Google ‘Beggar’ Debuts New DOA Project – Chrome OS

Google’s VP of Product Management Sundar Pichai (pichai is a Tamil word meaning to beg) extends his marketshare/mindshare begging bowl again with yet another DOA project – Chrome OS, an operating system targeted initially at netbooks and over time at the larger desktops as well.

Netbooks are small form-factor DVD-less laptops with superior battery-life and are targeted primarily for light use applications such as browsing, e-mail and blogging although given the Windows XP OS on many of these widgets they can be used for other purposes as well.

In a blog post last night, Pichai and a co-worker describe Google Chrome OS as an open source, lightweight operating system with a Linux kernel.

Google plans to open-source the Chrome OS code later this year and netbooks running the new operating system are supposed to be available from multiple companies. Target date – second half of 2010.

Pichai et al write in their post:

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds.

Chrome OS is being designed to run on both x86 on ARM processors. Expect Chrome OS to run within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel.

Google’s promising all web-based applications will automatically work on Chrome OS and new applications can be written using popular web technologies.

Interestingly, Google’s Android OS used in some mobile phones from carriers like T-Mobile, is also targeted at netbooks. Go figure this confusion.

What We Think
Chrome OS is not going to go anywhere.

Windows XP is the OS currently preferred for netbooks from vendors like Asus and Acer and by most consumers.

Unlike Windows Vista, the older Windows XP is a more robust, stable, tested and less-resource hungry operating system.

Of course,Windows XP also has another big advantage in the gazillion applications written for it.

Say what you will but Linux has not found favor with consumers at all. Zilch on both the desktop and laptop. If you think Windows is bad, Linux in its current state is infinitely worse for consumers with driver issues and non-availability of popular applications on this open source OS.

We’d be surprised if even 0.01% of consumers run Linux as their principal OS on desktops or laptops.

Unlike Google’s search engine, Gmail or AdWords, which served a need for better quality, more storage and text ads linked to search terms respectively, Chrome OS like some of Google’s recent products like Android or the Chrome browser have no compelling advantage over the competition leading consumers to show them the middle finger.

Most likely, these duds were launched because some Google pichakaran couldn’t think of a better product or just to needle Microsoft in a psychological battle.

Remember, before the marketshare battle can be won the mindshare battle has to be won.

Mandate to Release Duds
Back to Sundar Pichai.

It seems Google’s resident pichakaran has a mandate to launch at least one dud product a year.

Last year, it was the Chrome browser, which is struggling with a 1.7% marketshare (source: Netapplications/Wiki) against the popular Firefox and Microsoft’s IE browsers.

This year it’s the Chrome OS.

Wonder what dud this Google pichakaran has in store for us in 2010?

25 Responses to "Google ‘Beggar’ Debuts New DOA Project – Chrome OS"

  1. raghu   July 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Linux is a real threat. At least it wiped out all the other Unix flavours.

    Will take couple of years to hit the XP. Responds:

    Linux is a threat to MSFT and other Unix flavors primarily on the server side. We all saw what happened to the shitty Silicon Valley company Sun.

    It’s going to take way longer than couple of years to make headway on consumer desktops/netbooks/laptops.

  2. Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar   July 8, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    First things first, Microsoft is going to stop licensing XP in a couple of years. Why? Because its 8 years old and they need to make more money.
    The principal problems of linux systems right now are hardware support and user-friendliness. The first one is hardly the fault of linux since most vendors who take their cue from MS just refuse to support it or in some cases even sabotaging its own use in any other OS. Still drivers are available for all the common/popular pieces of hardware. Its just about the extremely rare you have to be careful and a lot of vendors have started supporting linux too. Contrary to what you think, lot of popular windows apps are either available as unix makes or can be used via emulators like wine or Cross-over. Besides, if you take a couple of days to study, there are innumerable apps available on linux for virtually every use. Responds:

    Licensing and support are not set in stone and depend on whether MSFT can squeeze more money out of consumers.

    Since MSFT could make money on it, they extended sales of Win XP, which should have expired by now.

    Microsoft will provide support for Windows XP through 8 April 2014 (Source: Microsoft Support Life Cycle Blog).

    Emulators tend to slow down the performance.

  3. Aswin_Kini   July 8, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Linux is not as user-friendly as Windows XP, at least for new users like me who took days to figure out how to access basic applications, customize settings etc. Maybe I am wrong as I have not explored Linux deeply. BUt I can easily say that if Linux nourishes any hopes of replacing Windows as the primary OS, then it has to revamp its Graphical User Interface, implement compatibility with all applications that run smoothly on windows and more importantly, make the user rely mainly on GUI (Graphical User INterface)and not the pesky CLI (Command Line Interface) which normal users hate!

