Since Google Chrome was released, the Techochamber has been bouncing a lot of feedback about the new Web browser from Google. One theme of discussion is pertaining to the possibility for Google to attract Microsoft users toward being loyal to Google. Michael Arrington said a rather embarassing comment that the Windows OS is a “layer,” that can be removed and replaced by Google Chrome.
Expect to see millions of web devices, even desktop web devices, in the coming years that completely strip out the Windows layer and use the browser as the only operating system the user needs.
The quote above was from Michael Arrington when he opined that Google’s Chrome browser could takeover the Windows operating system. A lot of geeky debate surrounds the definition of an Operating System; nonetheless; Arrington shamed himself in front of thousands of geeks, nerds and IT managers worldwide in that statement.
An operating system interacts with hardware, device drivers and supports the interactions between applications and protocols. The OS is merely the environment an application lives — not the application itself. Many IT professionals are aware of the Open System Interconnection (OSI) Model that demonstrates the interaction between hardware, data transfer and presentation of data.
The OSI model is used to segment the responsibility of how applications handle data and how data is processed in a computer. Nowhere in the OSI model is the “Windows Layer” as erroneously stated by Arrington. Operating sytems typically encompass the Transport to the Presentation layer; and by comparison — Google Chrom is still sitting at the Application layer.
In a lengthy but humorous attack on Arrington, Ted Dziuba, explains that statements by Arrington validate the fact claiming journalists (like mainstream America) don’t understand technology. While Dziuba’s is clearly an exaggeration and a strong attack, his entry illustrates the perspective that developers don’t want to complicate the OSI model any further by nullifying Operating Systems into “layers.”
Currently, Google’s Web browser is in Beta, but they have already challenged browser developers to make their applications powerful, smart and user-friendly. As always, Privacy is a concern and they’ve included the obligatory Private Web browsing mode (aka, “porn mode“) into the browser. This feature competes with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer’s variation of Private Web Browsing known as InPrivate.
Finally, I will say that Google has a strong competitive advantage if they are able to penetrate the OEMs like Dell, Gateway, HP, etc. That is, if they were able to develop a reliable Linux distribution and run Chrome + Gears so the application performance would be superior to other third-party Web applications — it would be huge. However, despite this possibility that the Mountain View, CA company could be an OS, but a majority of mainstream users still see Google as a search engine, 73% fail to even acknowledge the Google Docs service or other online productivity suites. The biggest hurder Google needs to address is explaining why there isn’t a “File > Save” on Web applications.
No matter what people tell you, the Internet is not an Operating System or a Series of Tubes.