back to article Google polishes Chrome into netbook OS

Google is releasing an operating system for laptops and desktops, in a direct challenge to Microsoft's money-making core business. The company will also encourage developers to get on board by allowing them to use ordinary web development tools with the OS rather than a specialised development kit. Much of the success of the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Chrome O/S

    based on Linux no doubt ;-)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Emulation

    No OS will ever topple windows until there is bullet-proof, per application, built-in emulation for windows applications. VM's or dual boot are inconvenient. I think 75% of windows users have something in their "Program Files" that they just can't live with out or get in another way. Yes 90% of your time is spent on the web but it's the other 10% using thick apps that can't be replaced. MS was in the right place at the right era and there is so much lock-in that it will take a serious evolution before that changes.

  3. wabbit02

    xp - not that bad

    Xp on my samsung NC 10 isnt that bad, well that right untill you add the AV, anti adware, java, windows updates, etc, etc.

    its taking a full minute longer to get to the internet than when it was a clean install.

    Thats MS' challange - fix all the "run at sartup" application issues.

  4. James Hughes 1

    More information needed

    Is it Linux based, or some other OS? Or is it a completely new OS from the ground up?

    Good idea though.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    based on Google's Chrome browser

    Is it, or is it based on Linux? Read the chromeOS blog a bit more carefully

  6. Thought About IT

    New GUI, old OS

    "The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel."

    So, not that new after all.

  7. Samo
    WTF?

    <Title>

    "Google Chrome OS, as it is currently known, promises to be quick to boot up and secure. It will run on x86 and ARM chips."

    What, no love for x64 chips, a la 64bit processing?

    Also, does anyone else think that an OS and a browser coming from the same developer with the same name will cause confusion to average plebs?

    In all honesty, I really hope this goes well for them, as another competitor (at least, another big competitor) is always a good thing.

  8. Darren B 1

    An OS and Web Browser as one?

    I am outraged that Google are forcing me to use their browser!

    I hope I can replace Chrome with Firefox!

  9. Dork Lard
    Linux

    Sounds good

    This sounds like a step in the right direction; Google obviously have their own commercial agenda, but this needn't be incompatible with the rest of the open source movement. After all, Linux always needs development funding and Google has deep pockets to help with that.

    From a commercial point of view, the Google brand is a good one to sell to OEMs and consumers, if it's slick and delivers the netbook experience that people want then there's no reason it couldn't get a good slice of the market.

    Windows XP on netbooks is less than ideal (especially on limited SSD space) and IMO it's success there has more to do with Microsoft's OEM marketing and users familiarity with the Windows XP brand than any real advantage.

    I have an Asus eee 901, bought with XP installed as it was on offer (thanks eBuyer), but I find myself using Presto more often these days.

    There will never be a one-size-fits-all operating system, so if Google's marketing power can move the Linux case forward this can only be a good thing.

  10. LesB
    WTF?

    It's a shell....

    Quoted as "running on a Linux core".

    So this differs only from things like Linpus Lite on the Aspire One in that it only runs a browser. And while a lot of things can be run in browsers, it's still a little limiting....

  11. Mel Collins
    Linux

    Google creates OS for Crunchpad

    So Google are finally releasing their own Linux distro. Though none of the media reports I've seen so far have mentioned that this "new OS" is, in fact, Linux.

    From the official Google blog: "Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel"

    It sounds like a perfect match for the Crunchpad.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Emulation

    But my Android G1 does a lot of what a lot of people use their computers for. I can read and write emails and surf the web, and with its integration with your google account then there's no need to worry about loosing your contacts as it just synchronises. I can use IM and IRC on it too.

    So why does a netbook need to do any more than that. That was the whole idea of netbooks, they were designed for accessing services on the net, they were never designed to be full blown PCs.

    If you want to use Word or Visual Studio then go get a beefy PC. If you want to sit outside a cafe checking your email and chatting to a few friends then why do you need windows?

    Google know that a lot of people don't need windows but the linux market is fragmented and its still got the "oh you can't do anything on linux without a command line" image, an image pushed by Microsoft and it's large army of paid shills.

    If Google can make something like Android for netbooks and they can get it out onto the market, and if they've any sense they'll make it a free download too, then they can probably make it work.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Will it have Bing or Yahoo!?

    As I assume the EU have to prevent any near monopoly seeking to unfairly extend its

    predations, the inclusion of Google search has to be disallowed in European versions.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Based on a Browser?

    An OS based on a Web Browser? Ew. Have they forgotten that an OS is about far, far more than just 'using a computer' - device drivers, file systems all have to be dealt with... by a web browser?

    Count me out.

  15. Toastan Buttar
    FAIL

    Hardware compatibility

    "Even more importantly, they don't want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware"

    How on Earth are they going to address people's hardware configuration woes when every other alternative OS offers less compatibility than Windows ? "Every new piece of hardware" already works with Windows and seldom takes "hours of configuration".

  16. PowerSurge
    Linux

    What would you use?

    According to FT the kernel will be Linux. The way it's written hints it won't use GNU but why wouldn't they. They have said they will release source so likely to be free software.

  17. Yamthief

    If it's based on a web browser...

    ...will it run all the things apache does? Can i write an application in PHP and run it without hosting it on an apache server or something? or am i getting completely the wrong end of the stick?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Will the spirit of ET be present?

    I wonder how much bandwidth the OS will eat up with it constantly phoning home to Google sending them all your usage data?

  19. LuMan
    Terminator

    @ AC-Emulation

    To a large degree I agree with you. However, MS Office on the Mac is regarded by many as superior to its Windows counterpart. And Office is possibly the most 'business-related' bit of software a majority of home users actually use (normally to pen complaint letters to the Daily Mail, I suspect).

    However, don't forget that PC users are becoming more and more tech-savvy. Before long the PC-using populous will be at the point where they'll be more confident to choose which OS they use. Despite Linux (et al) flavours being far less popular, they're still, themselves, gaining in popularity. Factor in Windows' clunkiness and users' disillusionment and other OS's start to look like contenders.

    Time will tell, I suppose.....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    topple MS my arse

    just like Chrome has knocked i.e. from the top browser spot.

    I for one don't want all my stuff controlled and indexed by an advertising agency. I also happen to like thing to have plenty of features available without contacting my Google overlord.

    As you can see, they are aiming for the highend - netbooks, you know thing that peope tend to only use for web browsing and basic stuff...

    Call me in 20 years when they actually haveing something to get excited about..

    Yawn.....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    start again?

    maybe it's one for the squint-eyed mini-platform crowd.

    ..... games?

  22. ChrisInBelgium
    Big Brother

    Strong-armed out

    I tried to purchase a Linux netbook some months ago here - ALL the shops, without exception only had netbooks with XP on them. When asking the shopkeepers why you get no sensible comments, apart from 'they come delivered like that'. Another monopolistic strong-arm tactic no doubt.

    Did I buy one? NO. First give money to Microsoft and then put the time in myself wiping their shite off it and installing everything myself? Why should I?

    I'm still a potential customer for a Linux netbook. Anyone?

    (and no, I don't want to order one online from some other country)

  23. John Styles

    Pick your metaphor

    Which do you think? Land war in asia or winter campaign against Russia?

  24. Mr Fury

    They'll still have the problem of...

    "It doesn't work like Windows!"

    I hope it does well, but I suspect they'll hit the same wall Linux has.

