Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Best Computer News I've Heard In A While

is right here, folks: the Google operating system!

I bet Microsoft's shitting peachpits right about now.

I use Chrome almost exclusively: it's by far the best browser I've ever seen, and I've tried a few. Yes, all the power users out there employ Firefox, and I don't blame them: it's endlessly customizable and it runs quickly. If you're the kind of brainiac who loves tweaking things, Firefox is tailor-made for you.
I'm not that kind of person. My computer life has three overarching principles. In order of importance: simplicity, stability, and speed. Chrome embodies all three.
Simplicity: the home page. It's simply clickable thumbnails of your top nine most visited sites. Which is only can't surf the web by staying "home", after all.
This home page is unique in my experience, and highly desirable after just a couple of sessions. One of my father's friends sent me a link to the latest version of Safari; immediately after install, I was greeted with...a blank page. Well, that's attractive. Upon further review, I noticed it wasn't a home page at all but a "bookmarks menu". So I looked for the button to bring me home.
It didn't exist. It doesn't...freaking...exist. EVERY browser has a little house you click on to bring up your home page. Except Safari. Whatever.

Back to Chrome: the stability is appreciated. If one tab crashes, you can close it out and keep surfing like nothing happened. Try that in Explorer.
And speed: Chrome may not be the fastest out there--depending on your benchmark, Safari can outperform it--but it's plenty fast enough. In real-world application it's a shade quicker than a 'fox and moves at light-speed compared to Explorer.

There's no place like Chrome...

And that's just a web browser. Every other application I've seen from Google has something, or several somethings, to recommend it. From Google Earth to Google Books (drools) to the new Android, this company doesn't seem to miss a step.

Which raises some thorny ethical issues. I wrote a story a few years ago in which Google ran the world. At the time, I meant the conceit facetiously. Now, it looks uncomfortably close to the unvarnished truth. I can see how this would bother people.
It doesn't bother me. If it wasn't Google, it'd be some other company...and I have a lot of respect for any company with the informal motto "Don't be evil". They've reacted to pressure re: Street View and blurred faces "to protect people's privacy", even though privacy in a public space is patently ridiculous. The EULA on Chrome was another flashpoint until Google fixed it. I knew when I first read that agreement it was a mistake, and unenforceable in any case, because the code for Chrome--as is the case with this new OS--is open source. In short, my default position is to give Google the benefit of most doubts...and it seems the market agrees with me.
I can't wait for this shiny new OS to land. It sounds like it will take up dramatically less memory (always a good thing...just because you have umpty-terabytes available doesn't mean you have to use it all). It should also run more stable and faster. Like Chrome. Bring it on.


Rocketstar said...

Just to counterpoint for MR Softy, the new version of IE also has all of the features you speak about but I can not say it is better than the rest as I really have not given the others a try, I just don't experience any issues with IE plus I own a lot of MSFT stock so anything I can do to help ;o)

Mark said...

Chrome doesn't work on Windows 2000.. and yes, Windows 2000 is better on memory and faster than XP.

Also, the new google OS will be based on linux.. that is NOT what I call innovative... using something like Haiku is what I call a challenge. I love linux and it's my main OS BUT for a company claiming to be cutting edge, it's a very middle ground kind of decision.