Google Chrome OS ? Implications for Apple?

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    Posted: 08 July 2009 08:06 AM

    Google is apparently working on a new open-source OS.
    Me thinks this is big news for the industry.
    Where is this going? Implications for Apple?


    Google to launch operating system


    “Google is developing an operating system (OS) for personal computers, in a direct challenge to market leader Microsoft and its Windows system.

    Google Chrome OS will be aimed initially at small, low-cost netbooks, but will eventually be used on PCs as well.

    Google said netbooks with Chrome OS could be on sale by the middle of 2010.

    “Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS,” the firm said in its official blog.

    The operating system, which will run on an open source license, was a “natural extension” of its Chrome browser, the firm said. “


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8139711.stm

         
  • Posted: 08 July 2009 08:13 AM #1

    In the short term it is going to fracture all those developers who have been trying to squeeze android onto netbooks. Now Google are coming in with another OS for them. Depends on how badly Microsoft want to chase them down the drain - but it is going to be hard for Microsoft to compete with free.

    Also the article is peppered with quotes from Rob Enderle renowned “industry analyst”.

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    Posted: 08 July 2009 08:22 AM #2

    rattyuk - 08 July 2009 11:13 AM

    Also the article is peppered with quotes from Rob Enderle renowned “industry analyst”.


    LOL

    sorry, i also cannot stand endele.
    however, his point about microsoft taking a hit does hold water i feel . . .

    one thing is for sure, this certainly will cause ripples in the industry.

         
  • Posted: 08 July 2009 08:26 AM #3

    the-irish-guy - 08 July 2009 11:22 AM

    sorry, i also cannot stand endele.
    however, his point about microsoft taking a hit does hold water i feel . . .

    one thing is for sure, this certainly will cause ripples in the industry.

    HELP!!!!!

    The sky is falling!!! Enderle is right!!!! Shock Horror!!!!!

    (damn and I thought I was going to post something significant for me 1,000th post, but no I’ve dropped into humor and the like AND mentioned Rob Enderle - oh the shame!!!!)

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  • Posted: 08 July 2009 09:04 AM #4

    rattyuk - 08 July 2009 11:26 AM
    the-irish-guy - 08 July 2009 11:22 AM

    sorry, i also cannot stand endele.
    however, his point about microsoft taking a hit does hold water i feel . . .

    one thing is for sure, this certainly will cause ripples in the industry.

    HELP!!!!!

    The sky is falling!!! Enderle is right!!!! Shock Horror!!!!!

    (damn and I thought I was going to post something significant for me 1,000th post, but no I’ve dropped into humor and the like AND mentioned Rob Enderle - oh the shame!!!!)

    tongue laugh tongue laugh tongue laugh

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    Steph :apple:
    Id quot circumiret, circumveniat

         
  • Posted: 08 July 2009 09:05 AM #5

    In the near term, this is positive for Apple, since Android seemed to be a more immediate threat, and now the importance of that platform has been undermined by Chrome, which won’t be available until the end of 2010, which probably means its a 2011 competitive issue at the earliest.  Knowing Google, I’d bet on it first being a 2012 competitive issue. 

    But longer term, if this kills Microsoft, it could kill Apple too.  The key battleground is Office.  If Google can convince the general public that they don’t need Office desktop and can instead use cloud computing office tools, then that would indeed be the end of Microsoft, but it could also end Apple, which in many ways is just a more user friendly way of running desktop applications such as Office because Apple focuses on a single hardware platform. 

    If by 2011, LTE or something similar is enabling ubiquitous internet, then an internet only device starts to make sense.  But this vision is not going to change things overnight.  Corporations are going to be slow to move all of their applications to the internet.  Its one thing to get users to try a new browser, its another to get them to ditch their word processor, spreadheet, powerpoint, exchange, etc.

    If Apple has to compete just on its styling and hardware production quality, it may still do well in the market, but it will be a tougher fight, with lower margins.

    So, this could change everything, but its long term implications are too far away to justify bailing on AAPL now, which is likely to have a strong 2010.  In the near term, it looks like Google has a long way to go, and is not particularly focused on how it is going to get there with both an Android platform and a Chrome platform still under intense development, with very uncertain overlap.

