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Chrome OS Gains Open Source Home

Google has executed nearly everything to perfection -- except when it comes to Chrome. I first learned of Chrome when I downloaded a beta of the browser. It worked fine, but lacked the features and familiarity of Firefox and IE (which I find pretty interchangeable).

But there is another Chrome, and this puppy is a full-fledged operating system. To reduce the confusion, the browser is simply called Chrome while the OS is called (you guessed it) Chrome OS.

But enough about names. Let's talk about the OS, which, while unfinished, has already been released as open source. Chrome OS is a near-total departure from Windows or Mac OS in that it relies almost entirely on the Internet. Sure, it's a local OS, but after it boots, apps and data reside in the cloud, an approach promulgated by Larry Ellison and Scott McNealy a decade ago.

I like this approach, and I hate it. Given how often Internet connections fail (less so since I bailed on DSL) and how often I'm away from a free wireless hotspot, I can't depend on the 'net. Having said that, I love the idea of all my files being in one location and accessible from whatever device I happen to have.

What I want to see is a hybrid, where my apps are local, the system automatically saves data locally and in the cloud, and the data is synchronized in real-time, not just a backup. What's your optimal system? Send requirements to dbarney@redmondmag.com. And if you've already got data synchronization nailed, send your answers to the same dbarney@redmondmag.com address.

Posted by Doug Barney on November 30, 2009 at 11:53 AM


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