Feeds

Why can't Google be more like Microsoft?

Chrome OS and the wonders of closed open source

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Playing dumb

Sundar Pichai's bit about the Chrome OS code tree was only the second most disingenuous statement of the day. Asked if Chrome OS was Google's attempt to unseat Microsoft on the desktop, co-founder Sergey Brin played, yes, dumb. "Call us dumb businessmen," he said. "But we really focus on user needs rather than think about strategies relative to other companies and whatnot."

At least Apple and Microsoft admit they're Fortune 500 companies interested in making large amounts of money. At least Apple and MS developers know where they stand. Google won't even acknowledge it has a plan, much less tell you what that plan might be.

But make no mistake: The plan is to collect your data and serve you ads. It's no wonder Google is open sourcing its OS code. It doesn't sell software. And it never will. It's an advertising company merely interested in tracking what you do - and targeting your eyeballs accordingly.

That's why Chrome OS has shut out native applications - not to mention local data. Google talks of speed and security, and that's all well and good. But there are other paths to speed and security. Google wants to force you into using its very own web-based services/data-hoarding ad platforms.

Web-based developers have a place in this world. At least, that's what Google says. It's still unclear how third parties will compete with Googly services. But even if Chrome OS is wonderfully open to third-party web devs, this leaves out far more than just Microsoft - Google's bete noir. If it can't run native applications, it can't run Skype. It can't run all sorts of media players and IM clients. And the list goes on.

Yes, Google provides for native applications on Android. But Android's closed open source model has its own drawbacks. And with handset makers free to reuse the code however they want, market fragmentation is inevitable. Google plays down talk of market fragmentation, but in the end, fragmentation doesn't matter to Google. It's even a good thing.

Once again: Google wants you on the web - not on local applications. Sergey Brin says that one day Chrome OS and Android will merge, and we can only assume they will merge in a way that freezes out local apps entirely.

If you believe the rumors, Google may even shun its own hardware partners in its ongoing quest for ad dollars. After a widely ridiculed claim from TechCrunch that Mountain View is developing its very own Googlephone, The Times (of London) has served up a story saying much the same thing.

According to The Times, this alleged VoIP phone will use a new version of Android dubbed Flan. In case you're slow: Flan is not open source. Google won't even say if it exists.

A representative of HTC - the Taiwanese handset manufacturer - tells Appcelerator's Jeff Haynie that it has 150 engineers working inside the Mountain View Chocolate Factory. They may or may not be working on the Googlephone. But it wouldn't surprise us if they are.

With Chrome OS, Google has shown it wants control of the hardware as well as the operating system. It'll open source the alleged Flan - after leaking a video of a giant dessert onto YouTube - but don't let that fool you into thinking Google will have anything less than complete control of the entire device. If you can call it a device. It's really just an ad platform. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.