Daring Fireball: Putting What Little We Actually Know About Chrome OS Into Context:

But at a practical level, how well will this actually work? Is it feasible to use Chrome OS as your sole computer?... In short, will Chrome OS pass the dog food test: is it something Google’s own engineers will want to use?

I’m skeptical about the prospects of any new system or product that isn’t intended for use by the people creating it. Gmail, for example, is the best web mail system because it was designed to be used not just by “typical” users but by expert users, including the engineers at Google who made it....

Make something intended not for your own use, but for use by dummies, and you’ll usually wind up creating something dumb. The future of computing probably is in the direction of thin clients connecting to network services for storage and software, but my hunch is that Chrome OS is too thin.


Okay, long quote, but I've got to wonder what he's thinking here. Chrome is supposed to be for computers somewhere between desktops and PDAs, and honestly, how much do I do can't be done in a browser? More importantly, how much can I do that Google wouldn't rather I do in a browser?

Our old friend, Joel Spolsky, talks a bit about commoditizing the OS on joelonsoftware.com, and it's exactly what Netscape originally intended to do. A large reason why Netscape didn't work out is that Microsoft took this OS within an OS very seriously. They killed it.

Gmail, Google Reader, Google Docs, Google Talk -- most anything short of programming happens on Google within Google pages. And if the boot time is significantly reduced, all the better. How often am I outside of my browser? I use Thunderbird, iChat/Pidgin, and iCal, but how much of that suffers much moving to the browser? Other things like iMovie and iPhoto or Picasa might have online Google versions in progress now. With Gears, I assume it's happening.

So fast forward another year and a half, and that's if Google ships on time, and assume more moves into the browser, not less. Netscape had a great idea with Navigator, and it looks like Google wants to leverage Linux to make good on that promise.

Btw, Gruber's comparison of Linux to Windows seems spot on.

So I think Gnome and KDE are stuck with a problem similar to the uncanny valley.


If you're always
almost
Windows, why would anyone switch? It's just bizarro world. The reason Linux hasn't ever won the desktop isn't because of Linux, but because of its windows managers. Seriously, you think Apple wouldn't release iTunes for Linux if it had 15-20% marketshare? I can't imagine a few entertainment apps are stopping Linux' proverbial ascension.