It’s about time someone took this initiative: Google Chrome OS

I especially like the following:

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.

I recently had the ‘pleasure’ witnessing several 60+ yr old friends and family (all respect for everyone in their 2nd or 3rd youth) buying their first pc, taking their first steps using a pc and the net.

Have you ever seen the gazillions of little ‘useful’ tools that are installed on a new standard Vista pc or laptop ? This is like learning to drive a new car and being placed in an airplane cockpit. And all the messages one gets about virus/security checks, fingerprint nog being enrolled, trial period expiring (because half those really useful tools come with a trial period), … If I was in their shoes, being confronted with this as a total newbie, I guess I’d just give up pretty soon. As a matter of fact, I actually gave up on Vista on my work-laptop, it was driving me crazy. Thank god I was allowed to install XP. I’m a Linux user at home, and Vista was such a frustrating experience that Windows XP actually felt like breath of fresh air.

And what are those people using? Email, browsing…. and maybe writing a little letter now and then or storing their photo’s if they have a digital camera. Actually (side note), I get the impression that hearing about facebook is a major motivator for the digital newbies to finally take the plunge, buy a pc and get on-line.

And OK, we’ve seen initiatives like this before, but Google is a brand everyone knows… unlike Ubuntu, Debain or Mandriva. Google = God. If I was Microsoft I’d be wetting my pants knowing Google was about to release their own OS, without a doubt fully optimized to use their own on-line office suit. On the other hand, the old adage ‘no one ever got fired for choosing Microsoft’ still holds a lot of truth.

I hope I’ll be able to give it a big thumbs up if a would-be pc-user asks me what kind of pc/OS they should go for in the near future.
On the other hand, if I’d do that, I’m pretty sure a couple of weeks later I’d get a call asking how to install this game or photo editing tool they got from one of their Windows using friends… or that nifty photo-printer they just bought. But then, I also get those questions now from newbie Windows users. It takes a couple of years before Newbie pc users understand that some things just don’t work and aren’t worth the time trying to fix them. I’d just wish they’d go back to the shop when something doesn’t work. You also don’t let you mechanic friend try to fix a problem with your brand new car. But that’s another story…

Wait and see…