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Google Chrome OS, Odds are stacked against Chrome OS's success

 
 
Max Burke
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      07-10-2009

(WIRED) -- Google's netbook-friendly Chrome OS takes direct aim at
Microsoft, whose eight-year-old Windows XP leads the netbook market. But
the odds are stacked against Google.

Despite its buzz, the odds are stacked against Google's Chrome OS
becoming a serious rival to Windows.

In competing with Windows, Google Chrome OS will have to deal with many
of the same challenges Linux has: compatibility, usability, and
unfamiliarity. The record isn't good: In the past year, Linux-based
netbooks have rapidly lost market share to Microsoft, as people find
that Linux doesn't work as expected, may not support the applications or
peripherals they're used to using, and is just plain different.

"The propeller heads or early adopters understood what Linux was about,"
says Richard Shim, an analyst with IDC, a market research company. "But
as netbooks have gone mainstream, users want the apps they are familiar
with rather than the non-standard ones on Linux."

While sales of netbooks have exploded, Linux's market share on these
devices has dramatically declined. In 2008, about 24.5% of netbooks
shipped with an Linux operating system, estimates IDC. This year, it's
expected to plunge to 4.5% and in 2010, only 3 percent of all netbooks
will run a Linux OS.

Even if it offers the same or better features than similarly-equipped
Windows notebooks, Google Chrome OS will face the same uphill battle
Linux has.

Here's what Google needs to figure out to make Chrome OS a success.

Compatibility with popular applications

Some of the earliest netbooks featuring Linux faced high rates of return
because they did not support popular applications, says Shim.

"Many users found that the universe of applications compatible with
Windows was much larger than those with Linux," Shim says. "So when they
looked at their Linux netbooks not only did it run non-standard apps but
also a graphical interface they weren't familiar with."

Chrome OS will run on top of a Linux kernel, although Google has said
that it will have an entirely new interface and will run all web
applications rather than native Linux apps.

Multimedia compatibility issues in some flavors of Linux helped add to
early customer confusion, says Chris Kenyon, director of OEM services at
Canonical, which supports Ubuntu. "Some of those Linux netbooks that
didn't have Flash preinstalled or multimedia codecs pre-installed faced
lot of problems," he says.

Translation: If a customer can't watch YouTube on her new netbook, she's
more likely to return the netbook rather than install Adobe's Flash
plugin for Linux.

What Google must do: Google Chrome OS can't afford to make those
mistakes. Flash support and the ability to play a wide variety of
multimedia files will have to be standard. And where popular application
support is missing, Google will have to ensure that it provides
satisfying alternatives (such as Google Docs in place of Microsoft Word).

Usability

User interface is a big factor for computer buyers. Many netbook buyers
are first-time Linux users. And these newbies have often been stumped by
the operating system's unusual interface. Even with very Windows-like
and user-friendly Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, they often don't
know how to perform simple system management or hardware configuration
tasks. Options for those exist on the OS but new users have to put in
the effort to learn, which can be a turnoff. Chrome OS will have to find
a way to offer its customers a familiar graphical user interface that
makes it easy to do the tasks they have been used to on a Windows
operating system.

"UI is a very significant component for new operating systems," says
Shim. "You have to fight the first impression that this is different and
then you have to sell people on why different is better."

What Google must do: Google needs to integrate Gmail, Google Docs and
the Chrome web browser in a package that makes it easy to not just use
these individual programs but also perform other routine tasks, such as
installing new software or changing display configurations.

Compatibility with popular hardware

Google will also be under pressure to ensure Chrome OS works flawlessly
with gadgets such as cameras, printers, smartphones and e-book readers.
So far, Linux netbooks have had a spotty record. Some such as Ubuntu or
Red Hat offer better support for popular gadgets but still users have
faced compatibility problems. A recent review from the Wall Street
Journal complained that Linux-based netbooks could not load software
drivers to print photos to Canon and Dell printers. The review also said
there were problems loading pictures over a USB cable from the Canon
PowerShot SD750 digital camera onto a Dell Mini 10 netbook running Ubuntu.

Another big stumbling block for Google will be iTunes. The popularity of
iPods means that many people expect their netbook to sync with their
iPods. However, netbooks running Linux do not support iTunes, including
Ubuntu, and that means no iPod or iPhone support.

"iTunes itself doesn't work on Ubuntu but you can use emulators," says
Kenyon. "It's something we would like to change."

It also has to be dead-simple to use hardware that's pre-installed on
your netbook, such as a webcam, a Bluetooth connection, or a 3G wireless
data card.

What Google must do: Ubuntu and other Linux vendors may not have the
clout to get Apple to support Linux, but Google could make it happen for
Chrome OS. Google and Apple share a close relationship, and Google CEO
Eric Schmidt is a member of Apple's board of directors.

Also, drivers for Wi-Fi hardware or webcams in the netbooks come
pre-loaded with Windows netbooks; Chrome OS will have to ensure it
offers customers the same simplicity right out of the box

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/07/08/g...ges/index.html

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Gordon
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-11-2009
On 2009-07-10, Max Burke <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> (WIRED) -- Google's netbook-friendly Chrome OS takes direct aim at
> Microsoft, whose eight-year-old Windows XP leads the netbook market. But
> the odds are stacked against Google.
>
> Despite its buzz, the odds are stacked against Google's Chrome OS
> becoming a serious rival to Windows.
>
> In competing with Windows, Google Chrome OS will have to deal with many
> of the same challenges Linux has: compatibility, usability, and
> unfamiliarity. The record isn't good: In the past year, Linux-based
> netbooks have rapidly lost market share to Microsoft, as people find
> that Linux doesn't work as expected, may not support the applications or
> peripherals they're used to using, and is just plain different.