    Plus they'll try to do everything via JavaScript in a browser, which is just rubbish - the dumb terminal thin client model is deader than Michael Jackson, and the sooner the web 2.0 acolytes figure that one out, the sooner we'll see genuine desktop competition for M$.

  25. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Quit Pussyfooting around ....... the Register.

    John,

    Google will need to be doing a heck of a lot more than that, to be Leading in Anything Remotely Relative to the Future ... and maybe they are, for all that we know and/or believe, for one just never knows who is Feeding them CodeXXXX for XSS Needs and/or what their Search Engine Algorithms Phorm in ITs Fab Labs . :-) ........ http://tinyurl.com/mug29z

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apps

    The success of Apple's AppStore could also be related to the fact it's attracted a lot of, dare I say, proper developers, rather than the JavaScript/HTML & Flash crowd - I know there are some really talented people working in those areas, but it's evident that generally speaking they've come from a background in real programming.

    (To make another comparison, it's the difference between native and widget developers on OS X)

    As for whether people can live without Windows - any Mac or Linux user will assure you than you can - and I can easily see Citrix as a solution for legacy support.

    But that's not the intention here - this OS isn't aimed at the workplace, with it's ties into dated software, but at people who want a portable internet terminal.

  27. Andus McCoatover
    Linux

    Why?? eeebuntu?

    Had a bit of trouble getting my mate's Huawei 169 3G modem working on acer aspire one's Linpus. Took 5 minutes. Strenuous.

    Now, stick ChromeOS on my machine, and I bet root-Fuc*k-All of the hardware will go. Skype with video? Printers? 3G Modem?. Nah

    Yow! Just got hit by a flying pig!

  28. Dan S

    Chrome for Linux

    Does this mean Google will finally release a version of Chrome for linux?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Re: Will it have Bing or Yahoo!?

    Competition laws on free software?

  30. nichomach
    FAIL

    @Emulation

    Quite right, and considering that a lot of desktop virtualisation packages are resource eaters you have to query what the performance of a virtualised solution'd be anyway - especially in light of the mixed support or lack thereof for virtualisation in current netbook processors (I'm looking at YOU, Intel...). Look at http://ark.intel.com/ProductCollection.aspx?familyID=29035. Unless there's a confluence of better hardware support and seamless software support for that sort of virtualisation, I can see ANY form of Linux having problems making headway against XP. That's the thing; SCCs/netbooks/nettops are just powerful enough to run Windows acceptably quickly - never mind that it's only XP, it'll still do what people want in a familiar environment. Google can make headway in phones more easily, since there's a greatly limited functionality set by comparison, and people are used to getting a new (for example) Sony Ericsson where the Address Book or whatever looks different than the Nokia they had. The Netbook/top has developed into a machine which they don't just use for accessing the web/cloud/amorphous gob of data; it's powerful enough to do a lot more locally, to run stuff like Office or whatever, and people expect to be able to do that in a familiar setting.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ wabbit02

    Enable S3 sleep in XP and it should be fine.

    http://www.tek-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=1469199

    or install the Windows 7 RC it's free for a year, it runs better than XP and i've got all the apps you listed running. you can also buy it soon for £50 which is actually a fair price for an OS if you ask me.

  32. Jon 66
    Linux

    Define OS?

    Seeing as it's based on the linux kernel is this an OS in the same sense that KDE, Gnome and Ratpoison are?

    As long as I can get bash on it I guess I'm happy :)

    P.S. I was just about to flame a BBC website journalist for writing in an article this morning that Google Chrome OS was a threat to Linux on netbooks but I see they've since removed that bit :)

  33. Loki 1
    Happy

    Marketing only...

    If its a Linux core then Linux is actually the OS. However, to the unwashed masses chrome will be the OS because only this will actually launch any applications - Google Docs, Google Mail, Google everything! And everything will run over the web (with cached local versions). Its what Microsoft wanted to do but never achieved!

    I dont see a problem with this. May even be a good thing in general, especially for the OSS movement.... probably bad for Microsoft though.

    And if Google get too big for their boots and try and EEE (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) Linux, then there is always Haiku ;-)

    Does this herald Web 3.0?

    PS: I used Web 3.0 first so i claim dibs. Anyone else wants to use this please send me £5 per usage and kiss my patented ass.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Emulation is a trojan horse

    I think Emulation is a trojan horse. If I have a legacy program I need to run, then I also have a legacy PC to run it on. Because I was running it before.

    If it is a developing program, that is being moved forward, then it will make the leap to cross platform sooner or later.

    iPod is the current development platform of choice, but Android may make an impact. I think Google Chrome will just cloud the issue. Shooting themselves in the foot.

  35. jsp

    @Darren B 1

    > I hope I can replace Chrome with Firefox!

    Or IE :-)

  36. Richard Porter

    Haven't we already got an OS that runs on ARM chips?

    It's called RISC OS. Why re-invent the wheel? All it needs is a decent browser.

    PS please can we have a cogwheel icon for RISC OS.

  37. Just Thinking

    Coincidence?

    Is it pure coincidence that Google have someone called Linus working on their new OS? Or is it some genetic trait?

  38. Billy 8

    I imagine...

    This will be a little like gOS (http://www.thinkgos.com/). When you click the "Office" icon you'll get taken to google apps via Chrome. Probably with a basic file-manager to let you manage things from SD/CF cards & USB sticks to "the cloud" (porting Picassa seems a likely bet), maybe some basic printer configuration too.

    I'd be fairly happy with it on a netbook - especially if they get back to the cheap "chuck it in your bag and go" feel they hard to start with before the price started to creep up.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Good name

    The name's fine, no problem at all. Lusers will know the difference...

    Tech Support:: “What operating system are you running?”

    Customer: “Pentium.”

  40. The Mighty Spang
    Gates Halo

    wow. everything written in javascript?

    thats gonna suck.

    if it allows native code then this "web os" crap is just marketing spiel, its no different to any other os except you put explorer running in a web browser.

    i imagine you wouldn't be able to run scriptblock/adblock either... argh

  41. IndianaJ

    Great stuff

    Sounds like a fantastic idea. Hopefully it won't just be a 'browser' though. Imagine just being able to use "Web 2.0" apps? It would kill you.

  42. ThomH Silver badge

    @Loki 1

    Didn't the EU already pronounce that they want to be at the forefront of Web 3.0?

    If Chrome OS means that manufacturers can legitimately build ARM devices with tiny SSDs then they should, in theory, have a major price advantage and be supplying hardware that desktop Windows isn't at all compatible with. I guess a major target audience is mobile networks?

  43. Bernie 2
    Linux

    Interesting

    I actually can't wait to test this out on some of the low powered P3 machines and other obsolete hardware I have kicking around.

    Could it be a good way to turn last centuries PCs into reasonably nimble web machines?

    Of course, this would only be to satisfy my own geeky curiosity rather than through any kind of necessity. If I actually wanted low powered web machines I'd buy ones based off the atom chip. As it turns out, I don’t.

    So will it succeed? On netbooks, quite possibly. On desktop PCs? No. Despite their grandiose claims.

  44. Peter Kay

    Nothing new

    So, basically it's just Linux with a bundled copy of Chrome, and no doubt a few of the Google apps with Gears installed so they can work locally (Google are idiots if they believe people are constantly online). I see precious little evidence of mentions of offline, though..

    Might have some success - basically the same as a customised version of Linux on a netbook. Desktops? Probably not.

