. Sure, there are other network protocols out there. Mostly for short haul specialist work, often only defined on a small subset of physical media. Having spent my time wrestling GM on Myrinet into submission, as well as RDMA over Infiniband, I can tell you what is the clear winner for all bar the masochists. (Both of these run outwith the kernel)
Trying to suggest to 99.9% of computer users that their network isn't "pretty much" TCP/IP at the level they use it is similarly silly. Sure, we spend a massive amount of effort tunnelling various protocols through one another. But in the end, the world runs on TCP/IP.
And, by the way, I do know what I am talking about here. Unlike I suspect almost anyone on this argument, I have more than a little background writing operating systems kernels. More than one.
This is getting a bit futile. But to try to reiterate the interesting issue. Chrome is indeed JAFWB. But it is one that has an agenda. It provides a clear abstract machine interface. It matters not one bit how many layers are beneath it - the programmer can code to this abstract machine with no knowledge of those layers. And the interface is rich enough (just) to provide the basics of a useful hosting environment. Sure the underlying OS provides the grunt work for the processes and the protection inherent. But the coder does not make calls to the underlying OS API. Once the underlying OS is totally invisible you have a workable new OS API. So don't confuse the beta implementation Chrome with the design. Chrome, as had been pointed out, could be deployed with its own micro-kernel and nothing more on bare hardware. And the coder and user could not tell. That is the critical thing. That is why it is an OS definition.
And again, what makes it insidious are the last bits of the OS that it has removed - and that is the bit that isn't inside Chrome, but inside its parent - Google. The name space, persistent storage, and the authentication mechanism. Chrome can run with no local file system, no local sign on, no local disk. Disk is a cache to be deleted when you exit your session. Access to your files is via Google. Your entire life's name space is within Google. And yet already serious sized companies embrace the Google services. Sure, not everyone will want to go near this. But plenty will.
Bill Gates had a vision of a PC in every home. The mistake he made was that he imagined there was a geek in every home too. 95% of the world does not want to worry about managing a computer, caring about virus protection, backups, configuration, blue screens. A cheap machine that has no local state that lets them send emails, write letters, browse the web, maybe manage their photos and music. If the machine dies, get another one. If you want to access your stuff from a friend's house, no problem. Access it on the other side of the world, similarly no problem. The thing is that if someone suggested to me 15 years ago that this would not be possible in 2008 I would have thought they were an idiot. The reason it currently isn't is that the vision is still a monolithic PC, with its full internal state, in every home, and a geek to take care of it. Windows, MacOS, Linux, all the same.
As it stands Chrome is a very poor lashup, nothing special at all, except for the model it heralds. What is worrying is that the model includes yet another monopoly player, one that spends a lot of its time battling privacy and makes it money off the back of your private life.
Damn this proxy hates me
I concur with the majority of what you say, but believe it could end up a much wider ranging implications.
With the use of a micro-kernel you are probably heading for the Google-Appliance, or at best if you want to use google apps then you must boot into the google kernel ?
With all your data and apps being located in Google data centres they are not going to willingly cede complete control of your hardware.
Hardware mfgrs will have issues too, why buy a faster gfx card if all you have is a fucking web browser. Catering for the masses will mean complying to what Google permit their micro-kernel to do
Any BSD (and too many Linux) user will know the feeling of buying a nice shiney new card and having to wait ages till some decent drivers allow it to do anything approaching it's potential.
Our friends @ Google will not be releasing updates everytme new hardware gets released. It will be a case of conform to googles demands or lost the mass market.
Imagine how happy the Chinese goverment (or UK at that) will be when users can no longer use alternate proxys, TOR or VPN solutions. Whats more the kernel is controlled by a company who is very happy to cough up data on demand.
Black chopper time (damn that sounds like a cue to use a Paris image)
ASUS linux bios + anything you can do on the web.
What's the difference? They all just interperate different inputs (sometimes on the web) Is this cloud computing?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing defines the cloud as being the squiggily cirlce in network diagrams, so all google anything is basically cloud computing. Big whoop. JAFWB
p.s. I didn't graduate from anything, I know nothing about anything... but.
OS's w/o user inputs are nothing! I've never seen one work, if it did how would I know? If you can't observe it working what's the point? Even freaking TCP/IP is a user input. Even if it's a pc talking to a pc, one is server, one is a guest user.
