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Author Topic: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you  (Read 4882 times)

app103

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74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« on: December 01, 2009, 11:21:41 AM »
Quote
Google made a huge splash when it announced its plans for the Chrome operating system, a web-centric OS where essentially everything is run through a web browser. One great promise of Google’s Chrome OS is the arrival of low-cost, lightweight hardware, since most of the storage and other data handling is done in the cloud. Perhaps that 100-dollar computer will finally become a reality.

But there is a problem. A rather big one. The strength of the Chrome OS, that it makes maximum use of online resources, also limits its potential adoption. To have any real use of the OS you need a decent Internet connection, and that has some significant implications we need to look at.

5 billion without Internet access

Before we even discuss broadband, let us first get one piece of statistic out in the open: 74% of the world population doesn’t have Internet access. At all.

In other words, 5 billion of the world’s 6.8 billion people will have little use for Google’s Chrome OS because they don’t have Internet access.

Eóin

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2009, 01:05:53 PM »
To me the idea of a PC which is only properly functional while I have net access is terrible. Even though I have broadband at home and in rented accommodation plus I have a pretty decent mobile web modem courtesy of my phone I still consider a dependence on the internet too big a liability.

nite_monkey

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2009, 01:31:14 PM »
I also have to agree with Eoin. I have cable internet at home, but there is times when it goes down, and can sometimes take a while to come back up. I would be without a usable computer then.
[Insert really cool signature here]

steeladept

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2009, 01:37:25 PM »
To me the idea of a PC which is only properly functional while I have net access is terrible. Even though I have broadband at home and in rented accommodation plus I have a pretty decent mobile web modem courtesy of my phone I still consider a dependence on the internet too big a liability.

I echo this statement - it is the basis of my resistance to cloud computing, including such "niceties" as C2, Google Docs, etc.  If I can't access them when I need them (and that is quite frequently), then it is useless to me - even at the wonderful cost of free (which many are not).

mwb1100

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2009, 02:03:33 PM »
I wonder how many of the 5 billion without Internet access have no access to a computer, in which case an OS - free or not and  needing connectivity or not - is of little interest?

app103

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2009, 02:30:32 PM »
I wonder how many of the 5 billion without Internet access have no access to a computer, in which case an OS - free or not and  needing connectivity or not - is of little interest?

Just because one doesn't have something doesn't mean they are not interested in having it. There are plenty of hungry people in this world that don't have food (or jobs) that would be sure interested in having some.

And a computer might just help them have the means of supporting themselves.

So let's put some computers in their hands, first...then get them connected.

Sounds better than a cheap computer they could really use but is useless because Chrome OS is on it and they have no internet.

Dormouse

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2009, 02:52:33 PM »
Sounds better than a cheap computer they could really use but is useless because Chrome OS is on it and they have no internet.

I don't understand the problem with Chrome. It's easy enough to dual boot Linux/Chrome or just install Linux, if that's what is needed.
Chrome's current plan/incarnation is designed for a particular usage. So what?

mwb1100

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2009, 02:54:43 PM »
I wonder how many of the 5 billion without Internet access have no access to a computer, in which case an OS - free or not and  needing connectivity or not - is of little interest?

Just because one doesn't have something doesn't mean they are not interested in having it. There are plenty of hungry people in this world that don't have food (or jobs) that would be sure interested in having some.

And a computer might just help them have the means of supporting themselves.

So let's put some computers in their hands, first...then get them connected.

Sounds better than a cheap computer they could really use but is useless because Chrome OS is on it and they have no internet.

By the same token there's nothing wrong with releasing something that requires connectivity.  Just because it's not universally useful doesn't mean it's a problem.

I didn't really mean for my comment to be taken as a social commentary.  Just that statistics can be sliced and diced in many ways, and that a product (or whatever) doesn't need to be useful or necessary to everyone to have value.

I don't even know anything about Chrome OS, but saying it's a problem because not everyone will find it useful (or usable) might be overstating things.