    Also allow me to laugh at the statement 'we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates'

    ahahahahahahahahahaha. Unless they mean 'we will automatically patch your system'. Better hope that the hardware configurations don't become too wide, or that the update is customised to each device, otherwise sooner or later one of the ChromeOS devices will fail.

    Couldn't they have used BSD Unix? It's genuinely free, rather than 'free as long as you share your source if you link to me'.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Goobuntu

    "As any fule know" Google already use an Ubuntu-based distribution on their desktops internally - methinks this will have a linux kernel, the guts of Ubuntu, and a shiny new "Chrome" window manager on top. Given that Ubuntu already supports just about any piece of hardware or peripheral known to man I don't see that as a problem. Where I do see a problem is them as a company suddenly having to support millions of customers who can hardly work out for themselves how to turn their computer on...

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    @toastan butter

    "How on Earth are they going to address people's hardware configuration woes when every other alternative OS offers less compatibility than Windows ? 'Every new piece of hardware' already works with Windows and seldom takes 'hours of configuration' "

    Not true.

    Every single camera or mp3 player I have bought in the last 5 years has worked fine on linux and failed to work on windows XP.

    Yeah, printing is still an issue on linux, but generally linux has better hardware support out of the box than windows. And if something doesn't work with linux, at least you have the chance to fix it.

  47. Michael Fremlins

    OK, Stallman.

    We know it's GNU/Linux.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    @AC 09:22

    "topple MS my arse [...] I for one don't want all my stuff controlled and indexed by an advertising agency."

    You seem quite happy for it to be controlled by a marketing agency though.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @samo

    "Google Chrome OS, as it is currently known, promises to be quick to boot up and secure. It will run on x86 and ARM chips."

    "What, no love for x64 chips, a la 64bit processing?"

    Sigh..........

    does that make x86 86bit processors?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86

    I doubt you need Itaniums (IA64) to surf the web....

  50. Tom 110

    No Evil

    Is it me, or is Google's Chrome logo looking more and more similar to that of HAL 9000?

    Question is, when will it turn red?

  51. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    RE: Marketing only...

    Loki 1 wrote " I used Web 3.0 first so i claim dibs. Anyone else wants to use this please send me £5 per usage and kiss my patented ass."

    OK. We'll now use Web 3.1 released under GPL3.

    ps. Do you work for Microsoft?

  52. Imagus
    Linux

    Linux netbooks

    To ChrisinBelgium: apparently you didn't look hard enough. Netbooks with Linux are available in the MediaMarkt shops everywhere, I saw a few in Ghent yesterday.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Fail

    Nothing I can't do already with my Windows 7/Linux dual boot solution.

    Can't believe news agency are taking this seriously. Only none-techies Google worshippers seems to be getting excited about this.

  54. yossarianuk
    Linux

    It is 100% based on linux

    Read the blog and any other news worthy sources....

    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/introducing-google-chrome-os.html

    'Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel'

    This is good news for everybody except MS and existing desktop Linux distros....

    I wonder if the new windowing system will use xorg (i.e will it just be like a new gnome/kde) or are they releasing a new xorg type system ?

  55. zedenne
    FAIL

    hardware compatability?

    "...they don't want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware."

    so now google is going to be writing linux drivers for all the esoteric printers, scanners, cameras etc?

    cool. (if true).

  56. Def Silver badge
    FAIL

    Re: Re: Emulation

    "If you want to use... Visual Studio..."

    And there the whole 'linux is great' thing falls horribly flat on its pointy little bill. There are *no* decent development tools for linux. And until there are, you will never persuade developers to leave Windows.

  57. Grease Monkey

    To the Windows fanbois above...

    To those who seem to think that everybody out there is Windows dependent. I don't think Google are wanting people to ditch windows in order to install Chrome OS on their home PC or laptop. I think they are looking primarilly at new netbook devices, initially at least. It's amazing how many normal users I've met who have bought netbooks with some flavour of Linux or other who have no problems using it. Most of them don't even realise it's Linux. When it comes to reading mail people used to rely on Outlook Express or Outlook, these days more and more people use webmail, especially those who are mobile and that appears to be Google's target market for Chrome OS.

    Why the assumption that everybody will want the same OS on their netbook as their home PC? Most people don't have that with their phone, so why should they need it with their netbook?

    I already use Linux on my old laptop and netbook, mainly because it boots and runs so much faster than Windows. My machine at work runs XP because I need it for some stuff at work, but that just demonstrates how slow Windows is, when compared to my ancient home laptop running Debian there is very little performance difference even though there is four times as much memory, three times the processor speed and all the attendant increases in other hardware performance. The vast majority of users these days just want email and web with the capability to watch video that comesa as part of the web these days. What used to be known as "power users" are in an ever declining minority these days and Google are not aiming Chrome OS as them.

    However if they get a solid toe hold with Chrome OS who knows what will come next?

  58. SynnerCal

    Just say no to Google pushers...

    So Google take Linux and Chrome (which I'm sure someone said was a respin from the underpinning's of KDE) and call it "GoogleOS". A**holes! <joke>Heck if there was a decent alternative then I'd stop using Google search in protest. I really can't see it challenging Windows 7 (Vista's a p.o.s. and XP is supposed to be killed) until PC World et al can sell you Norton for it.</joke>

    @Hardware Compatibility. T-Mobile USB stick 110 - supposedly supports XP, but I ended up having to DevMgr hack to get the sodding thing to install - and that only after a lot of Googling of forums etc to get the darn thing recognised (and I got the same issue on two different XP Pro builds). Put the same stick into a netbook running Ubuntu 9.04UNR and I was online following two mouse clicks. So much for Windows vaunted bulletproof device management! :p

    @Strong-armed out. Last time I checked Dell are quite happy to sell you a Mini 10v with Ubuntu on it. I also heard rumours that HPaq might be offering something similar shortly (although like most HP kit, the price will be steep). There's also the last of the 1st Gen netbooks (e.g. Acer Aspire One) out there sans Windows. If you're really desperate you could always get an Asus 10000 or similar then replace XP with Linux and claim the money back - don't MS still do that arrangement? Major hassle, but better than nothing.

  59. Toastan Buttar
    Thumb Down

    @ChrisInBelgium

    Perhaps there's not enough demand in Belgium to justify importing and re-selling Linux netbooks from bricks-and-mortar shops ?

    http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=8550

    "Razor-thin margins" don't sound like a goldmine waiting to happen.

  60. stim

    shame

    shame that google havent actually written something from the ground up rather than just bolting onto a Linux Kernel. Will be interesting, but it's essentially another Linux distro.

    i think we might need a new avatar with a 'Google Halo' and a 'Google Devil'

    I'll be clicking Google Devil for this one...

  61. cookieMonster
    Thumb Up

    Good, the bar just got raised ....

    Irrespective of the reasons to use/not use or love/hate the idea of this announcement, it can only be a good thing, for the simple reason that it now "FOCUSES" the minds of all existing OS providers.

    This is exactly what Apple did to handset manufacturers and mobile phone operators when they released the iPhone.

    Until the iPhone arrived, the quality, usability and functionality of handsets were determined by an agenda set by Operators, not customers. Post iPhone release there have been many major improvements right across the board and most important of all - putting the needs of Joe/Jane public back higher up on the list of priorities.

    If Google actually deliver an OS experience to a similar level of what Apple did with the iPhone, then everyone will benefit. Microsoft, Apple and the various *NIX vendors will need to step up to the mark and justify why their version is better.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out. Everyone is a winner if Google succeed with this.

