I read with interest an article in The Register from last September that I just ran across a few days ago: Chrome-fed Googasm bares tech pundit futility â€¢ The Register. It echoes some of the sentiments that I had made in a post around the same time last year, albeit with a bit more edge and humour, as well as some thoughts as to the reasons why the tech press has presaged Chrome as the “operating system of the future”. Some excerpts:
Users aren’t going to decide which computer to buy based on which browser comes pre-installed, and even if they do, I’m going to guess that they will choose Internet Explorer (or – as it is known commonly in user parlance – “the blue internet that opens my web sites”). In any case, a browser is still going to need a proper operating system to run, and that operating system will almost always be Windows.
This bullshit is a common theme when talking about Chrome. Those who realize that Chrome is not a full fledged operating system but still want to get in on the page-view party are calling Chrome the cloud operating system. Get it, because it’s like clouds. All nature and shit. Don’t you want to read that story?
Well, at least Blodget sort of understands what it takes to run a web browser. I can’t say the same for Michael Arrington, who runs the Special Olympics of tech media, TechCrunch. Arrington fancies himself a kingpin of Web 2.0, but when he starts saying shit like this, it’s hard for him to keep the respect of people, who, you know, understand how computers work:
Chrome is nothing less than a full on desktop operating system that will compete head on with Windows.
Expect to see millions of web devices, even desktop web devices, in the coming years that completely strip out the Windows layer and use the browser as the only operating system the user needs.
In no way can this statement be construed to make sense, and I’m not just being a pedantic asshole here. Fortunately, El Reg readers are with it enough to know that you need a proper OS before you can have a browser. However, a significant number of the users you IT admins support are reading shit like this, and will be putting in support tickets to have Google Chrome OS installed on their computers as soon as possible, because they’ve had enough of Windows and are ready for a change.
Everyone was after the perfect story, whether or not it actually exists. Someone is finally bringing the battle to Microsoft’s front door, and that someone is already a media darling. Google releasing a browser is so damned close to the ideal situation, but there’s not quite enough to declare that Chrome will replace Windows. None the less, this does not stop the technically incompetent from spinning it as such. Maybe they were just feeling nostalgic about Microsoft pummeling the shit out of Netscape?
Anyway, not even Sergey Brin could stop the premature eGoogulation. At a press conference, Brin said:
I would not call Chrome the operating system of Web apps…
Dammit, Sergey. You’re ruining my story!
As comedy would have it, word is that Brin is a Mac user. Considering Google hasn’t released its browser for the Mac yet, he has to run Chrome in VMWare.
Operating system indeed.