    But if you need a secure OS which cannot be penetrated by everyday malware, spyware, and viruses, you can bet on your free FEDORA versions of Linux OS anytime. In terms of security, Linux is miles ahead of Windows. But the only problem being that I need to have a list of commands at my workstation to figure out how to work with the OS!!!!!
    By the way, can anybody tell me how to run exe’s in Linux, is there any equivalent program in Linux??? Responds:

    This ‘Windows security nightmare’ issue is a bit of a fallacy. Hackers and malware writers focus on attacking Windows and not Mac OS, Unix or Linux because majority of the systems run Windows. It’s maximum impact they want.

    Let Linux or Mac OS gain 30% of Windows share, we’ll see what happens on the security front then.

  4. SRINIVAS   July 9, 2009 at 1:29 am

    consumer need which is latent OR not fulfilled or probably a product which is far superior than the existing one is what will capture mindshare and marketshare and also probably win / sustain in the long run ….

    Windows was a revolutionary product compared to a OS like MS-DOS ……result is there for all to see

    Now Microsoft Bing has nothing much to offer compared to Google …does not look like it will do that well …even though its too early to say

    Linux OS loaded PC’s are cheap compared to Windows ….but a consumer either buys a windows PC or the first thing he does after buying a Linux PC is to load a pirated version of Windows ..

    Problem with open source software’s is that nobody takes ownership …people dont modify it ….they screw it up …the only driving factor is that …..its free

    they all are united by the fact that they dont like bill gates / microsoft ….unlike Microsoft which is driven by consumer needs … that cannot be a reason enough for all to use such products ….

    Make a Product which is much much better than Microsoft and people will buy it … Responds:

    1. Agree with your points.

    2. With BING, MSFT is trying to buy marketshare through heavy advertising and gimmicks like cashback.

    3. Linux for consumers is not even down the road.

    4. Leaders of the IT industry here (Larry Ellison, Scott McNealy et al) were driven more by envy of Bill Gates’ success and less by consumer needs.

  5. deepa   July 9, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Plus Linux is still not compatible to other softwares esp if you are into games, you can’t play them with Linux OS Responds:

    One more point against Linux on consumer desktops, if true (we’re not into PC games except chess).

  6. shadowfax_arbit   July 9, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Well Google can never enter into OS. And agree most of their latest stuff are screwd up. But I pity Chrome browser for throwing off ideas which lead to IE 8 and FF 3.5 which are much better than Chrome.

    And yeah, I’ve been using Windows 7. It is much better than Vista, anything is better than Vista for that matter. It is fast and looks pretty much like KDE and pleasing to eyes unlike Vista. Not sure if it will start crawling once I install more apps. Responds:

    1. What hardware do you use?

    Here, dual-core is the norm on consumer desktops, some have quad-core processors.

    RAM-wise, 2GB is standard here, some have 3GB and more.

    2. Haven’t tried Windows 7 beta.

    Wary of betas and installing OS.

    The last time we tried creating a partition on an old Win XP Media Center Edition OS-based PC to install Linux, it screwed up the system. We had to do a system restore on the PC and reinstall the apps like Norton, Webroot et al.

  7. shadowfax_arbit   July 9, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Some of the OpenGL games you can play in Linux. I play quake in Suse, it is same like windows. Responds:

    Back in the old days (i.e. when CompUSA was still around), we used to see a few Linux OS boxes for consumers priced around $25-$35 from different vendors.

    Unfortunately, we never purchased any.

    Other than Xandros is there anyone else still selling AND supporting Linux desktop OS ($100 for Xandros…too expensive) directly to consumers?

    SuSE is now owned by Novell,. which means it ain’t going anywhere given Novell’s performance over the last decade.

    Now CompUSA is also closed.

    But wait, Amazon has Ubuntu 8.10 for $13. Might buy it one of these days.

  8. Albert Camus   July 9, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Why buy Ubuntu when you can download it for free?

    I have a copy, but I haven’t installed it.. too lazy. Maybe I should invite 1/2 doctor to configure a dual boot or whatever it is called on my Vista PC.

    I also have downloaded the Oracle Enterprise Linux.. which is again free. Responds:

    Maybe if you pay, you get a higher level of support plus the convenience of the CD install for neophytes.

