Friday, July 29, 2011

Rambling about Google's Operating System

Google's chrome operating system (not to be confused with Chrome the web browser) is inching closer and closer towards it's final release. It's goal, in my opinion, seems to make our idea of a modern operating system seem like it is too much of a hassle for someone to use.

Chrome OS deals with just the internet and doesn't allow you to download any software, store any files, or do many of the things that we all do daily. The video starts off by saying we spend 90% of the time on our computers online. For intense Facebookers or web designers this may be the case, but for the rest of us it is not. I spend around 5 hours daily on a computer and probably only 1 hour total on the internet. Another one of the Operating Systems draws is the startup time. Apparently they aim to reduce it to 7 seconds by release. The OS that I use only takes a maximum of 6 seconds to get to the login screen and another 6 to become completely useful, so they are spreading misinformation in the form of high numbers to gain downloaders.

An obvious problem with Chrome OS is simply the idea. Why would I want an Operating System that can only access the internet and not store files on my computer? That doesn't sound like simplicity  or ease of use to me, it sounds like an excuse to make a cheap operating system.

Let's use my computer as an example. I have a 1.5 TB hard drive 26% filled with software, pictures, and documents. My desktop is filled with 8 folders, 28 programs, and 6 documents. One of the programs is Google Chrome, my web browser. What Chrome OS wants to do is drag all of my folders and documents to the trash and leave all but my web browser, and finish by calling it a revolutionary idea.

The Operating System also introduces terrible security issues. You can still save files on your computer, but it is a hassle. Everything is stored "In the cloud". Which is perfect for some files, but not the case for all. Would you feel okay uploading the contents of all of the folders in your home directory to the internet? Or uploading that world-changing story or program you're writing? Before you answer keep in mind that hackings increased  over 90% this year. Stuxnet, the worlds most advanced computers virus, nearly destroyed all of Iran's nuclear centrifuges. If a virus can do this it can also find your files online and abuse/steal them.

I, and I think a lot of the readers here, are Google supporters. Their products are unmatched by any other when it comes to a friend user interface and speed, safety, and usefulness. However I am not hopping on the Chrome boat, and if it doesn't change a lot of people won't.

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