Friday, July 10, 2009

Google OS ?

Google is developing a new OS for netbooks. The OS seems to be an extension of Google's Chrome browser. Being an owner of a netbook myself, I think that this idea is pretty great.

When I use my netbook, the primary function is to surf the net. Now, nothing major is lost if the core functionality of the OS is centered mainly on the browser. On the contrary, if one trims the superfluous elements of an OS , one might be better off; faster boot times (an instant-on, if possible), better battery life, a more net-centric user experience. It's a great idea.

Truth to be told, the browser, coupled with the power of the internet, can be said to duplicate many of the most-used functions of a netbook. Music? Just upload your entire song library online and stream. Games? Flash-based games come to mind. Internet messenging? Web-based interfaces exist; it is not difficult to integrate this function into the browser too.

One major omission is noted; that of productivity software, though it may turn out to be a moot point. Word processing is a function that is most essential, but it also the easiest to duplicate on a browser; even as I type this post on Blogger, I can't help but note that the Blogger interface allows for a good number of features found on word processors. Presentation software may be a bigger hurdle to overcome.

Of course, one can't realistically imagine the new Google OS to be entirely internet based. However, I can imagine various add-ons, downloadable from the internet, to fill in the gap. One of the greatest boons of Firefox is the ability to add almost any functionality via add-ons; we can only imagine the same with any future Google OS.


Jackson Tan said...

There's Google Docs to handle "office" needs. It still needs some polishing up, in my opinion, but at the rate Google is developing software, it's probably gonna be spanking good when the OS comes out.

But music might be a problem; an online library may encounter copyright issues.

In any case, while Google OS may seem to be an ideal platform for a netbook, it kinda baffles me why Linux is never adopted at a wider scale. It does fulfill many features such as speed and security, not to mention that it's free. Perhaps it's all about brand name...

The Negative Man said...

Hmm I think you're right. I ought to find time to install it on my netbook; it should perform better. I'll have to revert to using Dev C++ from Visual C++ though.

nathanielK said...

There's always vim :)

I run Linux on my netbook and agree, it might as well be a net OS since one can trim the install down to the utter minimum and use a minimal window manager.

My issue with Chrome OS is pure connectivity; while I'm in my home and Google is alive and well it sounds great. Otherwise, I'm at the mercy of available wifi and potential economic collapse (the former being the more common worry :) when I just want to listen to some music or write some code...