         
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    Posted: 08 July 2009 10:41 AM #6

    I will wait to hold judgement.  The great part of open source is it’s free to the end user.  The bad part of open source for business is you can’t make money from it.  Linux has been around for a number of years and has a small market share, what will goggle bring to the fight that can’t be done with Linux today.  Google makes their money in search and have yet to make money off their other products.  The idea is grand and goes back to the days of the mainframe and terminal except this time the data cloud is owned by Goggle.  A light terminal device is not new.  People went to client/server because they wanted local storage and off line processing.  Processing power has become cheap so I doubt consumers will want cloud applications and a terminal.  This means business.  They can replace thousands of relatively expensive desktops with low cost terminals which can be locked down for security.  I will watch closely since I’m long Apple, Google and Microsoft.

         
  • Posted: 08 July 2009 10:46 AM #7

    Google will have to contend with some of the same problems that plague Microsoft: too many different platforms, drivers, accessories. Windows has become bloated because of attempting to support all this crap. If Google can wipe the slate clean and convince buyers that they should toss their old software in favor of cloud computing, then it might break through. But if they have to support all the games, graphic apps, ect that Windows does, they will find it very frustrating. My advice for Google? Get a Mac!

         
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    Posted: 08 July 2009 11:55 AM #8

    I’m struggling to get some facts straight.  This OS is a vaporware that would be based on Linux kernel.  Optimized for internet.  Designed to be simple, fast and secure.  Targeted at netbooks initially and broadened to PCs later.  To be launched in mid 2010.

    Some questions.  Is this OS to be developed in-house solely or with help from open source developers?  Have they signed up any hardware manufacturers yet?  Would updates to OS manage centrally or like Linux, each variants and manufacturers work independently?

    So far it sounds like Pre’s WebOS and appstore, ain’t nothing to see yet.

    Btw, I plan to develop a new OS alone that is easy to use, user-friendly, it just works, ironclad secured, small footprint and compatible with MacOS, Linux and Windows.  It would be the best OS the world ever know.  OEM manufacturers would flock towards it like bees to honey.

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  • Posted: 08 July 2009 12:23 PM #9

    Mace, the potential power of Chrome is precisely the hybrid nature of the development:  it is marketed as “open source” and attracts that very dynamic community to help fill in the gaps, but is in fact primarily a single source developer, Google.  Google can succeed in ways that Linux never could because it can manage and control the development.  It has the money to get this right.  And the brand awareness and marketing muscle to succeed in ways that Linux never could.  Its Linux with a Big Brother. 

    I believe that if Google really put its vast resources solidly behind this, it could be wildly successful.  But everything I’ve seen so far from Google makes me predict it will be late and half-baked, or 80% baked at best, and that’s not enough to pull off such a huge undertaking.  And from a marketing perspective, its not particularly encouraging that before someone could come out with the first Android netbook they are already hyping Chrome netbooks.  Are the adults really running Google?

         
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    Posted: 08 July 2009 01:26 PM #10

    rattyuk - 08 July 2009 11:26 AM

    ... I thought I was going to post something significant for me 1,000th post, but no I’ve dropped into humor and the like AND mentioned Rob Enderle - oh the shame!!!!)

    Great balls of fire, man, get yourself to some sort of 12-step program NOW!

    :D

         
  • Posted: 08 July 2009 02:00 PM #11

    I don’t think Chrome OS, or the Cloud will have hardly any affect on the computing world.  It will affect the Netbook market, which Apple doesn’t play in.

    People who want to do serious work at home or in an office will never use Cloud computing.  It is too slow and unsafe.  I can’t imagine anyone doing any critical work using Cloud applications.

    I do all the office stuff - CAD, presentation, WP, spreadsheet, IPhoto, etc.  I wouldn’t even consider sitting and waiting for the internet to run my data back and forth, or to expose it to hackers.  That is, assuming the applications even exist.

    On the other hand, using an Iphone/netbook for quickie communications tasks is where the Cloud experience will boom.  Doesn’t affect “desktop” business.

