Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Google ChromeOS reviewed

Here's an Ars Technica review of Chrome hardware and software. The review is of an early prototype laptop with ChromeOS, so it's hard to say how useful this is. Google has a history of getting off to a rocky start, then very quickly improving things to near perfection -- this happened when Google bought this blog host (Blogger).

My big problem with Chrome and cloud computing is that we no longer have control -- of our apps, of our data, of our own computing experience. On the flip side, broadband connections and the large server farmers owned by Google and Microsoft are bullet-proof and should always be available. Still, I want my data on my computer, so I'm responsible for it and can make sure it's backed up. I also want applications hosted locally, for the most part. With a full computer, I can have my cake and eat it too -- nobody else houses my data or apps, yet I have full access to the Internet.

Here's a bigger problem with cloud computing. Companies like Microsoft and Google, the two major pushers of the cloud, are not excited because it's better computing. They're interested in cloud computing because they see profits in it. What else? The more they can get you online, the more advertising they can sell, and the more fees and subscriptions they can get from you, all in the name of "premium" services.

Google is an advertising company, the digital equivalent of a large corporation that owns the billboards on the side of the freeway. Yahoo and increasingly Microsoft are in the same space. To make the advertising effective, and therefore valuable, they need more people online, more often. What better way to accomplish this than to have us do our computing exclusively online, where they can sell things to us?

Make no mistake about it: the cloud is good for corporate profits, maybe not so good for us.


Anonymous said...


The Shaved Ape said...

By making your comment, you've changed its own validity. Spooky.