Heck, I do wonder when I will no longer read this stuff.
>
> "The propeller heads or early adopters understood what Linux was about,"
> says Richard Shim, an analyst with IDC, a market research company. "But
> as netbooks have gone mainstream, users want the apps they are familiar
> with rather than the non-standard ones on Linux."


"non standard", really? See what I mean about spin. Linux is part of an open
system


>
> While sales of netbooks have exploded, Linux's market share on these
> devices has dramatically declined. In 2008, about 24.5% of netbooks
> shipped with an Linux operating system, estimates IDC. This year, it's
> expected to plunge to 4.5% and in 2010, only 3 percent of all netbooks
> will run a Linux OS.


Once again, how is one able to tell? By a netbook, wipe the HD clean,
install Linux. CD obtained from a friend, off the Internet by torrent.

>
> Even if it offers the same or better features than similarly-equipped
> Windows notebooks, Google Chrome OS will face the same uphill battle
> Linux has.


Maybe, but Linux has not gone away. It is growing and so will Google chrome


>
> Here's what Google needs to figure out to make Chrome OS a success.
>
> Compatibility with popular applications
>

Huh?? Oh you mean cross platform programmes. Okay they are zapping from one
platform to another very well.


> Some of the earliest netbooks featuring Linux faced high rates of return
> because they did not support popular applications, says Shim.


GNU/Linux never has supported anything except freedom. It is not for all the
masses.


>
> "Many users found that the universe of applications compatible with
> Windows was much larger than those with Linux," Shim says.


Huh? Com on figures. Linux applications are breeding like rabbits.

> "So when they
> looked at their Linux netbooks not only did it run non-standard apps but
> also a graphical interface they weren't familiar with."


I plain give up.

>
> Chrome OS will run on top of a Linux kernel, although Google has said
> that it will have an entirely new interface and will run all web
> applications rather than native Linux apps.
>
> Multimedia compatibility issues in some flavors of Linux helped add to
> early customer confusion, says Chris Kenyon, director of OEM services at
> Canonical, which supports Ubuntu. "Some of those Linux netbooks that
> didn't have Flash preinstalled or multimedia codecs pre-installed faced
> lot of problems," he says.
>
> Translation: If a customer can't watch YouTube on her new netbook, she's
> more likely to return the netbook rather than install Adobe's Flash
> plugin for Linux.


Ha! Firefox 3.5 is ready to view videos out of the box.


>
> What Google must do: Google Chrome OS can't afford to make those
> mistakes. Flash support and the ability to play a wide variety of
> multimedia files will have to be standard. And where popular application
> support is missing, Google will have to ensure that it provides
> satisfying alternatives (such as Google Docs in place of Microsoft Word).
>
> Usability
>
> User interface is a big factor for computer buyers. Many netbook buyers
> are first-time Linux users. And these newbies have often been stumped by
> the operating system's unusual interface. Even with very Windows-like
> and user-friendly Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, they often don't
> know how to perform simple system management or hardware configuration
> tasks. Options for those exist on the OS but new users have to put in
> the effort to learn, which can be a turnoff. Chrome OS will have to find
> a way to offer its customers a familiar graphical user interface that
> makes it easy to do the tasks they have been used to on a Windows
> operating system.
>
> "UI is a very significant component for new operating systems," says
> Shim. "You have to fight the first impression that this is different and
> then you have to sell people on why different is better."
>
> What Google must do: Google needs to integrate Gmail, Google Docs and
> the Chrome web browser in a package that makes it easy to not just use
> these individual programs but also perform other routine tasks, such as
> installing new software or changing display configurations.
>
> Compatibility with popular hardware
>
> Google will also be under pressure to ensure Chrome OS works flawlessly
> with gadgets such as cameras, printers, smartphones and e-book readers.
> So far, Linux netbooks have had a spotty record. Some such as Ubuntu or
> Red Hat offer better support for popular gadgets but still users have
> faced compatibility problems. A recent review from the Wall Street
> Journal complained that Linux-based netbooks could not load software
> drivers to print photos to Canon and Dell printers. The review also said
> there were problems loading pictures over a USB cable from the Canon
> PowerShot SD750 digital camera onto a Dell Mini 10 netbook running Ubuntu.
>
> Another big stumbling block for Google will be iTunes. The popularity of
> iPods means that many people expect their netbook to sync with their
> iPods. However, netbooks running Linux do not support iTunes, including
> Ubuntu, and that means no iPod or iPhone support.
>
> "iTunes itself doesn't work on Ubuntu but you can use emulators," says
> Kenyon. "It's something we would like to change."
>
> It also has to be dead-simple to use hardware that's pre-installed on
> your netbook, such as a webcam, a Bluetooth connection, or a 3G wireless
> data card.
>
> What Google must do: Ubuntu and other Linux vendors may not have the
> clout to get Apple to support Linux, but Google could make it happen for
> Chrome OS. Google and Apple share a close relationship, and Google CEO
> Eric Schmidt is a member of Apple's board of directors.
>
> Also, drivers for Wi-Fi hardware or webcams in the netbooks come
> pre-loaded with Windows netbooks; Chrome OS will have to ensure it
> offers customers the same simplicity right out of the box
>
> http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/07/08/g...ges/index.html
>


Oh as I thought a media drug induced feeding session.
 
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