API Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Rich DeFabritus, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: API Journal, Adobe Flex, IoT User Interface, Agile Computing, Release Management

API Journal: Blog Post

Google OS - A Cynical View

Will Google succeed with the new OS in 2010?

If you didn’t hear that Google has announced that in 2010 consumers will have a chance to enjoy new Chrome-based OS, stop reading and do you homework first.

Done? Now we can move on, and let’s do it by the rules – positive things first, then some bile followed by a happy end.

I really like Google. They produce easy to use applications that work great. I use their search engine about a hundred times a day. Their applications make sense.

Nine months ago they released a Web browser called Chrome, and I liked it. Back than I suggested that in a year Chrome will bite off a decent chunk of the Web browser's market. (see  http://yakovfain.javadevelopersjournal.com/i_like_google_chrome.htm).

I was wrong. They’ve bitten a really small piece of the browser’s pie. For lots of companies 3% of any market would be like money from home, but for Google it’s a failure. Now they say that 30M people downloaded this browser. Not too much assuming that there are like 700M computers connected to the internet worldwide. Do you math. I was one of these 30M downloaders. But I don’t use it. Still waiting for some compelling reason to abandon FireFox 3.5.

Now let’s consider a lot more complicated than a Web browser software - the OS. Wall Street commercials often include the following phrase, “Past performance is no guarantee of the future results”. But in case of the Chrome-based OS we haven’t seen even the “past performance” so only a miracle can lead to the promised “future results” a year from now.

Many people are quick to blame Microsoft Windows for anything and everything. Have you ever heard something like “MAC OS is cool. Widows is a piece of junk”?  As a matter of fact, I’m typing this article using MS Word installed on my MacBook Pro. BTW, the MAC OS version of MS Word has a lot of room for improvement, but it’s besides the point here.  
But let’s not blame old and out of style Windows too fast. Keep in mind that every Windows OS had to work on a HUGE variety of hardware produced by a plethora of vendors. Their life was never as easy as Apple’s who created one computer and one OS to this computer. Feel the difference? To the best of my knowledge, Google haven’t created their own computer yet (Google phone doesn’t count), but they are planning to enter a Wild West of netbook PCs.  Will their OS work only on some models? When will the drivers to my Cannon printer and Fujitsu scanner work with Google OS?

What about MS Office for those stubborn millions of corporate users that don’t want to switch to Google’s online word processors and spreadsheets? The business users are pretty comfy with coding their little formulas in MS Excel. It took them YEARS to master these what-if scenarios and total/subtotal functionality in their tiny under-the-table reports they’re proud of.

For a company with 10000 employees saving $45 on each OS license translates into a substantial sum of money.  But why 15+ year old Linux still didn’t make it into a consumer’s market? Agree the first 10 years Linux distributions didn’t have an intuitive GUI. But now there are several flavors of Linux with a decent UI. It’s also free and open source. A handful of geeks enjoy every minute they spend in Linux, but for those Excel users it’s a completely different universe that they don’t care about.

Sure enough, Google will come up with an intuitive UI,  but that little kid will never switch to a Google OS computer if his Street Fighter won’t work there. Will Adobe rush to develop the Google OS version of Photoshop by the end of 2008? I don’t think so.

Speaking of the Google OS open source announcement that is embraced by everyone who see nothing but the word “free” in it…I read it a little differently – Google doesn’t want to commit substantial human resources for this serious undertaking and is betting on kids-enthusiasts who will contribute the new features and patches to the source control repository.

Am I’m painting the picture with unnecessary dark colors?

OK, here’s a couple of positive sprinkles.

1. I do believe that Google will be able to create installable small kernel that will include only the networking and I/O modules absolutely required to quicly start the netbook and connect to the Internet. Google OS will pull the rest of its required modules later, over the wire in the background while the user is still thinking, “Why did I open even the netbook now?” or on as-needed basis. Remember how Baron Munchhausen have used his own bootstrap to pull himself out of a lake by his own hair? If Baron Munchausen could do it, Google can do it too.

2. Google can use their super-duper advertising machine to promote their new toy. To give you a perspective, Microsoft is spending for marketing of their new search engine Bing a sum that, as Ballmer put it is "big enough that I had to gulp when I approved it. "  And Bullmer doesn’t gulp seeing anything less than $1B. 
If Linux had access to such marketing machine, they’d bee in a much better shape now.

Having said all that, I’ll stick to my general approach, “The more the merrier”, and I wholeheartedly wish Google to pull it off if not in 2010 then by 2012 or even by 2015.

Go Google, Go!

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
Alessandro Ronchi 07/17/09 05:59:00 AM EDT

Hi Yakov,
I don't think you are cynical. You are realistic.

But let me put on the table a couple of considerations:

1) Actually there is a Linux distribution that is used and appreciated by several desktop users. It's MacOS X, isn't it? Ok, to be honest it's not a canonical Linux distribution but after all it's Unix.

2) I don't think Google aims at developing an operating system for traditional users. Maybe they want to offer an alternative choice for netbooks, nettops, mediabox and all emerging kind of computing machines whose purpose is not mere office automation.

My bests,
Alessandro Ronchi

Bruce Boyes 07/16/09 07:11:00 PM EDT

Ha! I really love your analysis and sense of humor. Thanks for a fun read! You hit the nail on the head: I'm eager to see how Android holds up on more devices. It would seem Google would have to create something like the Java JCP process to make a standard way to add new packages in a sane fashion. It's ironic that Sun isn't on the Android scene. There must be a reason the former head of Java development at Sun (Mr Schmidt) chose not to license the Sun Java for the Google smartphone. Is there an interesting story there?

How will Google support needed add-ons dept: when will we see Adobe Flash for Android? At the moment it can't watch movies at hulu, for example. Flash was promised back in 2008! Speed bumps like this on Android will likely be bigger on a more complex framework like ChromeOS?

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...
November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Penta Security is a leading vendor for data security solutions, including its encryption solution, D’Amo. By using FPE technology, D’Amo allows for the implementation of encryption technology to sensitive data fields without modification to schema in the database environment. With businesses having their data become increasingly more complicated in their mission-critical applications (such as ERP, CRM, HRM), continued ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their online busine...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudbric, a leading website security provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudbric is an elite full service website protection solution specifically designed for IT novices, entrepreneurs, and small and medium businesses. First launched in 2015, Cloudbric is based on the enterprise level Web Application Firewall by Penta Security Sys...
Established in 1998, Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. The company's deep domain knowledge of Storage, Virtualization, Networking and Cloud verticals helps in delivering ...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Coalfire will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Coalfire is the trusted leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services. Coalfire integrates advisory and technical assessments and recommendations to the corporate directors, executives, boards, and IT organizations for global brands and organizations in the technology, cloud, health...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data proces...
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...