This morning after performing my morning ritual of coffee 🙂 brewing and going through my reading list, one theme that I noticed about all blog posts on Google ChromeOS was how fast it would boot. Other than that, I could not pinpoint anything ground breaking about it. Yes there would be only a browser in the OS and surprisingly, what I hardly hear people talk about is the insane bandwidth that will be required to run such an OS.
Like my good friend Helge pointed out, in some parts of Africa, you have a whole university with something like a 4MB/S internet speed to share. Now this effectively rules out the use of ChromeOS whatsoever. What then came into my mind was, what if Ubuntu Lucid Lynx, which makes its debut in April 2010 and is an LTS, succeeds in booting at 10 seconds, which by the way is what the developers are aiming for?
If most of the anticipation surrounding ChromeOS is about boot time, then will people also sing Ubuntu anthems if Lucid boots in 10 seconds? Ubuntu is able to give you most of what Google ChromeOS is promising. You can at present choose to do everything in the cloud just by booting your Karmic and calling up your Firefox.
You can choose to use Ubuntu One for easy file syncing or even Dropbox, you can choose to use Google Docs or Fakeoffice, you can do a lot that ChromeOS is promising with your current Ubuntu install. And you can still edit those pictures without having to get online, or watch a movie without needing any net connection. Hell even Windows XP can do all of that. And btw, with ChromeOS, you would be entrusting your entire digital life to the ‘cloud’, which is a nice euphemism used to describe the servers of others like Google, which incidentally (or ironically?!!) is an advertising company
So if the hottest currency of ChormeOS is boot times and even my current Karmic install boots in 20 seconds max, then what’s so revolutionary about it? Of course it is the first post internet OS and is the only OS that is a browser. But other than that what else? Almost everything that is promised can be done with existing OSs with even more user control. And please don’t say security, Ubuntu for me is as secure as I can get.
Frankly, I see all this noise being so because it is Google behind it and nothing else. We all know Google is a company with a lot of clout. I strongly believe if it were a company like say Canonical that were proposing such a project, Mark Shuttleworth would have become the laughing stock of many bloggers by now. So once again I ask you, what if Ubuntu Lucid Lynx boots in 10 seconds, that being very possible considering the fact that the same developers are working on both projects?