Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Kevin Benedict, Anders Wallgren, Amit Golander

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
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
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.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor 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. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
industrial company for a multi-year contract initially valued at over $4.0 million. In addition to DataV software, Bsquare will also provide comprehensive systems integration, support and maintenance services. DataV leverages advanced data analytics, predictive reasoning, data-driven diagnostics, and automated orchestration of remediation actions in order to improve asset uptime while reducing service and warranty costs.
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...