JavaJones

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2009, 03:12:52 PM »
Here's another one: 95% of the world, OS X (e.g. Apple computers) are not for you. Why? Well let's see, Apple has approximately 10% market share in the computer world, and there are billions of people without computers, so we're talking about probably no more than 5% of the total population that have, or can afford, Apple computers. So by that measure Chrome OS has greater market penetration potential than one of the most successful competitors in the market. Bravo!

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Innuendo

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2009, 06:49:06 PM »
Seems to me that Google's OS is the return of old-style dumb terminals on an 80's style computer network. Everything (apps and data) were stored on the mainframe & the dumb terminals accessed everything off the mainframe in order to do anything.

No. No, thank you. Google's OS, and cloud computing in general, are the wrong direction for us to be heading. We already did this in the 80s and...well....it sucked.  :)

JavaJones

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2009, 07:16:39 PM »
I can't say I'm totally thrilled about total cloud computing either, but you have to admit the landscape is a lot different, and really more favorable to the concept than it was in the 80s. In terms of availability, quality, and variety of net-based services; in terms of average bandwidth per user; in terms of amount the average person spends doing things online *already*. Google isn't really coming up with an idea out of the blue to force people to use the web for 90% of their computing time, instead their responding to the reality that people *do* use their computers 90% of the time for web-based stuff (think average people - the Facebook generation). So the 80's "dumb terminal" comparison that's been made many times doesn't really work very well IMO.

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mwb1100

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2009, 07:34:44 PM »
While I agree with much of the sentiment against cloud computing (in that I want my data and software to be mine), there is a very attractive aspect in being able to get to my stuff wherever I might be.

It's just that I'd like to be in complete control of what and when that is.  However, I do note that most of my non-techie friends and family couldn't give a rat's ass about that - they like being able to get to all their stuff wherever and whenever, and they're perfectly happy to have no idea what's stored locally and what's stored in the cloud (though I imagine that some T-Mobile Sidekick users might be taking a little more care with their data - http://www.pcworld.c...nding_nightmare.html).

zridling

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2009, 09:44:19 AM »
Depends. Since it's open source, there will Chrome OS variants that will take advantage of localized apps. And Chrome itself can work offline via HTML5, which most other browsers don't yet support. It's still a year away. But if a "chromebook" turns out to be a cheap device (<$200), I wouldn't underestimate its popularity for both business and casual use. It doesn't matter if you use Chrome OS or not. If more web apps are built and people use them, Google wins -- as does Linux -- in the long run.

Seems to me that Google's OS is the return of old-style dumb terminals on an 80's style computer network. Everything (apps and data) were stored on the mainframe & the dumb terminals accessed everything off the mainframe in order to do anything. No. No, thank you. Google's OS, and cloud computing in general, are the wrong direction for us to be heading. We already did this in the 80s and...well....it sucked.  :)

Yes but so much has changed since then. Bandwidth is so much better in the past ten years, as are web apps themselves. Some of the things that Bing.com does -- such as visual search -- is quite cool. Zoho is now offering full integration with Google Apps, allowing users to access Google Docs seamlessly from within the Zoho environment. The variety of semantic web apps, such as DBpedia have been a great aid in my work. And I won't even mention the social web.

Point is, most of my computing is accessing and sharing information and data via the browser. The rest is spent in a text editor and a image editor. Even with the Chrome OS beta, I can save my data to an external device such as a USB stick. As I said in another topic: Your garage doesn't have to have two cars. It can have a car and a bike.

Innuendo

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2009, 12:20:05 PM »
I think my point was not the level of technology used in the 80s as everyone can agree that things are much better. My point was is that everything is on the server. This did and still does suck mightily.

If your net connection to the server goes down...no access to your data.

If the server goes down...no access to your data.

If your cable modem breaks...no access to your data.


Comparing the number of failure points in between me and the data on my hard drive & the number of failure points between me and the data on Google's servers shows that there's a lot less chance of something going wrong if I keep my data right here on my PC.

Another matter is security. I control the level of security to access my PC. I cannot control the level of security to access a server on the internet. Those servers are a lot bigger targets than my PC. If everyone starts storing their data on them they are going to be even larger targets. I always hear about some server that got hacked and tons of data stolen. My PC is much more of a needle in a haystack than, say...Google's servers.