Maybe you should go edit this too http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operating_System since OS's apparently don't provide any services to users. I'm sure you can build an OS that runs on VMWare that does nothing, but don't expect a nobel prize.
Can we ban the term "cloud" as used in relation to computing? It's the most meaningless in a long line of useless buzzwords from those idiots. On topic, Chrome has some neat stuff that may make it a really useful product, eventually. And there's nothing wrong with that -- the whole "replace Windows" hype is extremely silly.
For once I'm at a loss for words, but not for the obvious reasons. I too had a similar event happen, involving a loveable, yet developmentally challenged cat. I thought I had repressed the memories as the interaction between Lush's soap (wonderful products that make my wife smell really good, I might add) and the digestive tract of a cat do not a good combination make.
I never, in my wildest nightmare, realized that taking a 9 lb cat and add 5 oz's of glitter soap could produce 25 lbs of semi-liquid excrement/propellant, all with an eerie sparkly shine.
Thankfully, the little fella didn't suffer any long term, ill effects as he is a member of the family. However, I was the one who got stuck cleaning up the aftermath, because my wife didn't put the soap in a safe place, because el stomach will attempt to consume anything that isn't nailed down.
However, in reference to the rest your observation, at one time there was a distinct separation between the actual OS and the GUI interface, like early iterations of Windows, windows for workgroups, X and so on. As much as it truly pains me to say this, the only real gui interface that I've ever worked with was the old Mac finder, from the old mac, mac + and mac se days. Everything since has just done a better job of blurring the line of distinction.
If Google were to come out with a live boot CD that didn't require a hard disk, that accessed code from their servers, then I'd be impressed. Until then, it's just another app that runs under windows, or some other gui assisted OS.
You are all under microsoft's spell - Chrome actually IS an operating system. It takes over Windows completely - when you install Chrome, it installs itself underneath your existing Windows operating system and then rehosts a virtual copy of your original Windows OS so you don't die of heart failure! In time Google will slowly weine you off Windows as they take control of our collective hearts and minds.
Then they they have taken over he world will hold the world ransom for "ONE MILLION DOLLARS - AH HA AH HA AH HA" and so forth...
I wrote something on this a year ago when the universe spontaneously imploded upon the release of Gears. There was so much misinterpretation on it that my eyes watered and my rectum clenched.
Lo and behold - just as my tensed muscles were starting to relax Google went and released Chrome...
It underscores some of the points I was getting at over a year ago...
MM some people have spent far to much time in a classroom or in a developers lab and maybe had a tad to much coffee, and are forgetting a few things firstly we are talking about the Personal computing market ,as Google at the moment have a snow balls chance in hell of making any headway into the corporate market or SME market with any of their products sure the odd individual might use Google docs or G-mail or even Chrome(just a f**kin browser). But that is it.
Now we have this cloud computing idea and people like Francis and co posting on how the future will be centralised monster data centers more like information cities where you just connect your dumb terminal and OS’s are an abstract concepts. Well unfortunately there are some fundamentals like bandwidth, infrastructure, market forces oh and just some plain old fashion common sense, firstly most large telco’s have not laid any Substantial fibre in last 10yr’s in the U.S and Europe some countries like Sweden or south Korea are on direct fibre access right but the majority of the world is not ,now at present the Net gets rush hour traffic jams, net quakes and ISP struggle to meet bandwidth demands to the point of capping customers. Content providers saying BBC Iplayer are breaking the back of most small ISP’s profit margins, The investment just to get fibre into all British house at a conservative estimate is 28 billion (most likely at least double that), and to have the sort of reliable centralised service some envisage the investment would be astronomical and as most Telco investment plans for the next ten years are light on cable laying, yes we will find easier methods to transmit data over existing networks but it take investment again replacing switches, gateway etc etc….. not to mention the vast change requird for hardware involved in the personal/home market
Market forces, firstly big business will never use centralised storage out with their own control financial institutions, government bodies all have to comply to legislative confines which requires to handle data in certain ways and conform to legal directives, secondly The home market is hardware hungry so idea of Dumb terminal or stripped down client hardware is foolish and very naïve, I mean why spend hundreds of pounds on a top of the range Ipod when a cheap Mp3 will do the trick, why spend four grand on a 3 way sli gaming setup when some thing a quarter of the price will work just fine, why have a blackberry a mobile phone and laptop with 3g all with you at the same time. That is why it is called “personal” computing because humans are individuals, take the El reg we have discussion like linux is better than apple is better than windows etc the market is far to complex for simple thought up in the classroom ideas to be viable.
