Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Cognitive Computing , Adobe Flex, Machine Learning , Agile Computing, Release Management

Cognitive Computing : Blog Post

Google OS - A Cynical View

Will Google succeed with the new OS in 2010?

If you didn’t hear that Google has announced that in 2010 consumers will have a chance to enjoy new Chrome-based OS, stop reading and do you homework first.

Done? Now we can move on, and let’s do it by the rules – positive things first, then some bile followed by a happy end.

I really like Google. They produce easy to use applications that work great. I use their search engine about a hundred times a day. Their applications make sense.

Nine months ago they released a Web browser called Chrome, and I liked it. Back than I suggested that in a year Chrome will bite off a decent chunk of the Web browser's market. (see  http://yakovfain.javadevelopersjournal.com/i_like_google_chrome.htm).

I was wrong. They’ve bitten a really small piece of the browser’s pie. For lots of companies 3% of any market would be like money from home, but for Google it’s a failure. Now they say that 30M people downloaded this browser. Not too much assuming that there are like 700M computers connected to the internet worldwide. Do you math. I was one of these 30M downloaders. But I don’t use it. Still waiting for some compelling reason to abandon FireFox 3.5.

Now let’s consider a lot more complicated than a Web browser software - the OS. Wall Street commercials often include the following phrase, “Past performance is no guarantee of the future results”. But in case of the Chrome-based OS we haven’t seen even the “past performance” so only a miracle can lead to the promised “future results” a year from now.

Many people are quick to blame Microsoft Windows for anything and everything. Have you ever heard something like “MAC OS is cool. Widows is a piece of junk”?  As a matter of fact, I’m typing this article using MS Word installed on my MacBook Pro. BTW, the MAC OS version of MS Word has a lot of room for improvement, but it’s besides the point here.  
But let’s not blame old and out of style Windows too fast. Keep in mind that every Windows OS had to work on a HUGE variety of hardware produced by a plethora of vendors. Their life was never as easy as Apple’s who created one computer and one OS to this computer. Feel the difference? To the best of my knowledge, Google haven’t created their own computer yet (Google phone doesn’t count), but they are planning to enter a Wild West of netbook PCs.  Will their OS work only on some models? When will the drivers to my Cannon printer and Fujitsu scanner work with Google OS?

What about MS Office for those stubborn millions of corporate users that don’t want to switch to Google’s online word processors and spreadsheets? The business users are pretty comfy with coding their little formulas in MS Excel. It took them YEARS to master these what-if scenarios and total/subtotal functionality in their tiny under-the-table reports they’re proud of.

For a company with 10000 employees saving $45 on each OS license translates into a substantial sum of money.  But why 15+ year old Linux still didn’t make it into a consumer’s market? Agree the first 10 years Linux distributions didn’t have an intuitive GUI. But now there are several flavors of Linux with a decent UI. It’s also free and open source. A handful of geeks enjoy every minute they spend in Linux, but for those Excel users it’s a completely different universe that they don’t care about.

Sure enough, Google will come up with an intuitive UI,  but that little kid will never switch to a Google OS computer if his Street Fighter won’t work there. Will Adobe rush to develop the Google OS version of Photoshop by the end of 2008? I don’t think so.

Speaking of the Google OS open source announcement that is embraced by everyone who see nothing but the word “free” in it…I read it a little differently – Google doesn’t want to commit substantial human resources for this serious undertaking and is betting on kids-enthusiasts who will contribute the new features and patches to the source control repository.

Am I’m painting the picture with unnecessary dark colors?

OK, here’s a couple of positive sprinkles.

1. I do believe that Google will be able to create installable small kernel that will include only the networking and I/O modules absolutely required to quicly start the netbook and connect to the Internet. Google OS will pull the rest of its required modules later, over the wire in the background while the user is still thinking, “Why did I open even the netbook now?” or on as-needed basis. Remember how Baron Munchhausen have used his own bootstrap to pull himself out of a lake by his own hair? If Baron Munchausen could do it, Google can do it too.

2. Google can use their super-duper advertising machine to promote their new toy. To give you a perspective, Microsoft is spending for marketing of their new search engine Bing a sum that, as Ballmer put it is "big enough that I had to gulp when I approved it. "  And Bullmer doesn’t gulp seeing anything less than $1B. 
If Linux had access to such marketing machine, they’d bee in a much better shape now.

Having said all that, I’ll stick to my general approach, “The more the merrier”, and I wholeheartedly wish Google to pull it off if not in 2010 then by 2012 or even by 2015.

Go Google, Go!

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Alessandro Ronchi 07/17/09 05:59:00 AM EDT

Hi Yakov,
I don't think you are cynical. You are realistic.

But let me put on the table a couple of considerations:

1) Actually there is a Linux distribution that is used and appreciated by several desktop users. It's MacOS X, isn't it? Ok, to be honest it's not a canonical Linux distribution but after all it's Unix.

2) I don't think Google aims at developing an operating system for traditional users. Maybe they want to offer an alternative choice for netbooks, nettops, mediabox and all emerging kind of computing machines whose purpose is not mere office automation.

My bests,
Alessandro Ronchi

Bruce Boyes 07/16/09 07:11:00 PM EDT

Ha! I really love your analysis and sense of humor. Thanks for a fun read! You hit the nail on the head: I'm eager to see how Android holds up on more devices. It would seem Google would have to create something like the Java JCP process to make a standard way to add new packages in a sane fashion. It's ironic that Sun isn't on the Android scene. There must be a reason the former head of Java development at Sun (Mr Schmidt) chose not to license the Sun Java for the Google smartphone. Is there an interesting story there?

How will Google support needed add-ons dept: when will we see Adobe Flash for Android? At the moment it can't watch movies at hulu, for example. Flash was promised back in 2008! Speed bumps like this on Android will likely be bigger on a more complex framework like ChromeOS?

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.