The Linux fanboys- Now taking the cheersong to ChromeOS.

If you were not living in a cave or just descended from another planet, you already know about the so called ChromeOS preview that was held by Google sometime last week. And since that time, one notable theme you notice on various Linux blogs is the same old chorus you’ve heard for Lord knows how long- “ChromeOS is going to unseat Windows,” “ChromeOS is going to make Windows obsolete,” “2010 will be the year of Linux thanks to ChromeOS.” I could go on and on.
Don’t you think it’s funny and somehow ridiculous? ChromeOS is not yet born and yet people are already predicting how it is going to unseat something as deeply rooted both in the minds and lives of people as the Window OS. All we were shown by Google were if you like prototypes (very dump of the SE giant to not have released something for users to try) and people think such a concept will usher in the mythical ‘year of Linux’ in 2010.
I have always been of the view that the Linux world is very much full of sentimentalists rather than ‘pragmatists’ and ‘realists’. The cheersong is now being sung for ChromeOS, not long ago it was Ubuntu, then not long before that it was Fedora and on and on. First of all, I am not one of those who are enthused about this concept of an OS called ChromeOS. I am not interested in ceding control of my entire life in the name of portability to  another company, much less an advertising one. And I think so do most of you.
The general concept behind the ChromeOS is nothing new. In fact, in a previous post, I’d asked the rhetoric question that if the main currency of ChromeOS is how fast it will boot, then what happens if say the Lucid Lynx succeeds in also booting at that same time. What else is Google going to put into Chrome that we cannot have in any of the Linux distros out there? What is going to be so different about ChromeOS that it will cause the over 2 billion people out there to shun Windows and embrace it with wide open arms? Not to talk about the enterprise world.
If there is any serious threat or any OS that can unseat Windows (not in the next 10-20 years unless MS does something real stupid like the Vista blunder), it is Ubuntu and MacOSx. But seeing that Apple is not interested in the dollar of every Tom, Dick and Harry, that leaves Ubuntu as the only contender. The fact that Google is behind ChromeOS does not make it any more of a serious threat. If you want an example, look to the foundation of the ChromeOS, which is the Chrome browser. One year on and how is it fairing relative to IE? What happened to all those predictions about how it would be the IE killer?
I have said it time and again that the ChromeOS will only at best create its own niche market that it’d satisfy rather than upset the existing status quo. Of course in the early days of its release ‘this time next year’, there will be a spike in usage. What I think the Linux fanboys- most of whom have the platform to reach a very wide audience- should be doing is to point out to Google to rethink the OS design and concept again. If it is going to be only a browser that will require an internet connection even for the mundane of tasks, then I can confidently say to the fanboys- Google ChromeOS will not unseat Windows nor usher in the mythical ‘year of Linux’.

9 Replies to “The Linux fanboys- Now taking the cheersong to ChromeOS.”

  1. They are concentrating only on Netbooks. The concept, I believe, is really good for Netbook and will work only there. So it could be a windows killer but only for netbooks

  2. Yea Sajith, initially on netbooks but later also on the desktop. Let's not forget however, what happened to Linux even on the netbook when XP was brought back from the dead by MS.

  3. Who is saying the things you say they are saying? Not seen this at all. Try adding links to web pages where these things are being said.

  4. one thing you have to remember about open source community is that; when someone suggests an idea or concept it generally gets hacked at, worked, and changed until it happens, sometimes its way past its use by date and noone really cares anymore but it usually does happen. when an idea comes up and the oss community hear about it they get excited, because they know its going to happen thats why there are so many "windows killers" out there.

    with chromiumOS (and future forks) there is excitement because its different and potentially a move forward, there is also freedom there to create something new and potentially economical and exciting. cloud has been talked about for ages but noone has had the word of mouth that google does, i hope it doesnt kill windows i hope it becomes successful though, because it seems like something good but without windows who will linux users poke fun at?

  5. Lol David, you're right. Linux must have Windows to always poke fun at. Anyway, like you said, I hope the src code is picked up and made into something midway between Ubuntu and ChromeOS. That stands a better chance of taking on Windows than only the Google concept.

  6. I don't care much about who will unseat Windows which, I like to remark, is still leading only the desktop market but is far from leading other markets like servers, mobile, industry computers, embedded and so on …

    I don't like the Google Os mainly because I don't like the concept of a computer that is only an expensive brik when you are off-line (especially in netbooks!).

    The only thing I really dislike about Windows is that, nowdays, is almost impossible to buy a computer without buing windows OEM too. More than an OS Windows is a Tax!

    So if Chrome OS will equip Crome-Os-only capable machines I think It will not unseat nobody …

    … But if they will start selling Chrome Os equipped machines that will give you the option of download and install a full operating system (and pay for it if you choose Windows) things might become really interesting …

  7. I agree with Ghabuntu's sentiment about how Google ChromeOS will minimize your control over what you get and how. Take Google Chrome browser as example again. There's no way to adblock stuff in it. Google would never allow such, since ad revenue is their big thing. Now take that loss of control (and ad sense revenue junk), and magnify it to your OS. Imagine using nothing but your web-browser to do everything, and having ads alongside every thing you're doing. You're typing a doc … hey, ads! You're working on a spreadsheet … hey, ads! Awesome! Isn't this great!?

    I don't think they'd be so stupid to go that far with it, but still, never know. They're basically trying to make a "smartbook", by taking the dumbed-down interface of a smart-phone and pushing it onto the netbook. It will obfuscate the file system, which I personally think is a good idea; let the computer do all the file house-keeping…I'm tired of it. But again, there's the loss of control. However, when we moved from command-line OS's (EG: DOS) to GUI's (EG: Windows), we "lost control" there, too. People want things easier…let the computer handle more of the mundane stuff so I only have to handle the important things that require decisions. But HOW much easier will be the equilibrium point that's constantly swinging back-n-forth on the pendulum. What they're coming up with won't be for everyone (you can't please all the people all of the time). But some may like it.

  8. Hi Maxx
    I agree with you. I hope like you said they make chrome boxes that I can use to run any other OS so that I would not have to pay financial tribute to Redmond. Also, I don't think I will buy a box like you said that is useless unless I connect to the net.

    Yea man, the point with ChromeOS is that of control. How much control will you have? I surely think before you start using the OS, you'd have to agree to some very tiny printed text that gives the big G unfettered access to everything you store on their servers.

    Also with the issue of ads. Google would not do such a thing as ChromeOS unless it has some way to monetize the data you store on their servers

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