40hz

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2009, 02:14:28 PM »
A Parable

Once upon a time, there were terminals that connected to mainframes.

In order to do anything, you had to log on to the mainframe.
And in order to change or add any new capabilities, you had to convince your IT department come and install it.

Next came terminals and minicomputers.

You still had to log on to get anything done.
But you could now handle your own changes and additions without needing to go through a centralized IT department.

Next came personal computers.

After that, you didn't need to log onto anything unless you wanted to set it up that way.
You could handle your own updates and additions without needing to involve anybody else.

But these were isolated machines. So your PC couldn't communicate with any other PCs, or share data without first writing it to some form of media. Thus sneaker-net was born.

Then along came Hayes and USRobotics, and FidoNet and RBBS-PC who gave those early PCs the ability to communicate through noisy modems.

Next came 3Comm and Shiva, who brought the benefits of inexpensive data networking to the PC so that the digital resources of all PCs could be freely and efficiently shared.

And last came the semi-divine ARPANET and it's half-sister The Internet.

And now all the personal computers of the world were finally able to have complete and total access to every computational and information resource of the planet Earth. And thus were the people of Earth united into one global community, even if this global community did not come in a form those who wished for one expected.

And the people of earth looked upon it and saw that - even if it was not perfect - it was still rather good.

And thus, a new era in human consciousness and evolution was born.

***

Then along came Google and it's bastard stepchild ChromeOS.

And suddenly, you once again had to log on to do anything.

And if you wanted anything added or changed, you could still (technically) do it yourself provided Google had what you were looking for.

Otherwise you'd need to petition Google's IT department to set it up for you.

And though the PC had evolved and become much smarter than it's ancestor the terminal, it was now regulated to the position of again being a device that relied on communicating with a mainframe in order to function.

Admirers of Google were quick to point out there was no such thing as a mainframe any more.

And to those who said all this was 'a giant step backwards,' Chrome's defenders replied: "We think of it more as coming full circle!."

But whether or not there was one big central machine, or many smaller ones floating in a virtual cloud, it still amounted to the same thing: You needed to go through something else in order to do anything.

The so-called "personal computer" was once again little more than a terminal client on somebody else's network.

But at least the graphics were pretty...

And for many people, that was enough. :-\

*The End*
 :P
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 08:55:03 PM by 40hz »

zridling

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2009, 05:08:21 PM »
Innuendo, I understand. However, my own cable connection has been the most reliable part of the house; it stays up even during storms when the electricity goes out. To your point, I don't think you should have to be online to use your computer. But for those of us who agree with you, there's Linux, OSX, Windows, et al. But there will be forks of Chrome OS that will work offline or with other localized software, that much is inevitable.

Brilliant 40hz, smack dab brilliant!

Innuendo

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2009, 09:06:09 AM »
40 Hz, thanks for taking the time to type all that out. It illustrated my point beautifully.

Zaine, my cable connection is the most reliable part of the house as well, but while I have never had trouble getting to Google's servers I have have had trouble getting to other servers who don't seem to be as blessed with as reliable internet service as me.

For some Google's OS may be perfect, but it's just not for me. I can't imagine it's going to be for a lot of businesses, either. A lot use apps that are 'too heavy' like PhotoShop and AutoCAD. Others deal with data too sensitive to be allowed on the net due to HIPAA regulations and the like. Of course, a lot of businesses will turn their nose up at the idea because they don't want to retrain employees.


Dormouse

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Re: 74% of the world, Google's Chrome OS is not for you
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2009, 12:02:19 PM »
I can't imagine myself ever having an OS that relies on the net for most uses.
That doesn't mean I see the need to have any concern about the existence of one that does.
I can see a fair number of users that it would suit very well, and an even bigger number of users who might be suited by one some of the time.
There's always the option of having more than one OS on a machine and different OSs on different machines.
This one seems very targeted at netbooks, and I really don't see why there should be a problem with a netbook which requires access to the net for most of its functionality.