  9. Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar   July 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Yes, you can run software made for Windows on linux using WINE. Technically and literally (@SI too) Wine Is Not an Emulator (recursive acronym). The makers of wine have worked to write the windows dll (dynamic link libraries) which are function calls that the OS makes. To make it simpler, OSes are nothing but a set of codes that software makers generally use. So if I wanted to write a game, instead of starting from telling the computer how to draw, I could just ask it to draw a line using these Dlls. Hope its clear. Emulators on the other hand TRANSLATE the function calls made by an OS (Windows) into the one used by Linux. Wine is AS FAST AS Windows for the same reason, it may require slightly more RAM though. Almost all popular games are supported by wine, u can get the full list from its site. Its free(which, ofcourse makes it worthless to some here, I am sure). If you have a legal copy of windows you can make it so such that wine use the dlls in it instead of its own which may not be complete yet. Responds:

    For some reason, we always thought running an application natively was less resource intensive.

  10. Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar   July 9, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Free software was there long before BG or MS. And the reason most of them hate MS is because MS hates them. You should read more about the history between them. Have you used Linux?
    @Albert Camus
    If you have the latest version you can install it from Windows(no partioning-no configuring) ‘like a game’.
    Seriously, its time you tried linux. Don’t hang on to the mistake you made years ago. Try Linux Mint. It won’t take you 10 minutes to download and its free. There is no excure for not trying. Responds:

    We will buy some cheap hardware on Craigslist and turn it into a Linux box one of these days.

  11. Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar   July 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Windows have more crackers aiming at it. True but your reason is not quite there. It is so because Windows is less secure. There are independent third party benchmarks to analyse security risks. Please try reading about them. Responds:

    Both reasons may apply – Windows is intrinsically less secure and the whackos go after it because of the WMD possibilities. None of the other OS is a WMD.

  12. Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar   July 9, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Incase you don’t believe me.. Firefox must have a double digit market share among browsers (not sure about the value), still it doesn’t have as many problems from crackers as IE. Responds:

    Firefox has 22.5% market share.

    Source: NetApplications/Wiki.

  13. shadowfax_arbit   July 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    2 GB RAM has become standard here also through quad-core processors are rare. I have Core 2 duo, 2 GB RAM Lenovo T400. Vista sucks in my comp. I reinstalled XP and running Win 7 RC version in dual boot. Responds:


    Our cheap Acer desktop has 3GB RAM and a low-end Sempron dual-core processor and Vista Home Premium runs OK on this hardware. But we don’t do anything other than blog or watch YouTube on that.

    Our system may not be suitable for gamers or other resource intensive apps like Photoshop (??) et al.

  14. nakul   July 9, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    i wanna install ubundu in my windows partition. lil scared.

  15. Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar   July 9, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    @SI: If you pay you get a higher level of support.
    Customer:Hello, my computer isn’t working. It just shows a blue screen all the time.
    Sup.Staff:Have u tried restarting it?
    C(irritated):Of course, I have. U think I’m an idiot(?).
    SS: I’m sorry, was that a question? Have you tried booting it again?
    C:What? Where excatly do you want me to ‘boot’ it?
    SS: Sir, do you happen to have any eye problems?
    C: Why, infact I do. I happen to have a rare congenital.. NO I DON’T, YOU IDIOT.
    SS: Which OS are you using?
    C: The one that came with it.
    SS: And that would be…
    C: It would be the one THAT CAME WITH IT.
    SS: Which is…?
    C: The one with the windows. Yup, thats it, Windows.
    SS: Oh I see (pause).
    C: You do? [cut]
    C: Why that blitherin son of a.. Responds:

    This response is from the MSFT perspective.

    To be fair to MSFT, their OSes have reached a level of stability and backward compatibility adequate for most people.

    A system can fail/slowdown for various reasons – both software and hardware.

    Besides application issues and malware, hardware failures like video cards, harddisk (we’ve had at least four harddrives go bad), RAM and motherboard issues are also culpable for making the system slow/unusable.

    When you have a gazillion lines of code in your OS and must ensure backward compatibility for tons of legacy application, there has to be some compromise.

    The market has spoken clearly and said it’s willing to accept the compromises.

  16. nakul   July 9, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar, need appl like c++ & vmwhere for ubundu ? do they come with the CD ? Responds:

    VMware (correct spelling) is mainly for medium and large businesses and targets greater resource utilization as one of its key objectives through virtualization.