    Just my 2C.

    Cheers.

  62. Ben Holmes
    Pint

    @Richard Porter

    Is that still even being developed? I had a SA Risc PC with Risc OS 4, but that was the last I heard about Risc OS...

    Great system though.

  63. mfraz
    Thumb Down

    @AC Bullet-Proof emulation

    I don't think you can call Windows bullet-proof either and it doesn't have to use emulation.

  64. Grease Monkey
    Thumb Up

    BeOS? Linux Chrome? Browser v. OS. Marketing.

    Hold on. They wanted something fast to boot and lightweight that "just works"? They should have resurrected BeOS and stuck Chrome on it.

    The fact that this has been announced means we can't be far from a fully working Linux version of the Chrome browser. Yay!

    When Chrome was first launched comments were made that suggested it would be a competitor to Windows. Loads of people pooh-poohed those comments (not least El Reg Commentards) assured in their knowledge that a browser is not an OS. For the normal mobile user the browser is the only GUI you need, so in that case from an EU POV the browser is the OS. Google are making that leap and good for them.

    Finally this shows Google's marketing smarts yet again. They developed Chrome for Windows first which targetted the biggest potential user base and therefore the fastest returns in terms of takeup and user feedback. Sure Linux users get a bit pissed off, because they think they are being left out, but since they are such a small minority and generally techies to boot Google don't care. The promised development of Chrome for Linux was really just a bit of a smokescreen for Chrome OS. Of course when this comes along they can then start punting it at Chrome browser users: "Like Chrome? Get it on your next netbook." And of course they can punt the browser at those user who buy ChromeOS netbooks. "Like Chrome? Why not install it on your PC? It's free." The Google name carries a lot of weight with a lot of people, that familiar Google badge on the packaging of a netbook could well swing a lot of people. After all WIndows is just something that came with your PC, Google is something you choose to use.

    I'm not a fan of Google and their business practices, but this seems to be the best way of stealing market share from MS.

  65. Andres
    Thumb Up

    Too many guru's

    So much negativity here because it won't multitask 64bit SPARC binaries with 2009WTF technologies..*sigh*..I guess that whats you get from an IT site.

    The basic fact is that if (yes if) it achieves most of its aims, the unwashed non-tech majority of users will have a decent, cheap experience available. What's to worry about? The rest of you can carry on writing your i64 compilers in assembler.

    The other very important fact is that MS will suddenly find it a lot harder to push XP/7 onto netbooks. So they will have to adapt their pricing and so everyone wins anyway.

    Competition is good. Relax.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never say never

    "No OS will ever topple windows until there is bullet-proof, per application, built-in emulation for windows applications."

    That's what they said about CP/M. There is a tipping point before 100% replacement/emulation; exactly where is the key question.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    @Def

    "And there the whole 'linux is great' thing falls horribly flat on its pointy little bill. There are *no* decent development tools for linux. And until there are, you will never persuade developers to leave Windows."

    Kate + Konsole + Konqueror + a few scripts that actually meet the need of _my_ projects + the ability to actually remember function names gives me everything I need. In fact you can do without Konsole and Konqueror.

    The fact that I can install a dev environment on a fresh box in 20 minutes is one of the reasons I moved away from windows.

  68. Samuel Williams

    I look forward to...

    ...seeing a Google Netbook (Beta) on the shelf in PC World.

  69. Toastan Buttar
    Linux

    @John Dee

    "Yeah, printing is still an issue on linux, but generally linux has better hardware support out of the box than windows."

    Seriously, this is NOT an issue; stop using it as an argument. Install the Windows drivers once from the enclosed disk (or the net) and you're good to go.

    "And if something doesn't work with linux, at least you have the chance to fix it."

    Hahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahahaha. Yeah, a typical netbook buyer wants to recompile the source or trawl the ever-so-friendly forums for the answer. Reg readers are geeks, consumers are not. On that topic, will the Chrome OS even give users access to the command line and dev tools or will you be presented with a browser, control panel and not much else ?

  70. Elmer Phud
    WTF?

    Cloud Cuckoo Land?

    It looks more like getting people to use the 'cloud', to connect to the web quicker form Faceache, Docs, Sheets etc.

    No masquerading as a separate browser then, just the same as opening up your desktop to run as IE.

    Sounds like not so much an O/S but a proper 'netbook' as you can't do any work unless you're connected. Google are having wet dreams and we may be about to get . . .

  71. Delboy

    Worried

    Google actually worry me. They have the same dream of world domination that MS do. It's a bit like S.M.E.R.S.H. and S.P.E.C.T.R.E. trying to eliminate each other. Send for James Bond.

  72. stim

    agree

    cookieMonster... totally agree. we can all benefit from this, regardless which O/S we favour/use.

  73. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: Re: Emulation

    '......the "oh you can't do anything on linux without a command line" image, an image pushed by Microsoft and it's large army of paid shills......'

    Here's how it went for me the other day.

    F'Fox to a web pdf. Opens in Gimp, which as a pdf viewer is a bag of shite.

    Open pdf on machine. Opens in "okular", very nice.

    Poke config in F'Fox, find bit where default handlers are specified.

    Go to change to "okular".....but it's not listed as an option. Bugger.

    Try to guess path to "okular" with a spectacular lack of success (bit rusty I giess).

    <sigh>

    <command line>

    "which okular"............

    Neither MS, nor their army of paid shills were responsible for that one.

  74. Bernie 2
    Pint

    Re: LuMan

    "However, don't forget that PC users are becoming more and more tech-savvy. Before long the PC-using populous will be at the point where they'll be more confident to choose which OS they use."

    read as:

    "However, don't forget that PC users are becoming more and more tech-savvy. Before long the PC-using populous will be at the point where they'll be more confident with turning a PC on."

  75. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Up

    @Def

    ***"There are *no* decent development tools for linux."***

    Uh, yeah, right.

    This isn't a thumb's up. you just can't see the penis.

  76. Jess

    @ben holmes

    Yes. There is even an open source* version that is in the process of being ported to the Beagle Board.

    http://www.riscosopen.org

    (* The license is termed shared source, because it doesn't match the definition that would allow you to capitalise the term open source.)

  77. Stephen Channell
    Thumb Up

    open source Direct-X equivalent

    I’d bet the big departure from Android will be a direct-x like interface to a GPU and a Cocoa/Aero like graphical shell/browser/window manager. The x-windows api would be served through the browser for legacy apps.

  78. Grease Monkey
    WTF?

    @Def

    "And there the whole 'linux is great' thing falls horribly flat on its pointy little bill. There are *no* decent development tools for linux. And until there are, you will never persuade developers to leave Windows."

    Eh? Who do you think develops Linux then? Or are you suggesting that all Linux development is done on Windows? That has got to be the weakest pro-MS argument I've ever seen and most of them are weak.

    The reason developers use Windows is not because Visual Studio is good, that's irrelevant. It's the end users that drive the developers, not the other way round. The majority of users are on Windows so most developers use Windows.

    Seriously if your thinking as a developer is as arse about face as the above example then you are in the wrong job.

  79. yossarianuk
    Gates Horns

    Im really happy about this

    MS users - Where are your rebel friends now !!!!

  80. Peter Day 1

    Why I gave up on Linux on my EEE

    My EEE came with the default Linux (debian) install. I bought the machine in this configuration rather than XP because I was aware of the bloat/load up times.

