What the heck is a Web OS anyway? Big deal!

Swami Nikhilaananda said:
"Pfffttt... all this hype about Web OS makes me wonder"

With the recent release of the Google Chrome OS, a web operating system, the whole world is geared up to see if there will be a paradigm shift in technology, in the way we use our computers and operating systems, and so on.

So, what's a web OS anyway?
If you use a desktop or a laptop, you make some changes in some files on your system. Then, the changes are only on your system. The files are saved on your system. A web OS however, stores your files on some thing known as a cloud, basically a central repository, and therefore becomes device independent - You will be able to access these files from anywhere.

That sounds cool, doesn't it?
It definitely does sound cool, but frankly it is not. Why you ask? Let me give you a simple example. In my company, we work on something known as a VM - A virtual machine basically. The actual system is centrally housed in the United States. I go to office, connect my laptop to the network, use Windows Remote Desktop tool and connect to the system in the US. I complete some work, close the session, shut down my laptop, and come back home. Once I reach home, I turn on my laptop, turn on the VPN, complete the connection and use Windows Remote Desktop connection to resume my work - The desktop of the Denver system again opens exactly in the same state as what it was in... Same as a cloud, don't you think?

We have always been using the cloud growled Larry...
Larry Ellison of Oracle has always said that cloud always existed and doesn't understand what the hype and hubbub is about. Frankly, nor do I. The Chrome OS is not going to be as revolutionary as it is made to sound. Yes, there a large number of great applications to use - But, I can do the same with Windows as well, just like what I told you about previously. Yes, there are some differences with the existing Remote Desktop and this one, in the sense that there will be a break in continuity the moment network goes off, whereas in Chrome OS, you can continue to work and the sync will happen when network resumes.

Hey, what about collaboration and simultaneous working?
Sure! But these things can be done with conventional operating systems using Chrome and its applications, or even with other browsers.

Chrome OS will definitely not result in a paradigm shift - Linux has a far far greater chance of dethroning Microsoft because it has a greater deal of power and is on the same lines as that of Windows. A web OS is for people, exactly as Google claims, who spend time on the web, sending emails, chatting, updating messages on facebook and blogging. And this will not replace everyone's systems - Sure, it will result in an add-on to the existing operating system, but nothing as revolutionary as claimed.

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Comments from Facebook

Ramesh Radhakrishna: paradigm shift and all other terminologies are management crap man ... But of course it is for the first time that a common man can get to use this on a full scale ... (Like Microsoft OS .. OS was always there ... cheap and common man usable OS made it huge !!) :-P

Sandesh Kainthaje: But whatever it is, we need to know that this is the future of all OSs. Everything will be web based eventually

Ramesh Radhakrishna: ‎@Sandesh:: What ?? Why do u say so ??

Sandesh Kainthaje: Thats how it is...Cloud is the future...The concept of software as a product is gone now....The new concept is software as a service...

Ramesh Radhakrishna: dude ... many such predictions bombed !!! It is going to gain attention .. I don't think it is going to wipe out everything ... Software as a service existed since mid 1990s ..

Sandesh Kainthaje: But google didn't....Because of them other have to move on now if they have to stay in market. Could ever think that Microsoft would move its cash cow office to cloud? Situation demands

Nikhil Baliga: No, I disagree. The cloud will bomb for sure - Many times, Google is hyped. They said wave was supposed to revolutionise the way we think about email and IM. Nothing happened, we are still writing same emails and using same IM. Instead wave disappeared. Similar to various other Google products that have come and gone.

Besides, Microsoft is anyway right behind Google with respect to the cloud - They don't want to act before Google because that way, they will be jeopardising themselves. Office on the web is out, and is better than Docs in that it can integrate with offline Office. Apparently, MS has a lot of web apps ready. They are also working on Azure. These are plan B for MS, but I am sure it will never reach that stage. Linux on the other hand is powerful and has the edge.

Sandesh Kainthaje: Yes Wave was hype, Gdocs was hype....I do agree that, with current technology, cloud can't be famous. But could is the future if anyone were to see 10-15 years a head.

Sandesh Kainthaje: BTW Google was not hype :P They have done a good job....

Nikhil Baliga: ‎10 - 15 Years? Dude, by then playing fields would have changed a lot. Chrome OS might be dead because devices might all become touch based (or gesture based, going by Intel's ad) I have a feeling Android will become the next OS because it is geared towards such devices (like Samsung's tablet)

Yeah, Google's search is good, but they should seriously start developing products more seriously first rather than hyping and releasing it based on invitations and only within the US

Ramesh Radhakrishna: not trying to be cynical ... But ... I agree with nikhil that so many of google's products are over-hyped ...

Chiranth Ashok: I agree with Nik when he talks about VPN and Remote Desktop.. Virtual machines are the way to go.. Simply because they are not as hardware extensive as cloud computing.. Its way cheaper and open source virtual servers are already available for your research... Google should concentrate on building the right products before announcing exaggerated things..


Pradeep Nayak said…
Nikhil same is the case with Citrix Xen Desktops.They are also extremely good.

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