Google announces Chrome OS tech partners ... The threat to Microsoft (and Linux as a whole) grows

Google announces Chrome OS tech partners ... The threat to Microsoft (and Linux as a whole) grows

Summary: It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that there's a good chance of anything that Google announces either never seeing light of day, remaining stuck in beta stage forever or languishing until someone puts it out of its misery and pulls the plug on it. This is what many made of the Chrome OS announcement the other day. But now that Google has announced a string of tech partners, the whole project has acquired that "real" feel. And it now also has a chance of developing into something that could threaten Microsoft's OS dominance, especially at the lower end of the price/performance spectrum.

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It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that there's a good chance of anything that Google announces either never seeing light of day, remaining stuck in beta stage forever or languishing until someone puts it out of its misery and pulls the plug on it. This is what many made of the Chrome OS announcement the other day. But now that Google has announced a string of tech partners, the whole project has acquired that "real" feel. And it now also has a chance of developing into something that could threaten Microsoft's OS dominance, especially at the lower end of the price/performance spectrum.

The list of tech partners is pretty impressive, as announced on the official Chrome blog:

What companies is Google working with to support Google Chrome OS? The Google Chrome OS team is currently working with a number of technology companies to design and build devices that deliver an extraordinary end user experience. Among others, these companies include Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba.

Notice a big name missing from the list? Yes, that's right, Dell.

This announcement is a clear signal that Google is serious about Chrome OS. And why not. After all, since it's build on the Linux kernel, so rolling out a distro shouldn't be that hard for a company like Google.

The other day I called Chrome OS a game changer, and I still stand by that. Not only will it drive innovation, it will put pressure on Windows OS prices on netbooks and possibly notebooks. In Chrome OS succeeds in capturing a decent market share, we're going to see some serious innovation and price restructuring. I'm also guessing that Google will have to wade in and improve hardware and software compatibility.

But it's also a game changer for other reasons. If Chrome OS does catch the imagination of users, then there's a risk that it'll push other Linux distros into obscurity (speaking in a general sense). The flipside is that if Google can't make Linux work in the mass market, then maybe no one can. I'm not suggesting that this is make-or-break for Linux, but it is certainly significant.

As I said, it's a game changer.

Topics: Mobility, Google, Linux, Microsoft, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

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  • Good there's no Dell

    Dell = Junk so it's good Google is going with
    solid partners.

    itguy08
  • RE: Google announces Chrome OS tech partners ... The threat to Microsoft (and Linux as a whole) grows

    Wait, what threat? Google Chrome OS will pose absolutely not threat to Microsoft despite the list of partners. Its based on linux and that alone will tell you its going to be a complete failure. People will ask, "Can it run my current apps? No? Good bye!" Not to mention that Google is no longer a trusted brand name due its lack of respect for privacy.
    Loverock Davidson
    • of course

      "Can it run my current apps?"
      What apps are you running? What are the features your users require in each of the applications order to do their job? Are you planning to upgrade the applications or are the support or license renewals soon to expire?

      It may be that, even if many specialized users at this time can't be moved to Chrome or Linux, some companies could do so for admin or front line staff or back office processing. With a single image locked and stripped down image, support is becoming less of an issue as many entry level techs can support Linux.

      Your oversimplification would have kept many from considering an upgrade to a new Windows platform as well if their older apps would not be supported. If an upgrade to the newest Windows OS meant upgrades to newest Apps in order to be supported, then companies would be saying No to XP/Vista/7 in your over simplified scenario.

      As to the "Its based on linux and that alone will tell you its going to be a complete failure. " You have never substantiated that with anything concrete so I don't expect you to do so now.

      Viva la crank dodo
      • Upgrades

        Upgrades are different as Microsoft Windows makes every effort available to keep with compatibility. However with any linux based distro the compatibility is gone and requires recompiling of the application.

        Also it wouldn't make sense to incorporate a Chrome OS or linux netbook into the company as that would be one extra thing to support. What companies and enterprises are looking for is one vendor to provide them with everything and then establish a corporate standard. No company would use their current set up then try to introduce anything from Google with it as that would be that much more to support. It's just not going to happen.
        Loverock Davidson
        • I can't tell...

          Have you used Linux, or are you really so ignorant as to not be able to use the update manager/synaptic package manager/ etc ?

          I keep reading your posts about Linux, and one of those things HAS to be true.
          Michael Alan Goff
          • Of course he has used Linux

            but it was fresh off Linus first compile (based on the out of date and addressed complaints he has)
            Viva la crank dodo
          • I'll make it easy for you

            I have used linux, that is how I know it has so many problems and why people won't use Chrome OS.
            Loverock Davidson
          • Please make it harder

            I like specifics.
            Viva la crank dodo
          • When...

            When did you use it, and could you state some issues with it that are actual consistant issues with it at this time. This list should not include the word compile, DVD, or command-line.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Ill handle this one for you Loverock

            Andrew Tanenbaum said and proved without a doubt Linux is obsolete as recent as 1992

            Linus himself admitted that it is not portable and "it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks" (his initial email asking for support)

            It does not have a graphical user interface (sorry, I know that this is a variant on the command-line but I think that this bares mentioning)

            As SCO pointed out, Linux has so much of their code, and if this ever goes to court, this will be the death of LINUX. IBM will be so sorry that it ever worked with LINUX and SCO will end up owning them. Just look at Maureen O'Gara's articles for indisputable proof.

