Demo of Google Chrome OS Posted

Though Google Chrome OS is far from being available preinstalled on a netbook that you can go out any buy, a detailed demo has been posted on YouTube. You can also watch it below.

[YouTube = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANMrzw7JFzA%5D

Of course, it’s cloud-centric.

The earlier concept video shows some of the differences between Chrome OS and the Chrome browser. You can watch it below.

[YouTube = "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ57xzo287U&feature=channel"]

Another short video covers the elements of Chrome OS Security Services.

[YouTube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9WVmNfgjtQ&feature=channel"]

Finally, Chrome OS and open source are discussed in this short video.

[YouTube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA5RQv9mBoY&feature=channel]

Other viedos are availabe on the GoogleChrome channel on YouTube.

Microsoft Jumps In to Dis Chrome OS

Predicatably, Microsoft lost no time in slamming Google Chrome OS, telling Computerworld,

“From what was shared, it appears to be in the early stages of development,” a Microsoft spokeswoman said via e-mail.

“From our perspective, however, our customers are already voicing their approval of the way Windows 7 just works — across the Web and on the desktop, and on all sizes and types of PCs – purchasing twice as many units of Windows 7 as we’ve sold of any other operating system over a comparable time,” the spokeswoman said.

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

Hamlet | Act III, Scene II

ReadWriteWeb Damns Google Chrome OS with Faint Praise

The widely-read ReadWriteWeb has reviewed the available information about Google’s new Chrome OS and has found it wanting.

Revolution? Maybe Not Just Yet.

At the end of the day, Chrome OS is an exciting, but not fully realized, vision. Although it has potential, the world may not be ready for a web-based netbook right now. Also, the technology needed to make the Wi-Fi only netbook useful without an internet connection isn’t up to full speed either. At the end of the day, the netbook will be marginally more useful than an iPod Touch – when connected, it’s amazing. Offline, not so much.

While you might not rush right out to buy a Chrome OS netbook when they first launch, there could come a time – sooner than you think – when it becomes a reasonable choice. When the majority of apps work offline and you’ve fully transitioned away from desktop apps, a web-connected netbook, especially one that’s affordable, could easily become your everyday computer. That day hasn’t arrived yet. For now, Chrome OS is an exciting glimpse at the future of computing, but not a practical device for the majority of users.

Disclosure: Sarah Perez freelances for Microsoft’s Channel 10 blog, but is not a Microsoft employee. Her primary web browser is, in fact, Google Chrome which she uses exclusively.

While some of the criticisms of Chrome OS seems valid, especially the one that it’s not there yet (after all, it is a year away from release, as we noted), it seems to the GoogleGazer that it’s premature to comment, since more is still unknown that is known.

A Peek at the Google Chrome OS

Caesar Sengupta, Group Product Manager and Matt Papakipos, Engineering Director at Google have posted a short video about the new Google Chrome Operating System.

Chrome OS will be ready for users in a year, and the code has been put into the public domain. The official announcement is on Google’s Blog.

Chrome OS is a light-weight, speedy, and so-called stateless OS based on Linux that is designed to boot in 7 seconds or less. It assumes that both data and programs are stored in the Cloud. All applications are web apps.  Essentially, this means that,

  • “If you throw a computer out the window, you should be able to recreate its software, configuration, and user data bit-for-bit identically on a new piece of hardware.
  • In any managed deployment from school workstation lab to enterprise server room, single computers should never be modified. Instead, all computers that need the modification should be modified in a single step.”

It follows that a device running Chrome OS will not need a hard drive, users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs.

It also follows from this that the device will only be usable “on-line,” and high-speed Internet access anywhere it’s used is a given.

In announcing Chrome OS, Google said,

[B]ecause all apps live within the browser, there are significant benefits to security. Unlike traditional operating systems, Chrome OS doesn’t trust the applications you run. Each app is contained within a security sandbox making it harder for malware and viruses to infect your computer. Furthermore, Chrome OS barely trusts itself. Every time you restart your computer the operating system verifies the integrity of its code. If your system has been compromised, it is designed to fix itself with a reboot. While no computer can be made completely secure, we’re going to make life much harder (and less profitable) for the bad guys. If you dig security, read the Chrome OS Security Overview or watch the video.

Now no one has said anything, but the GoogleGazer thinks it stands to reason that Google’s other OS effort, Google Anroid, a mobile device platform powered by the Linux kernel, and also in the public domain, will ultimately merge with Chrome OS.

Tim O’Reilly has been writing about light-weight operating systems access the Internet for years (see this example from 2002), and in an earlier post, the GoogleGazer pointed out that Prof. Robert Fano of MIT envisaged such an idea back in 1960, long before either PCs or the Internet became a reality.

