Google is set to release the Google Chrome OS on Thursday. There is a lot of people that are excited. Even more say "it is great to get another OS choice, over linux/apple/windows. I am not so excited. I am not making room on my system to install chromeOS. I dont think these people understand what google is trying to make. First clue should be the fact that chromeOS mach I is being made for netbooks.
Maybe people are getting ready for google with the understanding it will be chrome browser on top of a linux core. This is true. They think they will be able to install all their favorite linux apps on it and just continue life as if they have ubuntu or something similar. This is where i think they are wrong.
Google has been mighty secret about their OS, so everything here is opinion. But a somewhat educated opinion.
Google has stated that all google chrome applications will be cross platform. They will work on any OS that has a complaint browser. Which makes some sense. They say 90% of our computer time is spent in the browser. Google has a ton of online apps already. Gmail, google maps, google docs, google voice.
To me this says, googleOS will not run linux apps. It will only run online apps and mostly only apps that run completely server side.(no browser plugins)
This is how they plan to kill virii. IMO. It shocked the world when google made the claim it would put an end of virii. Most laughed, thought google was naive. Even with linux or apple.. no one has been foolish enough to claim that you woudlnt have virii, just that you would have to worry about it less than windows.
Google says it will get rid of them.
The only way i can see this.. is if the computer is basically a dumb terminal, not allowing you to actually execute anything on the machine. You will not every download or install programs on chrome. You will simply browse to the app you need to use online. Google docs for office apps, googe picasa for your photos.. etc
So i think a lot of these linux heads that want to be the first to grab chrome will be disappointed to find out.. it is basically a locked down browser or a linux machine that runs the browser in kiosk mode and only the browser and nothing else at all.
I know some people will point out that the OS isnt the only part of a computer that suffers security problems. Programs like flash often has security holes and this will have to be installed on the chrome browser. Ok ok ok. Eventually i think these things will have to be preinstalled. and IMO html 5 will kill flash as you can pretty much do everything in HTML 5 as you can in flash. But back top the problem. Most likely the chrome browser will be locked down from making changes to the OS. Also unlike windows users, chrome users will not have admin rights. The computer will be locked down from a lot of changes. Did i mention that users wont be able to install or run linux apps.. only purely online apps? The point being, even if flash has a hole that allows a hacker inside, he wont have a whole lot of rights to do anything once inside.
So they might actually be able to make their "no virii" claim valid.
One consequence of all this, there really isnt much need for a hard drive anymore. If your not filling your computer with apps, all you are left with is data. Docs, videos, pictures and google really wants you to store those online in the cloud. I know many people, who are scared of the cloud, they dont like it, especially for personal stuff. These people tend to be older though. One main reason i think hard drives will go away and it will work, is Mint.com. You really dont get much more personal than mint.com. It is an online apps simular to quicken. When they started up, i thought they would die in weeks. When you register for their service, it is terrifying. They want all your financial information. THEY WANT ALL YOUR FINANCIAL INFORMATION. credit cards, bank accounts, PASSWORDS. I thought, no one would be comfortable puttin that kind of info on the web. I was totally wrong. They are doing awesome. One of the fastest growing sites. And IMO if people will give mint.com their CC and password, they wont care if picassa webalbums non shared section, has thier homemade porn.
So if all the apps are online, and you store your docs at google docs, your pictures on Picasso web albums, other data on your skydrive(or google alternative), why do you need a hard drive? it's just another device to take up power, another device to break and a lot of space you no longer need. This is great for notebooks, as hard drives eat a lot of battery power, spinning up(lap top makers tend to use slower hard drives to increase battery life) and ssds are expensive. HHD are also heavy and big.(well notebook drives arent that big but they are big compared to the device they are in.)
So without hard drives we can get notebooks that have much longer battery life.
Now without a hard drive, it makes it hard to steal and i think the industry will see this and demand it's adoption. Eventually I see, that their will be a rule that you cant connect to the net with a system that has an HD without an HD license.(some corps will still have them for odd reasons) And that home users will have to connect to the net through an drm capable hdmi like ethernet cable. This will be designed to help prevent piracy. I do think hackers will find ways around this, but piracy will be limited to hardware hackers that can hack the system so they can put an hd online. OR the people that know peopel who can buy the hack from them. Sorta like hacked Cable tv cards. The world government is trying to make a law, that states, if you are busted 3 times stealing online, you get banned from being online. SO that coupled with this, should make piracy an extreme minority, liek it used to be,.
Last yes i know it will be open source and you wil be able to change google chromes OS, but eventually i think they will remove most of the file system.
And this is all opinion but it is the only way i can see for google to make it's claims valid.