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Keeping Google's Consumer OS Options Straight 97

Posted by timothy
from the who-would-ever-want-local-storage dept.
According to Engadget, among others, Google is expected to show off the state of the Chrome OS on Tuesday of this week, and perhaps even to show off a netbook running the cloud-centric system. Since many of the things that Chrome OS does are also within the scope of Google's other consumer OS, Android, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has written a guide to the differences, as he sees them, between Android and Chrome OS.
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Keeping Google's Consumer OS Options Straight

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  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Monday December 06, 2010 @09:08AM (#34458796) Journal
    FTFA:

    As for Android applications, where all the applications are Java-based and depend on Dalvik, I don’t see any way that those applications will run on Chrome OS.

    Yes because putting a Java JIT engine in a browser is easy; putting a Dalvik JIT engine in a browser is impossible! Google has NO WAY to leverage the base of tools and programs already created for their first OS, they will have to start from scratch...

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday December 06, 2010 @09:14AM (#34458846)
    I don't know how to reconcile these differences with Sergey Brin's assertion that "Android and Chrome will likely converge over time" [cnet.com]. Does this mean that all we can say us:
    1. 1) Android is for Phones & Tablets; Chrome OS is for Netbooks for now but they may converge into a universal system
    2. 2) Chrome OS won’t run Linux desktop or Android Apps ... yet
    3. 3) Chrome OS Constantly Updated, but may go into a release cycle later as its capability expands [this isn't really an OS difference anyway]

    Or was the likely convergence prediction premature?

  • by MorpheousMarty (1094907) on Monday December 06, 2010 @09:29AM (#34458948)

    IMHO the only way Chrome OS is interesting is if it is released on netbooks that cost 150-200$ less than their Windows counterparts. Sure, it won't do everything a full OS does, but at a $250-300 price point, it would be very compelling for the same reasons netbooks were popular in the first place. If Chrome OS can bring netbooks back to their bare bones, dirt cheap, linux roots, they may have a hit on their hands. If they offer this for about the same price as a Win7 netbook, they shouldn't even bother.

    Anyone else have any ideas how this could be an interesting/successful product?

  • by joh (27088) on Monday December 06, 2010 @09:59AM (#34459124)

    If Google were serious about Chrome OS, shouldn't that one have been aimed for the phones and tablets, with Android for the netbooks? Chrome OS is at least the OS that does less, and is more simple to the end user. It can basically only run a web browser (and all underlying stuff that's necessary to run that web browser compiled for Linux, of course).

    I think Google was somewhat surprised by the success of Android. As so often Google threw lots of things at the wall and then looked what kept sticking. Android stuck extremely good and then Google looked at it and noticed they can't profit that much from it.

    Google is all about the Web and Chrome OS is nothing than a web browser. Use Chrome and you use the web and nothing else, which means you're bound to get served ads by Google and that's what Google wants. Use Android with lots of apps and the browser being just one app among others is not helping Google much.

    Google has never been really excited about Android being used on tablets, they actually tried very hard to convince everyone to use it only on smartphones. And now they still try to get Chrome OS at least onto netbooks.

    I don't think anyone will care much about what Google wants. Smartphone, tablet, netbook... running nothing but webapps sucks on all of them.

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday December 06, 2010 @12:00PM (#34460414)

    Yes because putting a Java JIT engine in a browser is easy; putting a Dalvik JIT engine in a browser is impossible!

    First, Google can include things in Chrome OS that aren't part of the browser, and can allow the browser to provide access to them, so it wouldn't have to put the JIT engine in the browser.

    Second, there is no reason that Google couldn't build a Dalvik engine into the browser if they chose to. Heck, Chrome already includes facilities to run sandboxed arbitrary native code (Native Client), so certainly Google doesn't show any signs of conforming to conventional ideas of what "can't" be done in the browser.

    Google already has a Dalvik engine, building hooks for it into Chrome -- whether specific to Chrome OS or more generally -- is certainly not impossible.

    Google has NO WAY to leverage the base of tools and programs already created for their first OS, they will have to start from scratch...

    Google explicitly stated a long time ago that their long-term plan was to converge the two platforms. I doubt that they have that plan and no vision of how to accomplish that, and "throw everything out and start over" is probably not the course to convergence they have in mind.

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