Late yesterday Google announced (or finally admitted) that it had developed an operating system, called Chrome OS, not to be confused, exactly, with the related Chrome browser. Everyone and their grandmother seems to have an opinion about it. Here’s a sampling of the reaction, positive, negative and in-between:
The fans, boosters and generally positive takes:
TechCrunch, BetaNews, Computerworld, Mashable, BuzzMachine, Ars Technica, Bloomberg, ArsTechnica, Google Watch, MediaMemo, Linux-Watch.com, Google Operating System, The Register, TheNextWeb.com, Black Web 2.0, BloggingStocks, Gadget Lab, Computerworld Blogs, ContentBlogger, Lockergnome Blog Network, About Mobility . . .
The critics and skeptics:
The “wait and see” or “he said/she said” pieces:
BBC, TheStreet.com, eWeek, GigaOM, Venture Capital Dispatch, The Microsoft Blog, IntoMobile, Between the Lines, Mercury News, Seattle Times, ReadWriteWeb, TG Daily, Googling Google, New York Times . . .
And now for some verbatims:
This is Google dropping the mother of bombs on its chief rival, Microsoft. It even says as much in the first paragraph of its post, “However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web.” Yeah, who do you think they mean by that? And it’s a genius play.
If Google wants to succeed in its boldest product launch to date, the Chrome OS, the company needs to focus on its success with the same intensity it once dedicated to search. If it doesn’t, Chrome OS will end up just like Chrome: yet another irrelevant skunkworks project used by a handful of digerati and Microsoft-haters and ignored by everyone else.
The privacy implications are, of course, horrendous. And while Google will inevitably dismiss such concerns as paranoid and argue that any data the company might collect at the OS level will be used only to improve its services and benefit users, it should still give us all pause. Because when it is finally launched, Chrome OS will be yet one more deep well of consumer data to which Google will have access
[T]his time the networks are more reliable and users are happier than ever to use networked storage and backup systems, so perhaps Chrome OS has come at just the right time. If so, then Microsoft should be worried. The network computer has been a long time coming, but with Google’s backing it could yet be the platform that finally challenges Redmond.
It appears the top three hardware vendors have little or no relationship with the search and online advertising giant. But if Google plans to make inroads into Netbooks and eventually notebooks, that will have to change very soon. Every consumer desktop and notebook, and most Netbooks today (excluding computers from Apple) is designed to run Windows. Microsoft has deep hooks in the manufacturers’ design and engineering processes, and the hardware companies’ marketing and product launch cycles always take Microsoft’s plans into account.
Microsoft has a number of projects in the works that I’d say are more likely to be competitors to Chrome OS than is Windows 7. The Gazelle OS-in-a-browser project from Microsoft Research is still just a research project and not in incubation or test-release form. But if Microsoft decides it has legs, they could put it on a fast track.
If you want to read Danny’s initial take, here it is.
Postscript: Google has identified some of the companies that it’s working with on the Chrome OS initiative:
The Google Chrome OS team is currently working with a number of technology companies to design and build devices that deliver an extraordinary end user experience. Among others, these companies include: Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments.
Credits to: Greg Sterling