    So why did I ditch it and install XP instead? Because of the things that I could not do like print to my Epson laser printer (no linux driver), because it would not keep my network shares.

    Yes, according to some forums all my problems could be sorted but they were major geek fiddles. In XP these problems just did not exist.

    I want a netbook that starts near instantly, can do email and web surfing and simple document/spreadsheet posting. The Google OS promsies this .... but can I print to my printer, I suspect not and that is what will prevent me moving on.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @LuMan

    "..PC users are becoming more and more tech-savvy. Before long the PC-using populous will be at the point where they'll be more confident to choose which OS they use..."

    Thinks- average IQ, herd instinct? There'll be a spread of types most of whom will still be thick as the proverbial and will be influenced by what's on the shelf at the supermarket.

    Chrome might well pick up users in the netbook market but no so many as to dent MS seriously, and IMO scarce any in the home PC market if they get that far.

  82. Samo
    Thumb Down

    @AC re: @Samo

    @samo #

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 8th July 2009 10:09 GMT

    "...

    Sigh..........

    does that make x86 86bit processors?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86

    I doubt you need Itaniums (IA64) to surf the web...."

    I do know that x86 are the old chips, and the new ones are x64. Seems like you don't. Not once did I say x86 are 86bit, but x64 currently ARE 64bit (unless I'm sorely mistaken).

    If you want to play the wiki game:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X64

    Taken from above wiki:

    "Intel 64 is Intel's implementation of x86-64. It is used in newer versions of Pentium 4, Pentium D, Pentium Extreme Edition, Celeron D, Xeon and Pentium Dual-Core processors, and in all versions of the Core 2, and Intel Core i7 processors."

    You sir, are acting a foo'.

  83. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    WTF?

    What a crock!

    All crowing about how it's a paradigm shift in O/S technology! No viruses! No Malware!

    WTF! Oh so the last 17 years ( yes 1992 it started! ) of Linux have meant nothing then? What about BSD as well? No viruses there either. What about OSX? Not much for the AV to do here either.

    Just 'cos it's fluffy Uncle Google, it's the greatest thing since sliced bread then is it?!

    Oh bog off you sycophantic Google-istas, you worse than the Apple fanbois sometimes!

  84. Waggers
    Troll

    re Chrome for Linux

    "Does this mean Google will finally release a version of Chrome for linux?"

    No, it means they've tried and failed to get Chrome working on any existing Linux distro, so they've had to create their own just to get the browser working on Linux.

  85. David Hicks
    Linux

    Cool

    If the android userspace is anything to go by then this won't be a conventional linux, but that's ok.

    I'm just glad that someone with some clout is moving in to challenge MS. One might even permit oneself to hope that somewhere in the tussle between them that people realise that loyalty to an OS (particularly windows) is less important than they think...

    It'll be interesting to watch, and if they ever do start to challenge MS dominance then watch out as the fur, and lawsuits, start to fly.

    (I'd like to comment on a couple of the other posts -

    About ARM, yes we already have RiscOS, but we also have FreeBSD, QNX, Linux of a multitude of flavours, Android, iPhoneOS, Symbian and a billion and one other things. There is no single ARM OS to rule them all because ARM fits into a whole variety of different niches.

    @TeeCee

    Sounds like you had a bad time with your pdf handling. Which distro? Debian and Ubuntu both have evince set up correctly from the word go.

    @Toastan Butter

    For me, to install the windows driver for my HP network printer, I was forced to install a variety of useless, annoying trial applications. On linux it was just found and worked. I know which I prefer. There is a lot of hardware that is not supported by windows vista or windows 7, a lot of older printers and scanners for a start, that linux will still support. This is not to say linux only supports old stuff, that['s totally untrue, but it certainly has much wider device support than any one flavour of windows.

    YMMV)

  86. Alan Bourke
    Megaphone

    Great, but still no Windows-killer

    For the same reason that Linux and Mac OSX are still not Windows-killers, and the reason is that all the applications that SMEs use to conduct their business, namely payroll and accounting applications, just don't exist on these platforms.

    Until they do, other OSs unfortunately will not dominate on the desktop.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    @Toastan Butter

    "Seriously, this is NOT an issue; stop using it as an argument. Install the Windows drivers once from the enclosed disk (or the net) and you're good to go."

    Oh I just click on the .exe and magically everything works? No. So it's still an "issue". From a idiot windows user's perspective. I didn't say it was broken now did I?

    "Hahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahahaha. Yeah, a typical netbook buyer wants to recompile the source"

    And a hahahahahahahaha to you. At least I can do that. None of my mp3 players would work on windows full fucking stop. That was my point. Not only is the superior hardware support for windows a myth, but when the cold light of reality breaks over you, you're quite often pretty much fucked.

    "or trawl the ever-so-friendly forums for the answer. "

    Linux forums _are_ friendly. So you can fuck off with that one. Perhaps you're the sort of tard who point blank refuses to RTFM and expect forum users to do your job for you.

  88. Thomas Schulze
    FAIL

    Phorm OS

    Awesome, an advertiser's dream! Anybody wanna bet there will be a whole load of tracking going on?

  89. /dev/null
    Boffin

    @yossarianuk

    Google says it will be "Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel". Sounds like they might not be using X11 at all...

  90. eJ2095

    Idea

    They should employee some old Amiga Staff or new to borrow that OS for google.

    That was fast for teh time..

  91. Alan Bourke
    Thumb Up

    No development tools for Linux ?

    There's no real monolithic Visual Studio equivalent for sure, but that aside those Linux folk seem to be doing very well without one.

  92. Dork Lard
    Linux

    Google will be good for OEM's

    Hopefully Google will concentrate on the OEM business; it's here that Linux needs to gain ground against Windows. For every Linux enthusiast that downloads and installs a Linux distribution there are hundreds of "normal" users that just buy a computer and use whatever is installed, usually Windows.

    Whatever people might think about Google, they have a strong brand and Linux needs to get some muscle behind it to start winning the OEM deals that will bring it to a wider market.

  93. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Welcome

    Surprised?

    Given that Chrome's main advantage is near native execution of Javascript it's been apparent for some time just what Google is planning - make browser based applications run as fast as desktop ones just don't give them access to the hardware.

    @ Mr Oates

    "Much of the success of the iPhone has been thanks to the thousands of developers keen to create applications for it." This isn't quite true: developers only started to produce applications once a proper SDK was available. Initially all you could do was widgets and I think this proved there is no commercial market for widgets. As Google is only interested in selling advertisiting that looks like applications there shouldn't be a problem. Targeted Laptots is a smart move as expectations are already limited. Supporting ARM could be key as the Google brand will add value to the suspiciously cheap and powerful no-name machines currently in development for which Windows is unlikely to be available for a while if ever.

    @Loki1

    I claim my £50 as Web 3.0 was definitely in use last week at Europython. It's defined as "no human interaction required" and the seminal app is the Twat-O-Tron feeding Twitter.

    @ Grease Monkey

    BeOS is alive and well in the form of Haiku, http://haiku-os.org

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Er, isn't is obvious?

    It's going to be running on Android, which sits on top of a Linux kernel:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)

    http://developer.android.com/guide/basics/what-is-android.html

    Unfortunately, it won't be available in the EU as the excuse "the browser is embedded in the OS, so can't be de-coupled" won't wash in Brussels any more, even though it will be true this time. They have Microsoft to thank for that...

