GoogleOS Will Save the World!

I heard on the Interwebs through a series of tubes that GoogleOS based on Google Chrome is coming out in 2010! It will not only cause the collapse of Microsoft, but it will solve world hunger, put a man on Mars, get everyone to dress well, fix the economy, give us all universal health care AND look good! Also, it will be awesome.

I am a happy consumer of many a Google service, especially the fine search engine. I’ve been using it since it had a Stanford URL and remember, distinctly, evangelizing it when people went “Google what?” while heading off to Altavista. I have Gmail! I use Google Reader! I sometimes use Google Docs.

But the world is littered with Microsoft Killers. Linux has been THE Microsoft Killer any day now since 1994. I am still waiting. MacOS, which I love unto death, has a tiny market share compare to Windows. Solaris is not a desktop consumer OS despite several incarnations of Solaris on the Desktop.

And lo, yesterday, the Interwebs was rife with the coming of the great Google Messiah. A little digging turns up that it’s not a new operating system at all, it’s just yet another Linux variant that uses Chrome as a window manager designed to run on netbooks because we don’t have enough Linux variants with different window managers yet. Theoretically it will have better security (it will) and privacy (yes) but this is from riding on top of Linux which is naturally more secure and private than Windows. I am positive it will be great for netbooks. (Full disclosure: I have an HP Mini that runs Ubuntu.) It will be a pretty well-designed window manager. Lots of people will love it. It may even push Windows XP out of the default install netbook space, or lower its market share. But this is not going to get “Google to beat Microsoft” and I am not convinced Microsoft even cares about the netbook space.

Reality is a harsh mistress. Android isn’t beating the iPhone or Blackberry, and GoogleOS won’t destroy Microsoft in some David vs. Goliath — or, to the point, Goliath vs. Goliath — technical showdown.

So huzzah for another Linux distro! May it be like all the rest.

There was a nice rant at Naked Capitalism that is very much worth a read.

  • What confooses me most is the now-nagging relationship between Android and Chrome.

    I’ve heard the party line: “Android is for phones, Chrome is for netbooks.”

    But frankly, I expect a good deal of convergence between these two appliances. Phones will get more sophisticated; netbooks will need to “scale down” to continually hit price point sweet spots. There are already reports of Android running on netbooks.

    So, then, why two OS’s, when one will do?

    Or, are these two actually one, kept apart by branding and marketing?

  • My understanding is that AndroidOS is designed specifically for cellphone architecture on certain chips and ChromeOS is a Linux variant designed to run regular general applications.