Practical Technology

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Go Google Chrome OS! Just don’t go too fast, too far


I love the idea of Linux-based Google Chrome OS becoming a desktop operating system force. For too long, Microsoft has held desktop users hostage with a market shared they gained from an illegal monopoly, and which they now are trying to hold on to by strong-arming PC vendors into not using Linux on their netbooks.

For a lot of reasons, which I go into another tale on Chrome OS, I think Google might be able to do what so many others, like Apple, Novell, and Red Hat, have failed to do: disrupt Microsoft’s iron-grip on the desktop.

I know some people can’t see it. They look, as have I, at the trouble that you can get into running anything that requires a constant and fast network connection. I’ve been looking closer at HTML 5 and its inherent local storage and processing abilities. I’ve also been taking a long hard look at what you can do with Google Gears. Put them together, which is exactly what Google will be doing in Chrome OS, and you have a platform that’s going to work pretty darn well for users whether they’re online or not.

So, this is all good news right? The Linux desktop finally gets a champion that everyone already knows and trusts. Users who might be puzzled by KDE or GNOME will already know how to use Chrome’s OS’ familiar Web browser interface. And, they’ll also have no learning curve to speak of to pick up Google’s well-known-and no longer beta!–applications. Put it all together with its free price-tag, and Microsoft should be worried sick.

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