David Kirkpatrick

April 21, 2010

The downside of Google’s Chrome OS?

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:04 pm

Privacy issues. I consider privacy the big bugaboo of cloud computing in general, and the simple nature of Google’s Chrome operating system and the company’s penchant for (really its corporate raison d’etre) data mining the potential for serious abuse of user data is there.

I don’t have a problem with all data mining and I certainly understand what Google does and why. I absolutely love the Chrome browser and recommend it for everyone, and I use Gmail for a number of secondary email accounts, but I’m not even close to ready to trusting all my data to a cloud controlled by Google, or any other entity for that matter.

From the link:

The naming scheme is no accident. It reflects Google’s ambition to create an operating system that is all but indistinguishable from the browser. Gone will be the normal files, directories, and applications. Instead, Chrome OS will put Google’s cloud computing infrastructure–services and applications delivered over the Internet from its vast array of servers–at the heart of practically everything you do. Within a few years, Chrome OS could become the planet’s simplest, fastest, and safest environment for personal computing. But there’s a catch: it will also make Google the gatekeeper of your personal information. It could let Google delve further into your data to make its online advertising business more profitable than ever.

There is one upside — your “backup” data is located in your computer, so when it craps out the real data still resides on Google’s servers and isn’t lost. That alone might make the Chrome OS attractive to some people.

Also from the link:

Google’s engineers have explained that Chrome OS will use your computer’s hard drive as a cache, making copies of whatever you’re working on so that you won’t burn up your netbook’s wireless data plan (or your batteries). All that personal data will be encrypted, so you won’t need to worry if you happen to lose the machine. And if for some reason your computer gets corrupted–perhaps by a virus–you’ll be able to wipe it and start over without losing any work at all, since your data is stored in the cloud.

December 11, 2009

Now this is something that could be pretty handy

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:14 pm

With a very utile hack, Google’s Chrome OS can be booted into a Windows, Mac or Linux box via a dedicated USB flash drive. A great idea.

From the link:

We’ve all had those moments at an airport waiting room, hotel lobby or coffee shop when we just want to yank out our laptops, hop onto the Web, check our e-mail and get offline. Try that with a Windows notebook and you’re talking about a few minutes to boot up, and maybe even longer to shut down. Your plane could be gone by then.

The solution? Arm yourself with a USB flash drive loaded with Google’s new Chromium OS. Boot your notebook with that when you’re pressed for time and you’ll be on and off the Web in less than a minute each way. Don’t want to boot with Chromium right now? Just remove the USB drive before your next boot-up. Your Windows notebook will forget all about Chromium and boot up normally.

As we reported earlier, a Twitter user Hexxeh has brewed a version of Chromium that boots a Windows, Linux or Mac computer from a USB drive. The latest build requires an empty USB flash drive (installing Chromium will wipe it) with a capacity of as little as 1GB.

November 20, 2009

Google’s Chrome OS is out

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:32 pm

Here’s a quick report from Technology Review. I’m not convinced naming the operating system to match the browser is that great an idea. I see confusion amongst the casual user. I’m guessing that’s what Google is shooting for, but I don’t see any real advantage there. Both products need marketing — marketing to separate groups — to gain any real traction, and I can’t imagine any level of confusion among users is going to help those efforts.

From the link:

Google gave the first demonstration of its Chrome operating system today, at the same time opening the source code to the public. The company highlighted features that have grown out of what vice president of product management Sundar Pichai called “a fundamentally different model of computing.” Unlike other operating systems, which merely incorporate the Internet, Chrome is completely focused on it.

The Chrome OS is based so aggressively on the Internet that devices running it will not even have hard drives, Pichai said, emphasizing that “every app is a Web app.” All data will be stored in the cloud, and every application will be accessed through the Chrome browser. Because of this, he added, users will never have to install software or manage updates on the device.

The user interface closely resembles the Chrome browser. When the user opens applications, they appear as tabbed windows across the top of the screen. Users can stick their favorite applications to the desktop with one click, creating permanent tabs for them.

July 8, 2009

Google to offer netbook OS

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:10 pm

Taking another swipe at Redmond, it’ll be interesting to see if Google tries to port this new OS up to the desktop if the netbook rollout is successful.

From the link:

Google Inc plans to attack Microsoft Corp’s core business by taking on the software giant’s globally dominant Windows operating system for personal computers.Google, which already offers a suite of e-mail, Web and other software products that compete with Microsoft, said on Tuesday it would launch a new operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks.

Microsoft shares fell 1.4 percent to $22.22 in early Nasdaq trade on Wednesday. Google shares rose 1.2 percent to $401.36.

Called the Google Chrome Operating System, the new software will be in netbooks for consumers in the second half of 2010, Google said in a blog post, adding that it was working with multiple manufacturers.

March 10, 2009

Google’s Android on the desktop?

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:53 pm

It may just end up there.

From the link:

It’s not news that Microsoft will get Windows 7 out as fast as possible this year. Vista has been a complete dog, so Microsoft will rush to deliver what is essentially a cleaned-up, lightweight version. What is news is that Google will have its own contender for desktop operating system king: Android.

Android, you ask? What would a Linux-based phone operating system be doing on the desktop? Running it, perhaps. You see, Matthäus Krzykowski and Daniel Hartmann, founders of start-up Mobile-facts, discovered late last year that Android has two product policies in its code. Product policies, they explained, are instructions in an operating system aimed at specific uses. Android’s two policies are phones and MIDs (mobile Internet devices). You probably know MIDs by their more popular name: netbooks.

The light begins to dawn, doesn’t it? But just because a program says it can do a job doesn’t mean it can actually deliver the goods. Recall, for example, just how well Vista ran on “Vista Capable” PCs.

So, Krzykowski and Hartmann decided to see if they could get Android to work on a netbook.

It took them about four hours to compile Android for an Asus’ Eee PC 1000H. Then, they reported on VentureBeat.com, “we got the netbook fully up and running on it, with nearly all of the necessary hardware you’d want — including graphics, sound and wireless card for Internet.” In other words, Android is already a desktop operating system.