Google’s Chrome OS: Return of the dumb terminal

Apple Online StoreGoogle’s “Chrome OS essentially turns your browser into an operating system,” Karl Johnson writes for T-GAAP.

“It basically turns your shiny new computer into a dumb terminal for the web. All of your files are on the internet or what many refer to as the cloud,” Johnson writes. “I could see certain business applications that could take advantage of this browser based operating system. For most users though, this does not seem like a realistic operating system.”

Johnson writes, “Ten years ago the idea of network computers were introduced. These were stripped down machines with big pipes to the internet. They were invented because computers were expensive and hard to maintain. That was ten years ago, technology has changed. Even the cheapest computer today has enough computing power to do most of the tasks required of them. Storage also has dramatically changed. We have more than enough storage space on our local computers. Why strip these computers down to nothing to save a few dollars?”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Google Chrome: designed by dumb people to be used by dumb people on dumb terminals. It’s Google’s 1,001th attempt to copy Apple but in a dumb way.

    May Eric T Mole remain as Google CEO forever. I see flying chairs in the Googleplex happening soon.

  2. Just wondering if all of you are going to have the same opinion if/when Jobs announces something similar with Lion..They aren’t spending a billion dollars down in North Carolina for nothing…

    Maybe Lion won’t strip down local resources as much as Chrome apparently does, but methinks Apple is moving in somewhat of the same direction.

  3. I honestly don’t “get” Chrome for the exact reasons the author stated. CPU and hard-drives are cheap AND portable and have been for at least five years.

    Why leave it in the cloud when I can take it with me?

    The only thing I love about the cloud is the ability to sync documents, updates, contacts, calendars etc. But I do not want to depend on the cloud for anything critical.

  4. Apple’s cloud stategy seems to me to be the most realistic. Ive heard it called ‘partly cloudy,’ and it is as far as I am willing to go with my data. I want to use the cloud to sync my devices and back-up my data. However, the reality is that the internet is not reliable enough to do away with local storage.

  5. Well, I agree with the concerns about Google being the “keeper of your data.” However, an iPad (and iPhone for that matter) is somewhat similar, in terms of data. That’s why it can get by just fine with only 16GB of local storage, because a large portion of the data it accesses is stored somewhere online. In contrast, a regular laptop typically needs “hundreds” of GBs of local storage for normal operation.

    True, you can store some files locally (such as iTunes media files that you sync from your computer). However, Apple intentionally does not provide a “Finder” for iOS; those files are usually accessed by the app that uses them.

    So in terms of how data is used by the user (and not by Google ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> ), I don’t see that much difference.

  6. WriterGuy, Apple SPENT not spending. This is done and will be on line prior to year end (if not already).

    Apple sells hardware and has no problem with people buying a great device. Google sells advertising and wants you on their cloud.

    I can think of many things Apple will do with their server farm. But, none of them involve dumb devices. Apple will hold your media data and files to share between smart devices.

  7. Also, this writer does not understand what “dumb terminal” means (probably too young). In the old days, these terminals allowed many users to access a large powerful (in its day) computers at the same time. The “main” computer did most of the processing for multiple users and the “terminals” just did barely enough work to display the results for each user.

    That’s obviously NOT how Google’s Chrome OS system will work. Much of the user’s data may reside online, but each Chrome OS computer will be doing most of the processing work locally. They my be dependent on the “cloud,” but they are “dumb.” More and more of computing in general, even on PCs and Macs, is working that same way.

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