            And look at all the problems users are having with Linux at http://kerneltrap.org/mailarchive/linux-activists. Almost 40000 posts of linux issues in 92/93 alone. Do you think much could have changed in only 17 years?
            Viva la crank dodo
          • @ Viva

            -Do you think much could have changed in only
            17
            years?-

            Yes, yes I do. Going by the standards of 92/93
            is completely idiotic, considering the fact
            that back then there were a LOT of differences.
            Hell, windows back then wasn't even as refined
            as it is now. Go ahead, tell me that Windows NT
            3.1 works as good as windows XP/Vista/7. Tell
            me that you would use NT 3.1 instead of either
            of them, and that IT is the standard for which
            to compare any Windows OS to.

            -It does not have a graphical user interface-

            Wrong, it actually does. Please bother to use a
            more current version before you post, it will
            stop you from looking like an idiot.

            From what I can tell, you have the same issue
            as the Loverock. Neither of you seem to have
            any clue about the state of Linux, as it is
            today, and instead rely on the fears of what
            was in the 1990's. The evidence
            that you showed me was seventeen years old, and
            you're kidding yourself if you think that is
            even relevant.

            The point is this: Linux works. It has a GUI.
            It can do everything the basic user needs it to
            do. It has no need for the command line, and it
            can do the things that Loverock has denied it
            being able to do. It is not perfect, however,
            as no OS is. But it works for the average user
            if they bothered to not try to run it like
            another version of Windows.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Hey

            I was only answering for him not for me and was trying to give as Loverock an answer as I could, with the exception that I provided clearly when the problems existed.

            I love linux though I have nothing against windows (though I have had my share of problems; XP has worked pretty good; Vista terrible)



            Viva la crank dodo
          • Ah...

            my bad, then...

            Still I would rather he come back here so that he
            can learn something that isn't from the 1990's.
            ^_^
            Michael Alan Goff
          • I hear ya

            But he is easily scared off when asked for evidence to substantiate his claims. He prefers to drop his satire and move on.
            Viva la crank dodo
        • Interesting

          There are always application issues when the newest versions of WIndows comes out. Remember, many of the specialist applications which companies depend on are not Windows application with the primary exception of Exchange. If a company does move to linux, in most cases they will standardize on a distro, and usually one of the more known ones. Compilation of some apps may be necessary depending on the company, but for most integrators, this is not that big of a problem.

          As for "one vendor" you must be working with different companies than I work with. It makes sense for a small business that only has break/fix/install contracted out to a small contractor. Few of the companies I work with, at least in the SME/SMB, or that I worked with in the enterprise in previous positions, actually do this as MS does not supply their primary apps. I'm not trying to say that all these companies use linux on the desktop as that is no where close to the truth. What I am saying is that more and more are considering it a valid option as Linux continues to grow and there are more robust integration options. This is just my experience and opinion which, in the industries I work with, it seems to be a common opinion/experience to a lesser or greater extent. Its to soon for me to comment as to whether Google shows it is viable as it has yet to come up in any discussions with clients but I would guess with Googles weight, it could also be a viable contender.
          Viva la crank dodo
        • There will be uses for both of these OS'es

          There will be uses for both of these OS'es. Do not dismiss Chrome simply becuase it may not work in one situation.
          There are situations in which MS-Windows will not be the best choice either.
          visualambrosia
    • Could have been better.

      Reworking some of the above.

      [I]People will ask, "Can it run my current apps? No? Good bye!"[/I][B] As people head to Best Buy to replace their XP apps with Windows 7 capable applications, and replace those pesky, obsolete peripherals that no longer work in Windows 7, the rallying cry heard round the world will be[/B][I] Google is no longer a trusted brand name due its lack of respect for privacy![/I]

      TripleII
      TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827
    • panthers are not cougars

      A cougar is a "mountail lion," and is in the lion family. Panthers are their won family.

      But it really doesn't matter to the folks around here losing chickens, cows, pets and other livestock to the cougars. May as well be a chupacabra as far as they care.

      Except the Pennsylvania department of environment isn't breeding/releasing chupacabras in north central part of the state, they ARE breeding and releasing cougars.

      So what does that tell you?

      The farmers around here have a saying: "shoot, shovel and shut up." Goes for the coyotes they've been releasing around here, too. What's next? Elephants?

      Sheesh.
      pgit
  • Dell uses Ubuntu

    They have a Linux distro they are comfortable with. Perhaps they prefer going the more stable route rather than going the more ambitious and riskier route.

    Either way it's all good. Competition is always good.
    Michael Kelly
    • True

      Linux (as well as individual distro's) used to be to risky for Dell to offer as well but had to grow for a while for the risk to be reduced. With Google behind a new OS, I suspect risk will reduce over time for this OS as well.

      Competition is always good and so is interoperability.
      Viva la crank dodo