Google’s Chrome OS is pessimistic

Listening to the motivation behind Google’s Chrome OS I was struck by how pessimistic it sounds.

What do you get in an OS designed for tomorrow’s netbooks? You get a lot less. You’ll more than likely run it on a very cheap feeling plastic computer. Keep in mind today’s $300-400 netbook isn’t what Google is targeting, they’re looking at something around $200, your future “second” computer.

So a cheap machine running a free (or heavily subsidized?) OS that’s essentially a glorified web browser. You use the Google-branded apps for all your work and store your files in Google’s data center (oops, I mean the cloud). You might even have some cheap wireless (i.e. slow) data service available so you can access your stuff on the go. If you can get by with just spreadsheets, text docs, calendar & email then this might just work for you.

Man, that’s depressing. Pretty certain I’ll stick with my current second computer, my iPhone.

Bur I don’t believe this is what Google sees as the future. The Chrome OS vision seems at odds with what CEO Schmidt sees. From a talk back in October, Schmidt sees big things for the web in 5 years. A couple of choice quotes:

  • Five years is a factor of ten in Moore’s Law, meaning that computers will be capable of far more by that time than they are today.
  • Within five years there will be broadband well above 100MB in performance – and distribution distinctions between TV, radio and the web will go away.

But Google wants you to enjoy all this great stuff with a substandard hobbled little machine running Chrome OS? It doesn’t add up.

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