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A short post on the conceit at the heart of Google ChromeOS

One of the prime reasons for the success of Twitter is that it has never been reliant on a single interface. Because it has cleverly exposed everything via rich APIs, it has effectively allowed a hundred interfaces to blossom.

Don’t like the way that the web interface now handles retweets? Wait a few weeks and you’ll have a choice of other interfaces, as native (or semi-native) clients on your desktop. All of them will offer different options.

And it’s that combination of rich applications, rich APIs, and web interfaces which makes the Internet so powerful.

That’s why Google ChromeOS, which says “do everything in the web”, is so weak. Of course, there’s good reasons why Google wants you to use web interfaces for everything (MOAR EYEBALLS! MOAR ADS!) but there aren’t really good reasons for customers to want to do it.

Faster boot times? Does anyone really shut down laptops? The only time any of mine – Windows or Mac – get shut down is when they need to restart to install an update. Other than that, it’s sleep all the way, and my Mac’s two second start up from sleep makes ChromeOS’ seven second cold boot look sluggish.

Security? Really? Does no one at Google know how to install anti-virus software? And it’s not like web applications haven’t had their own security issues, or are immune from any kind of attack.

Rich applications. Rich APIs. Web interfaces. The future is all of them, not a single, ad-dominated cul-de-sac.

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  • http://steveellwood.com Steve Ellwood


    Why haven’t I gone to Chrome as my sole browser? Largely, because I like AdBlock Plus and Flashblock running as plugins on Firefox.

    I do a lot of webside stuff; which I can do on Windows/Linux/or what’s it called.. MacOS something or other… Why would I want to limit myself…

  • http://moolies.typepad.com Cait

    Do you really leave everything on?

    I hope you use a green energy provider ; )

  • Ian Betteridge

    Steve: Yes. Think of Firefox as a rich API for web browsing…

    Cait: Asleep. Laptops sleep. :)

  • Pingback: Google Chrome OS – the morning after still has people not get it()

  • http://cheerleader.yoz.com/ Yoz

    Want AdBlock for Chrome? Go get: http://www.chromeextensions.org/appearance-functioning/adblock/
    Chrome 4.0 onwards has a proper extension system. I don’t know if you get quite as much power as Firefox gives – I haven’t investigated – but there’s certainly enough for most uses.

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