FryUp: Chrome hits home

Recession-proof broadband, GOOGOS and the network's weakest link

Spitting in the face of recession

The giant multinational that effectively builds and runs New Zealand’s telecommunications and internet infrastructure, Alcatel-Lucent, has deemed broadband on par with pet grooming. The Philter: AlcaLu’s Recession-Proof Broadband

Chrome hits home

While Microsofties are busy changing underwear after hearing the long-awaited news of Google’s Chrome Operating System, speculation’s running hot on what it will actually be like. I’m guessing it’ll be quite simple, like Google promises, and therefore fast. It’ll have some clever new features, and be really quite annoying in many ways and of course, totally tied up with Big G’s online offerings. It’ll most certainly happen though, no matter how much people laugh and point finger at its Linux underpinnings. Chrome OS is a logical step for a company hell-bent on taking over the internet. Up until now, Google’s weak spot lay at the edge of the ‘Net, with the devices people use. Content could be delivered to those in such a fashion that it would bypass Google, by using Flash or Silverlight or locally. Google started fixing up this intolerable situation with the Chrome web browser and the Android mobile operating system and stack of apps, and soon we’ll get to enjoy AdSense and AdWords on our desktops too. It needs a better name though. I’m quite partial to GOOGOS, but maybe it needs to be something more powerful, like The One Operating System To Rule All Computing Devices? An Operating System To Raise Any Regulators Ire? I’m not so good at this. Any suggestions? The winner gets a free Computerworld subscription for a year. The big winner from Google Chrome OS: Telcos Opinion: Why Google Chrome OS matters already

Lay more cable

Listen to Brett O’Riley who says that we need to have international connectivity at least on par with our major trading partners, because we’re so far away from everywhere. This makes sense in the same way that refrigerated ships do. Don’t — in this case at least — listen to Rod Drury, the Xero CEO, who says to scrap the government’s fibre to the home plans, in favour of a new cable. That makes no sense at all, as it would keep demand down to the point that no new cable is needed. We need to fix the entire network structure, and not bits of it one at the time. From a pure capacity point of view, there’s no need for another cable. The Southern Cross one can fit a good amount of traffic still, but there’s no doubt that some competition for it would help point its pricing policies in the right direction and up the overall usage. It’s also a good idea not to forget national transit in the discussion. I’m told that some ISPs outside Auckland pay more for shipping data back and forth throughout the country than they do for international bandwidth, simply because there’s no competition to Telecom and TelstraClear. No network is stronger than its weakest link, as they say. Kordia says new cable is needed




Robert X Cringely The Google OS: Are we saved at last?

The looooong-rumoured news has finally come to pass, but will the Chrome OS make a dent in Microsoft's dominance or will it be another geeks-only thing? Forget Michael Jackson, Sarah Palin, Roger Federer, Vladmir Putin, and everybody else. Today we have some real news: Google has finally stopped dorking around and announced it's going mano a mano with Microsoft in the operating systems game. Starting in the second half of 2010, you may be able to buy a netbook from a major OEM running the open source Google Chrome OS. I had two immediate reactions to Google's announcement:

1. It's about friggin' time.

2. Let's hope Chrome the OS is a lot better than Chrome the browser, which was the buggiest Google product I've ever used. Nimble and innovative, for sure, but also occasionally maddening. Also: If this is all just a joke, it will be the best prank Google has ever pulled. Of course, an open source OS for netbooks (and eventually desktops) isn't exactly a Windows killer. If that were true, Jaunty Jackalope and all its furry Ubuntu cousins would have dusted Microsoft a long time ago. Remember also that Google has travelled down the OS highway before, and Android hasn't exactly made anyone forget the iPhone; personally I find it underwhelming. Finally, open source OSes appeal primarily to geeks because support ranges from problematic to nonexistent. That's not exactly a good fit with cheap consumer-friendly netbooks. All that said, things around Cringeville just got a lot more interesting. And the entire geekosphere is kvelling about it. Venture Beat's Dean Takahashi and Anthony Ha write:

"The obvious goal here is to end Microsoft's monopoly, but Google says it wants to make computers better, so that people can access their email instantly without waiting for browsers to start or computers to boot. People should not have to worry about backing up their files or losing a computer. Nor should they need to configure software and worry about constant software updates. Of course, if Google can make computers more web-oriented rather than desktop software-oriented, that could be a boon for all of its web services, from Gmail to Google Docs." Here here, I'll drink to that. And let's buy a round for the house. AllThingsD's Peter Kafka says the Chrome OS will succeed even if it fails, because it will keep Microsoft busy defending its flank at the same time it's trying to shave a few slivers off Google's search engine market share. (Of course, Redmond could always counterpunch by offering up an open source Bing OS. If that happens, be sure to watch out for low-flying pigs.) On the other hand, PCW's Melissa Perenson asks, "Does the world need another OS?" My answer? Most definitely. Competition spurs innovation and (OK, Mac fanboys, brace yourselves) Apple simply does not provide enough of it. Ditto for Linux. There, I've just PO'd half my readers in two sentences. That may be a new record. But does the world need another Microsoft? Definitely not. And the bigger Google has gotten, the more it has resembled the not-so-friendly giant looming to the north. Especially when it comes to the "trust us, we know better" mantra that seems to seep from its clever little pores. I suspect adding an OS to the mix won't do much to tamp down the hubris in Mountain View. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait a year (at least) before things begin to shake out. It ought to be an interesting one. Does a Google OS excite you, or is it just more of the same? Post your thoughts below or e-mail me:

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