Which all goes to prove,  as  Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr wrote in Les Guêpes (January 1849), “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (the more things change, the more they stay the same)”.

Google Acquires Gizmo5, Skype Competitor; Will Integrate with Google Voice

Google confirmed the rumors that it has acquired Gizmo5. Now, Skype, in the process of being spun off from ebay, will have a strong competitor. In the announcement on the Google Voice blog, Google said,

Today we’re pleased to announce we’ve acquired Gizmo5, a company that provides Internet-based calling software for mobile phones and computers. While we don’t have any specific features to announce right now, Gizmo5′s engineers will be joining the Google Voice team to continue improving the Google Voice and Gizmo5 experience. Current Gizmo5 users will still be able to use the service, though we will be suspending new signups for the time being, and existing users will no longer be able to sign up for a call-in number.

Gizmo5 (formerly known as Gizmo Project and SIPphone) is the name of a Voice over Internet Protocol communications network and of a proprietary freeware soft phone for that network.

eBay after an acrimonious public dispute with the founders of Skype has just announced that it has reached a settlement, clearing the way for the sale of the Internet communication company to a consortium formed by private equity firm Silver Lake PartnersAndreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, as reported by TechCrunch and others.

The acquisition is significant. According to Luca Filigheddu, Gizmo5 has demonstrated to be the best SIP-based VoIP service out there, letting users make VoIP calls from their PC, IP phones, mobile phones and other devices like, for example, the Nokia N800, offering inbound numbers and offering a service that let users make VoIP calls to Skype users, too.

Last but not least, Gizmo5 was integrated into Google Voice, something that let you do very interesting experiments like the one described in a (very popular) post I wrote many months ago, that is how to make calls from Google Voice to Skype. He goes on to write,

“smart guys like Andy, Craig, Vincent and, last but not least,  Michael Robertson (the man behind Gizmo5) made the first step towards this deal a few years ago or, let’s put it another way, were creating the foundations of what could potentially become the main disruption in the VoIP space of the past fifteen years. Impressive, right?
Hats off to these guys and congratulations to everyone involved. Take a look at this interesting article by Wired for more interesting comments by Andy Abramson about the deal.”
As noted, Gizmo5 already integrates with Google Voice. While Google has not yet significantly monetized Google Voice, there is little doubt that it plans to. Taken together with its recent acquisition of AdMob for $750 million, there is little doubt that Google has significant plans for Google Voice, as it seeks to dominate the mobile search market as it does desktop search. In announcing the AdMob transaction, Dow Jones Newswire noted, “The planned acquisition is intended to allow Google to better serve advertisers as they try to reach mobile users, an area long seen as potentially fertile new ground for ad sellers. Google said the purchase will boost its “existing expertise and technology in mobile advertising, while also giving advertisers and publishers more choice in this growing new area.”
The GoogleGazer believes that in several years, we will look back on these transactions as watershed events in the inevitable merger of the desktop, handheld devices, telecommunications,and the Internet.

Google Commerce Search Seeks Revenue From Online Retailers

Reuters reported that Google said it would begine selling Google Commerce Search at a starting price of $50,000 a year. The product allows online retailers to have Google operate the search capabilities for retail sites on Google’s own cloud-ased  computers, using a data feed that the retailers provide it of their product catalog.

Google, the leading search engine for Web pages, can perform searches of a retailer’s catalog significantly faster and better than what is currently available on many retail sites, according to Google Enterprise Search Lead Product Manager Nitin Mangtani. “Retailers convinced me that there’s a need for this type of product,” Mangtani said, adding that sluggish search performance on retail sites can send shoppers elsewhere and hurt a retailer’s sales conversion rates.

The $50,000annual  price includes up to 10 million search queries, Mangtani said. The price for retailers whose sites have a volume of more than 10 million will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis, he said.

While Reyters quotes Gartner analyst Van Baker who said a recent study by his group found that very few large Internet retailers plan to make any changes to their basic e-commerce technology and “there’s not a whole lot of evidence that they’re looking to switch,” the GoogleGazer thinks many of the large and mid-sized retailers will find it very cost-effective to switch.  No chance however, that the Amazon’s and Wal-Marts of the world will switch, as they have the infrastructure, resources and corporate egos that rule out any prospect of outsourcing to Google.

Mangtani thinks there is plenty of demand from the top 1,000 retailers in key markets like the United States and Western Europe. Footwear maker Birkenstock USA is the first customer officially using the product and Mangtani said a “good number” of retailers have been testing it over the past three or four months.

Of course, if a lot of retilers end up using the product, Google will have an interesting window into on-line buying habits, and in the long run that will be worth more to them than the revenue from hosting.

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