Why I’m not excited about Google Chrome OS

Photo Credit: Wired

I read an article this morning on PC Authority called Need to know: Google’s Chrome OS by Zara Baxter

The below quote struck me as kinda funny.

“Why would you buy a Chrome netbook when you could get one with a full OS?

Well, one reason is speed – instant internet, as compared to the minute you might have to wait for a Windows 7 netbook to start up. The second will likely be cost. Given that Chrome runs in the cloud, you don’t need much storage, or hardware, or heavy components.”

Yes ok speed is important today in this rush rush rush world, but come on, doesn’t anyone think that “instant internet, as compared to the minute you might have to wait for a Windows 7 netbook to start up.” is going a little overboard. 1 whole minute, I cant imagine someone having to wait that long. Come on give me a break! Do you need to get onto the internet that fast? Is what your doing so important that you cant wait a minute? What do you do when you have a coffee? Do you complain that the jug takes a couple of minutes to boil as opposed to the Zip instant hot water systems? Do you moan that a DVD might take a couple of seconds to read a disc before playing?

Yes the internet is important but it isn’t the be all and end off of our lives.

“The second will likely be cost. Given that Chrome runs in the cloud, you don’t need much storage, or hardware, or heavy components.” No there wont be much cost, except for the fact it will only run on SSD HDDs, and that’s where the real cost in storage is at the moment, couple of hundred dollars for a decent size drive.

What’s that your saying? but you don’t need much storage? Its all in the cloud! Well yes you do. You have to cache everything locally otherwise your not going to have access to it in the event there is no internet access around for whatever reason. What happens if Google goes down? What happens if Telstra or Optus or iiNet goes down? What if you move house and like me your left without internet access for 2 months? What then?

My final point about having things in the cloud is what its always been when people ask me about the cloud, its the cost! The cost of internet in Australia is not cheap, we have (in some cases ridiculously) low caps on usage, uploads count to our quota!

As I have seen time and time again, normal non-technical people do not understand usage quotas, downloads and uploads. That’s why you always hear of people with high internet or mobile phone bills. How many iPhone users got stung when it first came out cause they just kept using it and not thinking about how much there going to use.

Add into the fact that everything you do is online. You will have a constant back and forth with your service provider just to keep your computer synchronized, add on top of that all your regular surfing and downloading that people do and your going to chew right through that 400MB (that’s right megabyte) $49:95 plan you got from Telstra.

So we have a long way to go before moving to the cloud in Australia, and all Chrome OS is going to do is put a lot of hurt on the unsuspecting casual users out there.


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About Phill McSherry
Phill McSherry has been working in the Australian IT industry for over 20 years and is the technical manager and solutions architect for managed services provider Titan Solutions - www.titansolutions.com.au

One Response to Why I’m not excited about Google Chrome OS

  1. Matt Simmons says:

    The issue is that you’re still thinking of a chrome netbook as being a computer, in the same sense that you called the machines that ran Windows 95 as “a computer”. In that sense, sure, a minute, or half a minute, is still a decent boot time to a usable system.

    What’s the boot time on your calculator, though? Or your telephone? The goal is to make an appliance, not a computer. Technically, my watch is a computer, but it doesn’t need to boot up. It’s there. Why can’t something be like that for web access?

    If you stop thinking of Chrome OS as an OS and start thinking about it as an appliance interface, it becomes very clear what Google is trying to do. Sure, I can upgrade the firmware on my GPS, and it’s a computer in every sense of the word, but it’s always there. Why isn’t the internet?

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