Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Excited for Chrome OS

In case you haven't heard--Google is making an operating system to directly compete with Microsoft's Windows. It is named after the google browser, which is free to download--and is based off the Linux kernel.
First of all, Chrome will be Open-Source--so I can fix the bugs that bother me in it. Even if I have to pay a licensing fee for it (which is not likely), that is already leaps and bounds above and beyond any Windows software. They could release a pile-of-dirt mindless Linux distribution variant, and it'd still be more usable than any Windows software for the simple reason that it can change.

Next, by virtue of design, Chrome has more potential than a Microsoft OS could ever have. Windows was, originally, a shell on top of DOS that economized on the mouse input interface. Its major innovations have been few and far between since then (as they have no competative drive to innovate). Its design (and designers) wrote it in a time when the most powerful computers in the world had the computational capacity of what you're likely reading this blog-post on (any computer with a core 2 duo or equivalent).

Suffice it to say, Microsoft does not have the capacity to relate to modern computing systems that Google does. This isn't simply because Google is younger and more modern, but because of the philosophy changes and paradigm shifts in programming were engrained in Google from the beginning, whereas Microsoft has been forced to either gradually adopted them, or chosen to ignore them. A prime example of that is the w3c web standards: Microsoft chose to ignore them at first, tried to adopt them with IE8, and have failed miserably to the point of neglecting to even place a recommendation to the consortium. The management side of Google is, in every sense of the word, more enlightened on these point thans Microsofts'.

Here are the publically stated goals of Chrome OS:
Not hog system resources--leave them available for user tasks
Designed to have no significant waiting at boot time
Make any application that could run on the web run on your machine
Have absolutely no data loss if the machine stops working or needs to be reinstalled

I like number 1 and 2. Those are big things to me. They are designing these for the increasingly-popular netbooks, but I hope that once its released it'll catch on like wild-fire and we'll see a desktop version. I don't really care about number 3--it has some merit and some drawbacks, and number 4 makes me nervous (because I don't know how much I'd trust the contents of my hard drive to google), but I do know that I am going to dual boot Chrome OS and Linux on my netbook as soon as I can get my hands on a beta/development version.

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....