  95. Tim Parker
    FAIL

    Worse than everything else..

    ..we're now going to have another sad and rather pointless Ted Dziuba rant spread over several pages, more than likely oscillating between blind hatred and the bleeding obvious - an idiots tale in the true tradition of Macbeth.

    http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1020813

  96. simple
    FAIL

    ted fail

    looks like ted dziuba was way wrong.... and all the vehement swearing in his 2008 article just makes it funnier.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/08/dziuba_chrome/

  97. Toastan Buttar
    Happy

    @John Dee

    Potty mouth !

  98. Kevin Bailey

    @Toastan Buttar

    I think you'll find that Ubuntu has far, far better hardware support than 'Windows'.

    That's because it is continuously updated every day - every peripheral I've plugged in 'Just Works'. XP (let's forget about Vista - too slow to be called an operating system) is about 5-6 years old - so lots of hardware made in that time won't be recognised. So you'll have to install a driver, insert CD, wait to spin up, click, click - say no to paid upgrade, click click zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Meanwhile, on Ubuntu it's already working.

  99. Frank Rysanek

    Re: Hardware compatibility

    @Toastan Buttar:

    > "Every new piece of hardware" already works with Windows and seldom takes "hours of configuration".

    I've recently bought a relatively low-end Acer notebook PC. Cheap stuff. I paid attention to it having an Intel CPU+chipset+IGP, but it also has a number of other-brand peripherials. I installed it to dual-boot XP and Fedora 10.

    It took me half a day to install XP along with all the drivers. Especially the webcam driver gave me a headache - its power saving glitch prevented XP from shutting down correctly, and it took some time to google out a workaround (prevent PM on the USB port in Windows Device Manager). It *did* take hours, even just downloading and installing all the drivers, even if I disregard that webcam gotcha.

    With Fedora 10 x86_64, I booted the "netinst" CD, pointed it to use a single flat partition for its filesystem, selected some apps to install, and went off to do other things. It didn't take more than 15 minutes. In an hour or so, the system was up and running, including WiFi, a multi-combo flash card reader, Realtek HD audio chip, and including the darn cheap webcam! Not to mention a host of apps (Mozilla / Gimp / OOo). All removable media / flash cards work out of the box, just as seamlessly as in Windows, or maybe better. It *was* significantly faster to install than Windows.

    Note the look and feel of automatic updates in Fedora - the level of detail of progress reporting, the lack of reboots. Non-english language support (keyboard and display): no problem, either. Do I play games? Not anymore, I don't have the time. Out of curiosity, I did compile UFO AI from SVN source under Fedora, but it's still too buggy to be any serious use :-)

    I do have frequent encounters with buggy 3rd-party hardware drivers for Windows. They tend to be stale and buggy versions, especially for cheap noname brands (imagine all the USB gadgets) - or sometimes incorrectly labeled on the device manufacturer's web site, or wrapped in a an impenetrable installer archive together with a buggy install script. Generic drivers in Linux tend to work surprisingly well out of the box for that same hardware.

  100. Bod

    Anti-trust, EU and all that

    Surely Google won't be allowed to get away with bundling their browser with the OS, and not to mention all the Google Apps? ;)

    Oh, but they're not Microsoft, so that's okay (see Apple).

    As for Chrome browser vs IE. It is great and I use Chrome all the time now, but problem is people still see a use for IE. Parents complained that their IE was taking for ever to load up. Told them to try Chrome and they were amazed and said this was much better. But then they found it doesn't do a bunch of things IE does on the edges (fluffy things like a sidebar for bookmarks), and of course a bunch of their favourite sites just don't work right because they're rubbish sites badly coded and rely on IE's bugs. Thus they won't switch.

  101. Kevin Bailey

    @ChrisInBelgium

    I've been really happy with my Dell Mini 9 which came with Ubuntu.

  102. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Am I the only one to remember Netscape?

    OK, it adds a local linux kernel to it, but the original Netscape idea was too to live "inside" the browser, which is why Billy Boy had to nuke Netscape ASAP (now he no longer needs that, he just withholds some charity by the Gates Foundation instead).

    So, nothing changes other than that we have to find new and innovative ways to stop us benefiting from the fantastic increase in computing power over the last few years. If I could run the setup I had on W98 on a modern box (assuming drivers available) it ought to positively fly. Maybe I ought to see what OS/2 does, as long as I can find SATA drivers. Just out of curiosity..

  103. northern monkey

    by 'windowing system'

    Do they mean they're going to continue using X11 and just write another window manager (a la metacity etc), or are they going to replace X11 too?

    I hope they're forced to call it google linux. If not, well, at least we'll know when uname -a says it!!

    And is anyone else a bit suspicious that their guy is called linus too?

  104. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    @Frank Rysanek

    Yeassshhh so you are complaining an almost decade old system doesn't come preinstalled with drivers for all the latest devices, but your Linux does.....

    So try sticking a 8 year old cop of linux on it . Lets see what takes longer to get up and running....

    Sighhhhhh

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    looking good!

    Chrome OS

    potential 100%

    risk factors 25%?

    observations:

    To get it right takes time and evolution = it is good to start now, get it in place and when immediacy of bankers folly effects are a bit reduced no doubt google, Chrome OS and hardware will have sufficient experience to take market initiatives.

    Look out for over compromised hardware specs

    Look for cross device content related integration (eg user files)

    It will be good to see google stuff on the market but who will sell it?

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Development

    So you make the point that developers will be able to use "ordinary web development tools with the OS rather than a specialised development kit", and then draw a comparison with the success of apps developed for the iPhone.

    But guys, the iPhone development model is not "ordinary web development tools", it is "specialised development kit".

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Peter Day

    Asus EEEPC? That'll be Xandros then. Not Debian, as stated.

    http://www.business-solutions.epson.co.uk/Compatible.htm#Linux - I found this by googling epson postscript drivers linux. Networking doesn't work in the same way in linux as it does with Windows. Well, that not exactly true, it works the way that work groups are supposed to work - in effect you don't *need* to 'remember' the shares. You can of course set the share to automount, but that does require a little bit of CLI jiggery pokery. Herein lies the beauty of OSS in that if this is mentioned enough, someone will address it.

  108. Grease Monkey

    @Fred Flintstone

    "OK, it adds a local linux kernel to it, but the original Netscape idea was too to live "inside" the browser, which is why Billy Boy had to nuke Netscape ASAP"

    Didn't Opera think of that first? Anyway didn't netscape simply morph into Mozilla?

    Anyway to answer your question sensibly. No this isn't just a case of starting with a Linux kernel, a windowing system and then bunging on a browser with everything built in. Google's argument is that everything should be on the web, so you don't need a browser with things like built in email all the apps will actually reside on the web. This differs greatly from Netscape's ethos that everything should be built into the browser.

    Google's idea gives you a very small software footprint, Netscape's idea would ultimately give you as big a software footprint as, say, Windows since every application would still have to sit locally.

    My only real argument with Google's model is that Google seem to want you to store your documents "in the cloud" (I hate that terminology) I want all my data locally. I don't want to trust any of it to the fog^H^H^Hcloud. I know that Google (and others) would argue that storing my stuff in the cloud means I can access it from anywhere, but I don't want to access it from anywhere. I want to access it from my devices.

  109. Lionel Baden

    if you could game onit !

    trust me if you can game on another system then people would switch ..

    And no i dont mean just getting peggle etc for the mac !!!