  17. nakul   July 9, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    correct SI.
    u r a wise woman. Responds:


  18. Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar   July 9, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Most people don’t care what OS they are using and some don’t even know what an OS is. Windows come pre-installed on most boxes so the consumer hardly has a choice. The Windows market share is therefore like the IE market share-made possible not because of superior product but mostly ignorance and misconceptions. This is not entirely the customers fault too. It doesn’t help that MSFT has paid PR people executing FUD (Fear, Uncertainity, Doubt) attacks on unsuspecting people and all people like me can do is watch. Think about it, I’m not paid to do this. Nobody except you gain when you use free software.
    “gazillion lines of code”
    Did you know there was a time when software was considered a service rather than a product? It isn’t a car, where for each car you need the same work to be put in as the next. To copy software you just need a few clicks.
    Backward compatibility:Three words: Vista and XP
    Stability: Its way better now. Those who started with DOS or Win95, like me, would know how it was. BSoD anyone? Still not anywhere near as linux though. I go weeks without rebooting (using hibernate) and its fine. You don’t need to restart after you change the wallpaper only when you make deep changes to the kernel, that is when you update every 6 months or so. And it almost never crashes. It crashes only when you screw it up and that too you would have to try really hard at it. Linux is backward compatible. It goes one step further. It has usually some forward compatibility too as it uses standard file formats. This prevents vendor-lock-in too. Responds:

    1. Again in the interest of objectivity we must point out that the BSoD is seldom encountered on Win XP or even Windows Vista these days. We do have some issues with one of our Win XP Media Center Edition PCs but not the regular Win XP machines with SP 2 or SP 3 (can’t remember which one now).

    The issues these days are mostly security and greater resources required by the Microsoft OSes in terms of more memory and preferably faster processors.

    2. FUD is a business strategy not proprietary to MSFT alone in the IT industry. So competitors must factor that in their product response.

  19. Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar   July 9, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Are you saying just because other people do it, its okay if MSFT does it?
    I said BSoD was past. “Its way better now”. Still if you haven’t used any other OS you can’t really appreciate what I am saying. Responds:

    We’re saying FUD is standard business practice in the IT industry.

  20. Albert Camus   July 9, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    1/2 doctor.. you started with DOS? How old are you? Responds via iPhone:

    DOS – even we hardly used it.

    Waiting for Bruno to start.

  21. Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar   July 9, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Usually, all basic linux installs have compilers for C and Python. If not, you can install it using Synaptic-needs a working Internet connection.
    VMWare is proprietary(I think) so you need to buy it.

    And when you refer to SI, its customary to use gender neutral pronouns(you, we, it) or the proper noun “SI”, “SearchIndia” or when you are feeling closer the common nouns “Macha/Machi” or “Machambi”. nouns “Macha”, “Ambi”(just when you are feeling closer though). Responds:

    VMware is now owned by EMC.

  22. Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar   July 10, 2009 at 1:16 am

    Yup, they caught me pretty young. Its illegal for me to marry here, lets leave it at that.

  23. nakul   July 10, 2009 at 1:59 am

    i got some vmware from not sure they gonna work at my laptAp.

  24. SRINIVAS   July 10, 2009 at 4:39 am

    Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar –

    Firefox is a good browser compared to IE and I use Firefox ….but again …two things …IE is a free browser with windows ..not OS …

    all said and done ….Firefox is not compatible with many video formats …….then I have to go back to IE to play them …now I have been waiting for the last two years for Mozilla to come up with Plugins …..but they have not …..therein lies the difference …….unlike Microsoft …which is relatively fast in its response to consumer needs

    Also Microsoft by its new features actually creates many needs …Others are busy cloning Microsoft products and trying to match them ….

    Take ….its very good , but does it offer something which MS-OFfice does not offer??? …that’s the point ….For somebody …. who wants a quality product and is wiling to pay …MS-Office is actually the only one available in the market …

    On the other hand MS has not been successful in many cases ….its the failure of Microsoft OS systems that it does not have a strong inbuilt Defender which can protect against viruses … you have Norton / AVG etc capturing that market …..Considering that OS is windows ….they should have come up with a better antivirus software …but they have not been able to..Kaspersky is the best as on date …

  25. Dr.UnkHaf D. Aktar   July 10, 2009 at 10:33 am

    The internet is the place from where most computers are infected and an Internet browser is the only thing that stands between your computer and the web. Most crackers use faults in the browser to get control of your computer. Besides, I was demonstrating how Free software can be at par with proprietary in popularity and be safe.
    Firefox has 1000s of Free plugins and theme. Probably 10 times more than IE. The problem you mentioned with videos affects some web pages too. But its not the fault of Firefox as those sites do not use standard formats.
    Microsoft expands its business by acquisitions. IE was Spyglass. Usually, its nothing like you said, tabbed browsing came in IE8. I started tabbed browsing 4 years before that using Firefox. OpenOffice has everything MS Office has to offer (like you said) and it doesn’t cost $200, you don’t have to fear restrictive licenses or vendor lock-in.
    I really don’t know anything about anti-virus apps, there is only one anti-virus app in linux and its used to detect viruses in Windows boxes connected to the network. I rest my case.

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