I think people are kind of missing the point.
If you haven’t had a chance, watch the short video below and read the live blog of the event from TechCrunch.
I installed it as a virtual machine using VirtualBox, as you can see in the picture above. Given that there aren’t any guest additions, it’s somewhat limited – even with a ton of memory allocated, it lags a bit and has a 800×600 resolution. So I’ll withhold my real review until those are released. Some people in the comments on TechCrunch and Lifehacker don’t understand this and are blaming these things on Chrome.
The two things that really stuck out to me while playing around were how freaking fast it booted, and that there is no “install” like a typical Windows or Linux OS – it just boots into the OS the first time around. Really cool.
If you’ve watched the videos or read the articles, I’m sure you’ll agree that it does some pretty cool stuff right? Like boot up instantly. And like save everything in the cloud so you can instantly jump from one computer to another without missing a step (even keeping your tabs open). And it’s super fast.
But everyone is focusing on the wrong things. They’ll only be supporting minimal hardware at the start – you won’t just be able to download it and install it (easily), you’ll have to buy a “Chrome OS netbook”. And it’s just really not practical to have NO hard drive storage at all. And you can’t use other web browsers. And you’re screwed if you don’t have wi-fi. And that it’s basically the same as Chrome the browser, so why bother?
Yes, if you look at things as they likely will be in 11/2010 when the OS launches, that’s probably all it will be. It’ll be great to give your kids. It’ll be great to have a secondary computer that boots up and down in a second for when you’re on the go. For most people though, they’ll stick with their Windows or Mac or Linux primary computer. It won’t be a game changer next year, so everyone is writing it off.
The thing that people seem to be missing is that this isn’t about November of 2010. It’s about November of 2015 and November of 2020. Google is placing a bet that we’ll all be operating out of the cloud in a few years. DVDs and MP3s will be a thing of the past because it’s all available at super high quality anywhere in the world. Photoshop and video games and all of our computer-intensive software will all be better online. There will be absolutely no need for local storage of anything for the majority of computer users.
Now, they could be totally wrong. Personally, I’d say it’s 50/50. But – and this is a huge but – if that is how things turn out, they will be light years ahead of the competition. They will have been tweaking and improving their OS for five years while Microsoft and Apple are playing catch-up. They will have suppliers building their “netbooks” with their components. They will have a market share of greater than 0%, whereas Microsoft and Apple will have nothing.
I don’t know how it will turn out. I do know that it will be fun to follow.