    I mean play all directX games on another system

    I would at least try the other to see if its any good !!!!!

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little bit of history

    Back in the late 1990s most companies dumped 'nix systems because all their business apps: wordprocessors, databases, accounts, etc were on PCs. They wanted one platform from which to run all their computing needs. At the time we produced a number of 'nix versions of our software products and a NT version. In 1998 we sold zero 'nix versions, most of our customers had migrated to the NT version, 'nix was dead and linux has always remained a niche system with a band of hobbyists.

    I don't think things are any different today. It remains the main problem that MS has getting people to move to their latest OS, peopel do not want the upheaval of learning a new system, new software, or having to support multiple platforms. Unless you can get businesses to migrate their systems they'll stick with what they have.

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Alan Bourke

    "For the same reason that Linux and Mac OSX are still not Windows-killers, and the reason is that all the applications that SMEs use to conduct their business, namely payroll and accounting applications, just don't exist on these platforms."

    Whilst technically correct, it's not entirely true. Until people realise that Sage isn't the only option for accounting and payroll, or that AutoCAD isn't the only CAD app, then Windows will continue to dominate. There are certainly cheaper options for SME's out there.

  112. Jon 66
    Joke

    @Def

    "And there the whole 'linux is great' thing falls horribly flat on its pointy little bill. There are *no* decent development tools for linux. And until there are, you will never persuade developers to leave Windows."

    Maybe no development tools which get windows developers to believe they are writing good code...

  113. Grease Monkey

    @Bod

    "Surely Google won't be allowed to get away with bundling their browser with the OS, and not to mention all the Google Apps? ;)

    Oh, but they're not Microsoft, so that's okay (see Apple)."

    FFS how many times do you people need to have this explained? The EU's beef with MS and bundling IE with Windows is that they are using their dominant position in the OS market to artificially enhance their postion in the browser market.* Apple and Google do not have a dominant position in the OS market to abuse in the first place.

    It's very, very simple to understand therefore I can only assume you are deliberately misundersanding the situation in order to support your prejudice.

    *The big picture is more complex than that and I can see the EU going after MS's server again tech soon. So many of their server apps will only work properly if you access them using IE. This means that they are using their server tech to enhance their position in the desktop OS market since IE will only run on Windows. You will note that Google do not tie you into Chrome to use Google Apps.

  114. yossarianuk
    Linux

    @/dev/null

    Remember Linux is just the kernel - so if it using a Linux kernel it is based on Linux...

    It remains unclear if they are just creating a DE (i.e gnome/KDE) or are creating an alternative to xorg (i hope they are!)

    Ultimately this is a good thing for these main resaons

    1) They are using Linux

    2) They WILL make deals with computer manufacturers to get the OS preinstalled.

    3) They will opensource the code so the community 'should; benefit

  115. Jacqui Smith's DVD Collection!
    Happy

    @ cookieMonster too right

    You little kids run along, if you dont see past your hatred of Google you will never understand how good this is for Windows, OSX and more than that Linux!

    Chrome OS will be open sourced this year, imagine if MS did that, we could actually fix it.

    I for one welcome our fast-booting overlords!!! Woo hoo!

  116. Glen 9
    Troll

    Maybe...

    XP is dominant because it's not all that bad? Just a thought.

    Developers will have fun having to program for a million different OSs.

  117. Aaron 10
    Gates Horns

    Most news correspondents...

    ...have NO idea what an operating system really does, let alone what Linux is. Some of the coverage of this Google love-in is sickening.

    I have a Dell Mini 9 netbook running Ubuntu 9.04 UNR, and it's great, doing what this new Google OS promises and more. The computer takes less than 10 seconds to boot from Grub to Done, and has the Google Chrome (okay, Chromium) browser AND Firefox.

    My netbook is great for trips where I don't need the full power of my MacBook Pro.

    /been Microsoft-free for years!

  118. SEG
    Grenade

    The end for Ubuntu?

    At the moment if the average user is looking for a decent alternative to Windows they jump ship and opt for Linux, normally Ubuntu. If Chrome OS takes off then the Windows jumpers will jump to it rather than Ubuntu. If I was Mr Shuttleworth I would be worried!!

  119. Dave Handley
    FAIL

    Actually development environment are important

    I'm actually going to argue that the quality of development environments like the early Visual Basics, Borland environments (Delphi etc.) and then Visual Studio is a big reason that Windows maintains it's dominance. Users want easy to use and visually consistent apps. Windows has always tried to make it easy to create those; whereas Linux has struggled. For example, the fact that you have multiple types of scroll bars on Unix in general just doesn't help.

    Regarding the quality of the development environments, Visual Studio is actually pretty good, although as a C++ programmer it isn't the best. For visual development, I have yet to find anything better than Visual Studio; but for general development Sun's Studio is far better. Tools like DTrace and Collector/Analyser in DBX are so far ahead of the competition. The biggest problem for developing C++ on Linux is that GDB sucks. Really badly. Anyone who has done any serious C++ programming on Linux will have discovered that GDB crashes regularly, has problems stepping into various types of functions (like certain constructors). Worst of all, gcc has an ABI bug that means that any debugger on Linux (including GDB and for example TotalView) will hang under certain circumstances in an unrecoverable state. Try using that on mission critical applications.

    Going onto Google Chrome. It will fail in just the same way that Linux has failed on netbooks. People don't see netbooks as just being a way to get Internet and e-mail on the move. They see them as a small PC (check recent surveys on this). It's why people are buying more hard-drive based netbooks instead of SSD netbooks. I bought a netbook for my non-tech savvy girlfriend recently and her requirement was internet and MSOffice. I couldn't even persuade her to try OpenOffice (which I personally use on 2 out of my 4 windows boxes at home). Also she got MSOffice for $20 through Microsoft's home-use license arrangement.

  120. Alan Bourke
    Unhappy

    App drought

    @Simon Banyard

    OK, point me at the open-source Linux-compatible equivalent of Sage/Dynamics/Opera/whatever, or the equivalent of AutoCAD or PhotoShop.

    Just not there, sadly.

    One way to get Linux in the door would be to serve all the above via thin client sessions - so all the desktops are Linux/Mac and there's a big old Windows server with the vital Windows-only apps.

  121. Mike Moyle Silver badge
    Grenade

    So, am I the only one...?

    ...Who's assuming that, a few months after this hits the street, doing a Google search for "hot steaming monkey love" will return entries like "xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/JoeSmith'sLaptop/private/HotSteamingMonkeyLove.jpg"?

    Because I just can't see the Googlies passing up the chance to index and serve up anything from any system running GoogleOS™.

    Paranoid? Not me!

    (Hand grenade because it's the closest thing to a time bomb.)

  122. Richard Porter
    Thumb Up

    @Ben Holmes

    Yes RISC OS is still being developed. It's up to v6.18 now, and there's open source development on what was RISC OS 5 on Iyonix. Then there's Virtual Acorn which runs under Windows and MacOS. The NetSurf browser is also under development but doesn't yet support Javascript, which is a bit of a limitation.

  123. Outcast
    Thumb Up

    @ ChrisInBelgium

    Here ya go...

    http://www.comet.co.uk/shopcomet/product/507903/TOSHIBA-NB100-11R/tab/reviews

    [realisation]

    Doh! he's in Belgium. Oh well posted just in case anyone else is looking.