Client virtualisation will take place in the business market but within organisation own infrastructure, in the home market it will just not happen we might find a time when our “MEDIA” will be saved centrally in some large provider’s data center some where but never “data that is of a sensitive nature” the Google approach is flawed or maybe is just how some misguided so call informed people see things like gears of Chrome(just a f**kin browser) I don’t know the future but I am smart enough to see that the emperor is rather naked.
I could go on pointing out holes (as could so many people) in the great gig in the sky cloud nonsense.
Duncan I do know what a shell is , I just try to use plain English when explaining I think you and some others ought to do the same and come out of your shell.
Trust me, I’m a real human being with 15yrs plus experience in the industry and if I want know about OS’s I would more likely read bill gates or Linus Torvalds, people who have actually made OS’s that stood the test of time rather than a academic like Tanenbaum .
And here is some plain English for the last Time Chrome is Just a F**kin browser Google makes application that’s all .
Market forces and business requirements drive technology not the other way about , some one see's a gap in the market and creates a solution for it , what people propose Google are doing is saying have we not intrested in what market needs or wants but this is what we will give you, only microsoft with it's basty grip on the market can do it and as seen with vista it does not work even for a mighty giant like them, so google is fishing in dead waters it does not nor will it ever have the clout to drive computing in this direction I doubt even microsoft could do it.
I am deeply (and I MEAN deeply) offended by people who are offended by profanity.
People, there are lot more important things to be offended by in the world. Profanity should be so far down the list that it's right off the radar (if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor). IME people who are offended by profanity, and indeed nudity, fail to be offended by the things that really matter in life. Could it be that these people are merely pretending to have values when, in reality, there is little for which they really give a fucking shit. Oooops!
I see a lot of Google fans are defending Chrome's shortcomings on the grounds that it's "only a beta". That argument would probably hold water if there was any chance of it ever coming out of beta. Google only do beta don't they? Look at Google Earth, version 4.3 Beta now and there's never been a stable release.
"I want know about OS’s I would more likely read bill gates or Linus Torvalds, people who have actually made OS’s that stood the test of time rather than a academic like Tanenbaum ."
Bill Gates, who never wrote an OS, but bought one, and then hired the chief designer of VMS from DEC to build the next one.
And Linus. OK a small task for you. Go and find out what the name "Linux" is a corruption of. And no, despite what everyone thinks, it is not a contraction of Linus and Unix. Then go and find out who wrote the Minix operating system and wrote the book about it. Then guess whose work inspired, influenced and was at Linus' hand when he wrote Linux.
Cheers for that Ted
Maybe the good (google) OS and Chrome are going to converge?!?
As to the OS/app argument - keep going guys, tis amusing, it's only a pity I cannot see the effects that it has on your blood pressure :)
Oh and amanfrommars is starting to make sense again.. lack of dried frog pills.. or maybe a crush on Sarah... ?? :p
hmm.. and I don't feel the need to use an explicative O.o
I'll just swear out load instead :)
mmm i think you will find both linux and minix are bastard sons of unix.
Accusations of Linux being copied from MINIX have been about for ages even Tanenbaum public trashed that old goat and "inspired" is a subjective word since nethier men can even agree what actual defines a kernel.
and Tanenbaum wrote the book on minix because he wrote Minix ...it is not rocket science guys
"Let me make this perfectly clear - if your IT dept and senior management think that their staff shouldn't see swear words on the net, then you are either working in a primary school, or your management are a bunch of dribbling fuckwits and you need to get a new job, possibly preceded by a nice, long, send-to-all email detailing what a bunch of pious muppets you [no longer] work for."
LOL! Quoted for truth.
Thank you Alexander - it's useful to have expert comment. It seems to me that the tech journalism industry - el Reg included - frequently do us a disservice and this sneering at people who think Chrome is an OS is a good example.
It seems to me that much of current discussion about the relative virtues of OS's and browsers you read on tech pages doesn't really help people understand the problems around software architecture.
