Google’s Chrome OS – the modern Minitel?

But then I started thinking: What if the OS really is completely web-focused? If so, a user wouldn’t need–or be able–to download or install any application, or indeed any file. Instead, you’d just use the browser and run a web application, whether Google Apps, or Picasa Web, or Photoshop.com.???? Thus, downloading malware or viruses would be impossible. (That doesn’t mean the OS couldn’t have security problems, but if you can’t add software to the machine, it gets rid of the most common attacks.)

I like this ‘outside the box’ analysis [1] of Google’s Chrome-OS announcement [2]. Google could well build a MiniTel-like [3] closed world offering with privileged connection to Google offerings, with all personalization maintained online by Google, etc, etc. Certainly there are enough ‘desktop-like’ forebears [4]. And Google has the grunt to pull it off.

Imagine – the Google-term – completely locked down – ‘dumb’ terminal-like. Stateless computing (as in single state) here we come. This ‘is’ the promise of cloud – question is whether the consumer is ready for it yet. (And willing to give up any pretense of data independence from Google. [5])

If I’m right, market readiness could certainly be part of the reason for the 2H 2010 release date – waiting for iPhone and Android to further soften expectations for Windows/OSX style computing experiences.

(1) http://blogs.pcmag.com/miller/2009/07/googles_chrome_os_maybe_not_a.php
(2) http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/introducing-google-chrome-os.html
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minitel
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_client
(5) http://www.pcworld.com/article/168224/

About Michael Harries

Technologist - emerging technologies, machine intelligence, foundational tech - startups and more.
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