The announcement of Google's Chromebooks is sure to be raising some eyebrows around the Microsoft campus today, but Google co-founder Sergey Brin wasn't looking to slam the work that the folks in Redmond are doing.
During a press conference after the opening keynote at the Google I/O developer's conference this morning, Brin answered questions about the competition with Microsoft. "I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with Windows," he said. "Windows 7 has some great security features."
This isn't about the hardware and software, though. It's the model, he said. The Windows model is complex and, when things get more complex, security has the potential to be compromised. Brin said:
The complexity of managing computers is torturing. It's a flawed model fundamentally. Chromebooks are a new model. It doesn't put the burden of managing your computer yourself. Companies that don't use (the Google) model won't be successful.
He also defended the Google model when asked about the putting trust in Google with this model. He said:
This model doesn't say just trust Google. You are trusting Chrome and Chrome OS to protect you against malicious things. Beyond that, you're using cloud based services. You can go to any web site out there. This (Google) team's job is to make sure those sites can't do malicious things to you. It has great functionality. You can go to Bing Web search if you want, Yahoo, any of our competitors. They don't work any differently.
Finally, the team was questioned about the price of the new Chromebooks and why they were "so expensive." He countered that a notebook that starts at $349 is still a good value. In a quick poll he conducted with the attendees, only one person in the room had a notebook in front of him that cost less than $500. A few more hands went up when asked who spent less than $1,000. But when he asked who spent more than $1,000, many more hands went up.
Apparently, many of us are Mac users.