An important instance of this is in terms of browser security - and what Alexander has to say about the OS maintaining a namespace is of relevance. Of course one wants a secure OS, but the security of the OS is really perhaps a different and less important problem than it seems at first. You can always disconnect your computer from the Internet, for instance. It defeats the purpose to disconnect your browser from the Internet though and the browsing privacy and what is done with data we store online represents the real security issue. Sandboxing the browser doesn't solve this and it doesn't really matter whether the browser is an OS or not. It's what people are encouraged to do online that is important, and what online service providers can and can't do with our data.
Interestingly, the fact that Chrome is open-source doesn't matter. We can peer at the communication between chrome and google all we like - it doesn't solve the problem, because in the end the security problem is not - nor ever has been or will be - a technical one. It's a social one. It's the fact that google has all my email and I've trusted them with it. Good technology can sometimes help delineate the problem and give users a degree of control, but it never resolves it. Creating a situation where I can trust service providers with my data is about preserving the public nature of the internet. This means making sure that the public space is not subverted by private interests in ways that we're not aware of or can't reasonably give informed consent to.
I'd like to be reading more about these issues in tech forums, because the opinions of a wider section of the tech community actually matter on these issues. On whether google is a browser or an OS only the opinions of a small section of that community matter, and the issue matters much less than the vitriol it appears to have evoked would suggest.
I forgot in my previous posting to use the 'F' word, as seems to be 'de rigueur' in this forum. So I will tell you this. A Canadian film, financed by their government (controversy followed). Downloadable, fully titled 'Young People Fucking'. And, it's NOT porn! Just honest and very, very funny.
Back to Google. My first job was on a Burroughs B7600 machine, with mechanical tabs. (Could be wrong about the model number). 256 BYTES.
With overlays depending on the choice loaded in, I managed to have a complete inventory system for a 3 location car dealership in NZ. '72 I think.
PDP8's, 11's, IBM 370's for other jobs. Vic 20's and Commore 64's. Amiga's, Lisa, etc, etc (my favorite poolside computer is still my Atari Portfolio)
This is all getting way out of hand. MS sux. Apple I still like (still have the first one with the signatures inside the case), but MS generates my income. My IBook G4 1.2 that my daughter gave me when her friend was quoted $700 to fix, so was going to ditch - I opened it up, put the drive cable back into its socket, reformatted, added a nupower battery (6 - yes 6 hours). Truck'in again.
Linux, in all of it's flavors (Ubunto best yet, though) still SUX for end-users.
Actually, it was an Ubunto boot CD for Mac that showed me the IBook was alive.
My decision: Mac IBook. Turn it on, finds the nearest free wireless connection wherever I am, or tells me none available.....and that's where Google as an 'OS' fails. We seem to be looping here... back to the old days of 'dumb client' computing. The console needing to be connected to some net.
At the mercy of often incompentent developers.
So, that's why end users 'sneaked' PC's into their offices. Once I was employed for 'a few weeks' by an end user, by-passing their IT Department. I forget the name of the system (SQL based) that IT was working on for development. In the end, I stayed at that Fortune 500 company for 2 years, expanding my system (using good old FoxPro with Rushmore) until the point when it accomplished not only the needs of the department that originally had me come in 'under the radar', but also all of the other departments that were waiting on the (SYBASE????) project to be completed.
In the end, my FoxPro system, 15+ years later, is still being used, and is FAST with todays RAID servers. The Sybase (or whatever) project failed, and was cancelled)
KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) has gone astray. I cringe now if I have to do a VFP project. MSuck bought FoxPro to kill it in favor of Access. Their marketing was so good that many CEO's (or CTO's, etc) DEMANDED that I convert my systems to Access. I refused. Now, many have sent me letters saying 'thank you', when they had other projects created using Access. I could quote, but I will not. Tests using ODBC to SQL instead of basic Rushmore based VFP or FP tables suck in comparison. Unfortunately, a VFP or FP table is limited to 2G.
I have several systems that run 24/7 without any errors. Simplistic, but elegant, interfaces - easy to understand, easy to navigate. That is the most challenging part of systems design. Now operating world wide using Citrix (as I planned for originally). When I went to change the background screen colors after the first implementation, I had a revolt, so had to back off.