    [ Edited: 08 July 2009 04:00 PM by BenG ]      
  • Posted: 08 July 2009 02:15 PM #12

    macorange - 08 July 2009 12:05 PM

    In the near term, this is positive for Apple, since Android seemed to be a more immediate threat…longer term, if this kills Microsoft, it could kill Apple too.  The key battleground is Office.  If Google can convince the general public that they don’t need Office desktop and can instead use cloud computing office tools, then that would indeed be the end of Microsoft, but it could also end Apple

    Huh? Sorry, I just don’t see the connection. A significant part of MS’s revenue and profits come from Office. Apple, on the other hand, couldn’t care less.

    Just as TextEdit, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote can read and write Office format documents now, Macs will be able to do the same for Chrome-based documents in the future.

    By the way, I’m finding it hard to see Android as a “threat” to Apple. Could you elaborate on your overall thesis a bit?

    ...its long term implications are too far away to justify bailing on AAPL now

    “Bailing?” That’s way over the top…

         
  • Posted: 08 July 2009 02:32 PM #13

    Cloud Computing is as big a joke as the Paperless Office. No one will ever truly trust their work to an internet connection, or their pesonal info to a private company who has already proven they will do whatever a government asks them to do if there is money in it like China.

    Still, anything that shakes up Microsoft is a good thing to some degree.

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    Posted: 08 July 2009 02:55 PM #14

    a couple of thoughts:

    1:

    with the new OS i assume that it might be difficult to use existing microsoft products.

    alternatives would have to be in place . . .

    maybe google are planning their own hardware/software solution. a netbook running chrome OS, chrome web browser, chrome spreadsheet, chrome word processor, etc, etc. . . .


    2:

    eric schmidt is on the board of apple.
    did apple know anything about this?
    if yes, then maybe sometime later on we may see some joint apple-google projects.
    if apple did not know anything about chrome OS, then how much longer can schmidt be tolerated as a board member?

         
  • Posted: 08 July 2009 03:26 PM #15

    deasys - 08 July 2009 05:15 PM
    macorange - 08 July 2009 12:05 PM

    In the near term, this is positive for Apple, since Android seemed to be a more immediate threat…longer term, if this kills Microsoft, it could kill Apple too.  The key battleground is Office.  If Google can convince the general public that they don’t need Office desktop and can instead use cloud computing office tools, then that would indeed be the end of Microsoft, but it could also end Apple

    Huh? Sorry, I just don’t see the connection. A significant part of MS’s revenue and profits come from Office. Apple, on the other hand, couldn’t care less.

    By the way, I’m finding it hard to see Android as a “threat” to Apple. Could you elaborate on your overall thesis a bit?

     

    Deasys,  as to Android being a threat to Apple, many handest manufacturers are known to be contemplating Android handsets.  Thousands of developers are already writing Android apps.  Android is not an immediate threat to iPhone, but its a lot closer to being a long term threat than Palm and the other OSes.  Until today, I also thought it was going to appear on a number of netbooks that could put a squeeze on Apple’s laptop margins over time.  Now it looks like that honor will go to Chrome, but its a confusing story so far from Google. 

    Office is central to the computing operating system wars.  Chrome will be targeting casual computer users—users who only need a browser and a word processor.  Office will not be compatible with Chrome, so Chrome is dead in the water unless Google can also convince these casual users to switch to Google Docs. I believe that the inability of Linux to run Office is the major reason why netbooks only running Linux have made no headway.

    Without a doubt, Chrome has an uphill battle here, but IF Google can get casual users to switch to Google Docs,  then Chrome can become a very worthy competitor to both Windows and MacOS, although that is not the only challenge facing Chrome, as other posters have pointed out. 

    There are lots of battles to be waged, but the overriding point is this:  Chrome stands for the proposition that operating systems are on the way out; and that everything can reside on the cloud.  While I’m not convinced of this vision in the next five years, neither is it preposterous. Google has lots of money to throw at this. If the vision is fulfilled, then say bye-bye to Apple’s core competitive advantage:  a rock-solid operating system integrating multiple devices and services.  Apple is not out of the game, but the game gets a lot tougher.

    I’m not advocating selling AAPL on this announcement, but I’m confident Chrome is going to keep my attention—and yours—for the next several years.