Boot Shill

When I saw this story reporting that Google’s Chrome OS, now under development, will boot in seven seconds or less, my [TIRADE MODE] switch went to the on position.

The price you will pay for this fast boot is not having anything on the computer. From the description, it sounds like WebTV on steroids:

    True to Google’s Internet-pedigree, the Chrome OS resembles a Web browser more than it does a traditional computer operating system like Microsoft , matching Google’s ambition to drive people to the Web — where they can see Google ads.

    (snip)

    Netbooks running Chrome OS will only be able to run Web applications and the user’s data will automatically be stored on the Web in the so-called cloud of Internet servers, Google executives said at an event at the company’s Mountain View, California headquarters on Thursday.

If this is true–and it is consistent with all the other rumors I’ve heard about Chrome OS–when it doesn’t have an internet connection, it will be a [mumble] hundred dollar brick.

I listen to a lot of geeky podcasts. Sometimes they are informative; sometimes they are entertaining; often they are both.

A recurring theme on many of them is “What does Linux need to be a success?”–success being defined as used on a higher percentage of home computers.

Some persons claim that Linux must have an easier-to-use desktop. The truth is that the Gnome or KDE desktops are pretty easy for anyone to use; if you don’t tell someone it’s not Windows, they probably won’t even notice. They might notice that the menus are arranged a little differently and wonder why there’s a picture of a penguin or of Bob Dobbs, but that’s about it.

The window managers, such as Fluxbox, which I favor, are a little more difficult, mostly because they do not offer a graphical way of editing the menus or changing the wallpaper or performing some of the other cosmetic functions. They require one to read some directions and to type commands into (horrors!) the command line or edit files with (gasp!) a text editor.

Some persons think Linux needs a faster boot time. In a podcast I listened to earlier this week, one fellow was boasting that he had gotten the boot time of his Linux Triple-E PC down to five seconds (mostly by turning off services he didn’t need when he was using it in a coffee shop).

My netbook boots to the login screen in 27 seconds. My laptop boots in less than a minute. I don’t think boot time is the issue.

What Linux needs to gain wider acceptance is to be on the computers when they are in the showroom and when customers bring them home for the first time.

End of story.

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