I find it much easier to use my own code, whether it be assembly (for the machine), Cobol (cringe), Basic (ditto) and its flavors, Pascal (+ Delphi), Fortran, PL1, Cxxxx, FP (easy) VFP (complicated beyond after the MSx purchase), or whatever (there are at least 2500 different languages), than try to use the so called 'reusable' classes or objects'. Cut and paste is SOOO much easier.
I may be an old fogey, but I bet'ya I can turn out usable and bug free code in 1/8th of the time that today's graduates could.
In conclusion, we will enter a phase where PC's are just dumb terminals to mainframes again (aka now known as server clusters), and the first time that the company you are depending on goes 'down', or fails completely, we will come back to local PC usuage. Google or MS remote out the door!.
But please remember to back-up the important stuff to other drives on your local network, and at least two outside 'net sites. MS has done well in that regard, as has AOL's Xdrive (although I don't trust it).
Well written article and most to the point, too.
"Just a browser" is a half-truth, if the majority of your applications are in the web or otherwise use a browser as user interface, like the ADSL-modem/switch sitting on my desk. Or temperature sensors in our company's computer center.
If you want to use those, you _must_ have a browser and some integration is a very good selling argument. Look at Windows/Office/IE/Outlook-combo, where every single piece as themselves is piece of shit, but as a whole, combined with monopoly abuse, there's hardly a competitor.
Divided they fall, all of them. The part IE has here is significant, it's not "just a browser", it's a building block of a monopoly abuse combo. Also competition killing tool and as such, won't ever conform to any W3C standard. No way. MS has to choose between common standards and keeping monopoly and there haven't been a single exception to day (since 1982), they always chose the monopoly.
If you package Linux-kernel, X, Chrome and some Google-apps (on the web, not locally) you could sell cheaper machine which would be as fast as MS-riddled expensive machine and without MS-tax, the price could be the half of comparable (application speed) MS-machines, with credibility that Google as a major corporation gives.
Asus is already selling motherboards with Linux and a browser on eprom, no need to have any hard drive, just optional small flash memory on stick for local documents and settings.
MS grabs more profit from a cheap PC than hardware manufacturer, eliminate that and you have a winner. (At least technically and "most bang for the buck"- theory.) Marketing is another thing and Google might pull the stunt here.
PC market are very price sensitive markets and 50% lower price will lure some buyers. Essentially that 50% more in price gives you zero functionality you'd need, 50% more service work (patch weeks) and MS brand, guaranteed inferiority.
But there's one big obstacle, which Google built themselves: EULA.
That 'we own you and everything you do'-EULA was stupidiest thing that they could have done with Chrome and it's obvious that they thought it would "go through" without much hassle.
"It was a template"-explanation is 100% bullshit, EULA like that won't go unnoticed in any service Google could offer and they must know it. They changed it, for now, but when it will change back? Who is going to check that every day?
..or the DOS replacements. Then, if Chrome can start from that, I will be happy. With all his BS, even Vista has plain old DOS under the hood.
I OFTEN use run/cmd to get to places/things/search, etc, MUCH faster than Skidoze methods.
What if I loose electricity and the batteries die on my notebooks.
What if my FIOS, DSL or Cable connections die. Or...:
If I am in the dunes of Namibia, without Internet Access (no Satellite phone), how does my computer work with Google's new 'OS' !?' Maybe my monkey could work it out. Hmmmm.
Actually, I would be HAPPY! Put out of my misery. Maybe I could even learn how to use the Abacus when bartering.
I'm so GD sick of computers.
If only Tannenbaum *had* "inspired and influenced" Linus, then the Linux kernel might not be the big messy heap of Unix-reinvented-badly it is today - some trivial details of Linux (plus its early use of a Minix-compatible filesystem format) were "inspired" by Minix, but the architecture of the kernel certainly wasn't!
I installed it mainly to see how it would compare to the IE 7, Firefox 3, and Safari that I already have. (I've already uninstalled Safari as it's a bit buggy).
It doesn't seem to have anywhere for 3rd party plugins to go - something that Firefox handles excellently. I didn't test it for codec support (flash, flash video, mpeg etc).
Its uninstalled now and I'm sticking with Firefox and IE. Maybe when Google Chrome 2 comes out I'll reconsider.
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