  124. SimpleUser
    Megaphone

    Oh well

    Whatever they bring out as the 'final product' will be good for the whole industry in that space (of

    OS - systems) as it increases competition, triggers creativity and will allow for additional

    offerings to chose from, simply that is good (enough) by itself I'd say.

    Adds colour to the market, good.

    Data privacy could become an issue (agree) but that bridge is to be walked when reached (the product is available at least in 'beta').

  125. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    meh

    So it's another Linux distro with a different or custom windowing system. Sorry but unless Google manages to do something spectacular with the whole package then I fail to see where it will so much more successful than say Ubuntu. I'd like to see the other OSs put MS in it's place but the hurdles that will have to be over come to do that are quite large. Large enough that I dare say even the mighty Google might have difficulty with them. I'm not saying it's impossible but some how I don't know that yet another Linux distro is going to be the one that will do it. That's not to say that I wont give it a shot when it comes out, I certainly will just to see what it's capable of.

  126. B 9

    @ChrisInBelgium

    "(and no, I don't want to order one online from some other country)"

    So you are only willing to buy Linux based netbooks that have been manufactured in Belgium? Good luck with that.

  127. orko McVelikovskyvez
    Happy

    @Alan Bourke

    Sage = phpOrganisation

    Dynamics= SugarCRM

    Opera=Opera

    Autocad= QCad, Archimedes 0.52.0, BRL-CAD 7.10

    Photoshop= Gimp, Pixel, Krita

    Linux has equivalents to most Win32 Programs, except for games. And there are tonnes of webapps out there to replace both windows and linux desktop programs. Aviary.com has some amazing stuff available for free online.

  128. jim 45
    Happy

    not linux

    There might be a big difference between a Google OS and the existing Linux distributions. Namely, the presence of some responsible adults who provide a single point of contact where users can get updates and support.

  129. DJ
    Linux

    Meet the new boss...

    "Google is releasing an operating system for laptops and desktops..."

    Wouldn't it be more accurate to state Google has announced plans to release an operating system?

    As in future tense.

    As in vaporware.

    See also FUD.

  130. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    @jim 45

    > There might be a big difference between a Google OS and the existing Linux distributions.

    > Namely, the presence of some responsible adults who provide a single point of contact where

    > users can get updates and support.

    You mean when I get Mandriva Linux and it comes from a company, and I can get updates and support from them ? and this is different ? Duhhh

  131. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More competition

    Competition is always good. MSFT will have to get focused and deliver. People may not like MSFT. But Google is becoming as pervasive as "MSFT".

    Can Apple's OSX survive with the increased competition? Obviously, Apple's iPhone, etc.. will do fine. But what's the purpose of OSX then? If one wants application, MSFT satisfies that. If one wants robustness, Chrome (being a cloud computing interface) satisfies that. Then what's OSX for?

  132. Curly
    Black Helicopters

    @ Jacqui Smith's DVD Collection! r.e. open source Windows

    You might want to be careful what you wish for ...

    Having worked with the voles, I suspect you'd find the code "a dog's breakfast".

    You could just face that eternal dilemma, "Do I patch this mess, or rewrite it?" "If I rewrite it, just where do I stop?".

    Then there's the question of how to propagate your fixes to others (should you wish to).

  133. G-HAM 2000

    It's not really Linux in that sense.

    It's not really Linux though is it, it's a Linux kernel with Chrome for everything else. Significant difference. It's been a no-brainer Google might do this ever since Chrome got released, although a lot of people said it was nonsense. Online Ajax apps are at the point now where they're practically as responsive as native ones other than the Internet connection, when this comes out it will probably have a snappier javascript engine, and Gears will mean the webapps you use will be stored locally and available wether you have a connection or not and with no waiting for downloads. Data that needs to be transferred back to the "cloud" can simply be stored in a temporary cache and synced back up later automatically.

  134. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, the world needs another OS.........

    I bought a netbook, used Ubuntu for a while, but although the OS is great, the apps are not. And its apps that is the point of a 'puter.

    Only skype had video conferencing, and everyone I know has yahoo and messenger (sad, but thats the facts), so I had to put on XP. (Don't get me started on the Pidgin is great, and skype is fab debate - if you can't see your mates, or there's no one on the other end, then it's not great. Full stop.)

    When I bought a second netbook (a linux version, 'cause it had better stats), XP was on before the day was out.

    We don't a new OS, we need useful apps for the existing OSs.

    Chrome OS - will run DVD burning software, be compatable with major messengers, have a useful office suite (not just Google Office), be able to run games....... no......... thought not.

  135. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @ChrisInBelgium

    Plenty of cheap Dell Mini 9s on the Dell Outlet with Ubuntu preloaded.

  136. rash.m2k

    openSUSE 11.1

    Apart from gaming - everything I need this has! Can even run Office 2003/07 via wine and other apps I need.

    And have VMWare should I ever need crappy windows.

    Linux is more for a power user/developer certainly not for the average user - thats until all the software makers make apps for Linux aswell.

  137. Dave 13
    Pint

    the sound of one hand clapping

    True enough that this is a threat to Apple as well as M$. Who wins? *We* do, as competition will only improve the offerings and drive down prices. There is a limit to the number of market players for applications ecosystems like MacOS/iPhone/iTunes or Windows/Win Mobile of maybe 3 or 4 major players. With Goog's customer base, they can certainly be one of them. Can't wait to see the fireworks..

    If a chair is thrown in the jungle and no one gives a shit, does it really matter?

  138. Bod
    FAIL

    @Grease Monkey

    "FFS how many times do you people need to have this explained? The EU's beef with MS and bundling IE with Windows is that they are using their dominant position in the OS market to artificially enhance their postion in the browser market.* Apple and Google do not have a dominant position in the OS market to abuse in the first place.

    It's very, very simple to understand therefore I can only assume you are deliberately misundersanding the situation in order to support your prejudice."

    So if by some miracle Apple or Google became dominant then it's perfectly okay they have a bundled browser because they weren't dominant at the time ;)

    p.s. no prejudice. Win, OSX, any flavour of *nix, all have their place in my home if they do the job. It's just the hypocrisy of those who sought to hit MS that I find laughable, especially as it really was just a jealousy thing. And besides, what does a maker of a free open source browser have to lose financially by IE being shipped with Windows? The "Browser Market" is nothing more than an ego trip here.

    Reality is, MS had a shit load of cash, and sufficient lawyers in US and EU worked out they could get their hands on it.

  139. Hugh_Pym
    Thumb Down

    @Bod@Grease Monkey

    "So if by some miracle Apple or Google became dominant then it's perfectly okay they have a bundled browser because they weren't dominant at the time ;)"

    Of course it is OK. Until they abuse their dominant market position they are not doing anything wrong. Notice the word 'abuse'. Look it up, remember it. It is not because Microsoft have a near monopoly that are penalised, it is because they have been convicted of abuse of that position.

    You are attempting to use a your own flawed hypothesis to prove yourself right.

  140. ChrisInBelgium

    @Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 9th July 2009 11:25 GMT

    I just went to the Dell website for Belgium. I have 3 choices my friend: windows XP Home in French, Dutch or English. No Ubuntu.

    @B 9:

    No, you plonker, I do not want a netbook 'manufactured' in Belgium - I want to BUY it in Belgium. I don't want to order it abroad, pay immediately, wait six weeks and then get it delivered broken.

    @Outcast:

    Thanks for the tip. Indeed, apart from that small detail of where I live, perfect suggestion ;-))

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