The shape of GoogleOS?


Read/WriteWeb have another of their articles trying to predict what a Google-produced operating system might be like. There’s no reason to suggest that Google are even developing such a thing, but that doesn’t stop the guessing game being fun.

Their conclusion is that it will be a stripped down Linux, which literally just boots the computer into FireFox to connect with Google’s many web services, rather than a Web based OS like YouOS, or a fully functional Linux distribution.

It’s a cute idea, and one which I think has some legs – even if Google themselves don’t do it. I do believe, for example, that the future of the web is mobile – maybe a Blackberry sized device that boots into Firefox via wireless connections and then hooks up with web services like those offered by Google and of course Zoho and others.

This approach would completely knock out the need for any kind of syncing between the mobile device and a desktop workstation, because the systems and interfaces you are using are exactly the same.

One of the problem with this approach is what you do with data. Will people be happy that every file they own is stored online, with Google’s ad bots running through them picking up on everything we do with our computers? It’s obvious that business will have a problem with this although whether that is true of the average home user, I don’t know.

Another fundamental issue is over the technology that is being used to produce so many of the web apps that are out there, and specifically Ajax. Bill Thompson puts it much better than I could:

There is a massive difference between rewriting Web pages on the fly with Javascript and reengineering the network to support message passing between distributed objects, a difference that too many Web 2.0 advocates seem willing to ignore. It may have been twenty years since Sun Microsystems trademarked the phrase ‘the network is the computer’ but we’re still a decade off delivering, and if we stick with Ajax there is a real danger that we will never get there.

It’s an interesting debate though, and one that hyprtext will be keeping a close eye on.

[tags]read/writeweb, google, googleos, bill thompson[/tags]