December 3, 2009

Will ‘search’ king Google be able to rule the ‘OS’ space?…unlikely and unclear

Google recently demonstrated what its much anticipated OS Chrome will have on offer. The comparisons with recently launched Microsoft’s Windows 7 are inevitable.   The company gave a demo of some of the applications of Chrome. Post the demo, there are a lot of things that are still unclear and there is no sign of answers any soon!

Let’s take a closer look at some of its core elements;

  • Interface – Nothing really great on that front. It is pretty similar to the Chrome browser. The tabs on the screen, a list of applications or the widgets are all lacking
  • Availability – End of 2010 for netbooks
  • Specifications– the only thing specified here is that there wouldn’t be any hard drives. The company has promised that OS will boot in almost 7 seconds and this will be accomplished as the data will be stored on solid-state disks. Almost everything will be stored on ‘cloud’ and every application will be ‘web based’
  • Can you install Chrome on your computer? – Currently the answer is a clear ‘NO’
  • Will Chrome be ‘alive’ without an internet connection? – Still unclear. Google says that Chrome OS PCs will primarily be for online usage, and that local storage is there mostly to cache data until the OS can push it up to the cloud. But there will be at least some capability to store local media such as music, and Google said that it’ll support new HTML5 features designed to enable offline use which makes one thing is pretty clear – the company has no plans to let Chrome OS use traditional client apps, although, as a Linux variant, it could presumably do so.
  • What makes Chrome so secure? The applications are sandboxed, so they can’t interfere with each other. The root system is ‘read only’ and all the user data is encrypted as well as the code is signed: The OS checks itself at boot time, and if anything looks fishy, it downloads chunks of itself on the fly and reinstalls them.chromeos2sm
  • Will it support other browsers? Tricky question – It will surely not let you install Opera or Firefox but another questions is…Chrome is an open source project…so if its ACTUALLY open, it should enable to install applications of your choice. This is something that remains to be seen.
  • Modifications – If you are thinking, you might be able to install anything and everything just like you can do on Windows…STOP! You won’t be able to install utilities that can let you fiddle with the interface in ways that are against what Google made it to be. That would be running local applications, and Chrome OS doesn’t run local applications.
  • 100 percent cloud based PC – This is probably the most important question of all. If Google succeeds in this, every other competitor will have to modify its strategy and think of cloud based PC.

We will have to wait for another year to see how and what changes, the new OS will bring with it. Till then, lets explore the new Windows 7!

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