Google's New OS

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Google's New OS

Post by Henrik on Fri May 13 2011, 08:35

Google has been talking about their new OS since around Christmas, and they are now launching the first “Chromebooks” to the public. It is a pretty interesting concept, especially for a number of business users, in that you can get a simple machine that really does not run any software but instead connects to applications online. Added to that they are proposing a purchase plan that will have bean-counters salivating as they may be able to bring their PC costs down by over 50%.

I like the idea, and I do like the thought of being able to considerably reduce costs. One thing with PCs that have always bothered me is that they have way too much “stuff” on them, and can do so much more than the users will ever need. If you think about how many business users actually use their machines, it is only a fraction of what is really there that sees any run-time.

The next step, which should follow shortly, will be the “Chromebox”. This is basically the sae thing, but as the Chromebook provides a laptop to the mobile users, the Chromebox provides a desktop to the stationary user. This probably makes even more sense since when you are at your desk in the office, you are today always connected. The machines can also more easily be controlled by a centralized IT, thus improving security risks etc. Pretty damn smart if you ask me, and this may have a huge impact over the next couple of years.

But thinking about this, and all the talk of cloud computing etc., we are actually taking a step back some 30 years in computer design. By having what are basically dumb terminals on the desks, with everything being centralized on servers, we really have exactly the same structure as the early mainframe computers had. The only thing that has changed really is that the screens now have pretty graphics instead of the blinking green cursor (and I suppose they don’t either making a type-writer noise as text is displayed on the screen as we always see in old(er) movies, although I am sure we can make the Chromeboxes do that too…).

Sometimes thinking forward requires you to actually look back…

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Re: Google's New OS

Post by Gelert on Fri May 13 2011, 10:53

It's all well and good until the Internet connection goes down - then all you have is a dumb terminal sat on the desk...!
Mr. Bean Counter won't be so happy then, when all of his staff are unable to "work offline"...
Nah - Internet for Internet stuff only, IMHO.

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Re: Google's New OS

Post by Henrik on Fri May 13 2011, 11:15

Well if the Chromeboxes i.e. desktop terminals, can be connected and work through an intranet solution as opposed to an internet solution it would be a perfect setup for offices.

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Re: Google's New OS

Post by Gelert on Fri May 13 2011, 15:39

When I worked at BOC, we had desktops with remote programs.
Excel / Word weren't actually stored on the local machine, but were accessible via the intranet.
All files were stored remotely as well.

God - it was SOOOooooooo SLOW...! And the time-lapse between typing a few words and then seeing them appear on the screen was painful. The time-delay actually destroyed our trains of thought. So any financial gain from this system must have been utterly destroyed by the loss of productivity - let alone the effects of the drain on morale.

Oh - I'm talking about this scenario being only 4 months ago, so not really in the dark ages...

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Re: Google's New OS

Post by Henrik on Fri May 13 2011, 16:37

I was going to ask you how long ago this was as it seemed to be years, but 4 months!?

I really wonder what technology they were using. I sometimes use a similar setup through Citrix, and certainly for the regular Office tools there is really no speed difference. I was also reading some test results with regards to the Chrome OS where they have accessed and used Photoshop through a specifically designed Citrix connection where the access speed was also instant.

Otherwise I agree that if it is slow forget it. A bit like a remote Outlook I had with my old employer. It was simply not useable, and I was so happy when I got my Blackberry so I no longer needed to use the stupid remote access.

Nevertheless, What I really thought was funny with the whole thing was how IT development has come so far to now find itself back where it was in the late 70's early 80's with regards to the structure design. Certainly the content has changed...

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Re: Google's New OS

Post by Henrik on Fri May 13 2011, 16:38

What we really need now though is for DeadCat to come and share his comments on this, which I believe would particularly interesting...

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Re: Google's New OS

Post by Gelert on Fri May 13 2011, 21:00

It was via Citrix... Metaframe(?).

I also used a lappy (on the same Intranet) with locally-stored Word & Excel, and the option to store locally or remotely. With the program running locally, the speed of file transfer was negligible between local or remote.
So IMHO, the issue was solely with the program (or App?) being stored (and shared???) remotely.

I've still got a paper-punched roll here, that draws Snoopy with the "x" character, across that stripy paper on a ribbon printer - can't wait for this new "old" technology to kick-in so that I can run that up again... Cool

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Re: Google's New OS

Post by gueuzeman on Mon May 16 2011, 01:52

So deadcat's gonna come back? Cool!

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Re: Google's New OS

Post by Henrik on Mon May 16 2011, 08:11

gueuzeman wrote:So deadcat's gonna come back? Cool!

.

I wish. I have no idea what he is up to these days.

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