As you know, Google develops two operating systems (with competing philosophy): Android (focused on native apps) and Chrome OS (focused on web-apps and browser). And even Google's management could never explain which of these philosophies corresponds to their strategy. Moreover, Android and Chrome are developed in the company by two separate teams which are competing with each other rather than collaborating. Today's news informs that the Chrome team managed to strike the opponent. Chrome browser is now available on Android. However, only on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Judging by the first reviews, the speed and usability of the mobile Chrome - is very cool. But it doesn't support flash. So the future OS forecast shifts towards the web-based apps based on HTML5.
Though the iPad is punching the laptop market, Google Chromebooks are progressing quite well and there is no reason to stop their production (like HP Touchpad). Furthermore, Google continues to make Chromebooks enterprise-ready: last week Chrome OS added support for VPN, secure Wi-Fi and virtualization client Citrix Receiver, which allows to run any Windows-based application on Chromebook. But even before these business-critical features were added, Chromebooks were already deployed in such companies as Salesforce.com, Groupon, Logitech, National Geographic, Konica Minolta. Obviously, the Google's offering - Google Notebook for for $28/month - is really cost-saving. In addition, Google has found another perfect market for their Chromebooks - public computers:
Today, Google has finally introduced the first commercial netbooks with Chrome OS - Chromebooks. They are manufactured by Acer and Samsung and will be available since June 15. As promised, these netbooks work only with web-applications. They launch in 8 seconds, require no software installation and updates, no anti-virus software, because viruses simply don't work on Chrome OS. The main interface - is Chrome browser, which enables you to access any web-app or site (including flash-sites). Moreover, Chrome OS allows to cache web-applications and work with them offline. It also features in-built file manager that allows to access local files. In general, everything looks as beautiful as had been expected since the first Chrome OS presentation, except one moment - the price.
As the popularity of web-applications growing, the power goes from operating system to browser. The role of the browser is increasing even more thanks to HTML5 implementation that removes third-party plugins (like Flash). That's why the Chrome browser and browser-based operating system Chrome OS - are strategical products for Google. And, of course, one of the most important objectives is their deployment in the Enterprise. Though Chrome was created with security in mind, so far it really could not even be a consideration for most large corporate IT departments, because of the lack of admin features. In many companies, it was even forbidden by IT, and because of this a year ago Google developed the plug-in Chrome Frame for Internet Explorer, which allows you to embed Chrome into IE bypassing system administrator. But now Google has decided not to play catch-up with the sys admins and released today Google Chrome for Business.
Last week, Google was expected to officially release its web-based operating system for netbooks Google Chrome OS, but this didn't happen. Google decided to delay the launch until the summer 2011. But the company opened Chrome Web Store - the online marketplace, that is a part of the operating system. It's not a new technology or platform for web apps. Rather, it is another opportunity for developers to promote their products on the market. And for Google - it's also a way to promote its products - Google Checkout and Google ID. Here's how it works:
One of the Google Chrome OS developers noted in Chromium Google Group, that this lightweight OS for netbooks will include a terminal client, which enables Chrome-netbooks to run not only web-applications, but also legacy desktop applications. I.e. netbooks with Chrome OS will be able to connect to another computer (or server) with a terminal server and run applications from this computer in a browser. Similarly the well-known Windows Remote Desktop works. What operating systems will the Chrome OS terminal server support - is unknown, but most likely Windows and Windows Server will be in the list .
Microsoft today introduced the second generation of its tablets: Surface 2 (formerly Surface RT) and Surface Pro 2. First, let's talk about the Surface Pro 2 . It's cool. For executive or businessman (who is not afraid of Windows 8 ) - it's the best tablet on the market. Microsoft says that it's faster than 95% of laptops. Actually, it's a full-fledged laptop that is stuck to the tablet. It features 7-hours battery, USB 3.0 port, super display and sound, and a lot of useful accessories: touch-cover, power-cover, dock-station for office, etc. And of course, it costs accordingly - from $899 (for accessories you pay separately). The price is reasonable - it's a premium thing. So the guys from Microsoft have done the good job - the high-quality product. But the second tablet Surface 2 makes us doubting in their success.
Until now, only few companies have switched to Windows 8. But Microsoft says, it's ok. They always released the first OS version a bit raw and then fixed the drawbacks in the first apdate (service pack) to make the system business-ready. The same approach is used in the case with Windows 8. And today the first update Windows 8.1 has become available for companies. For while it's in the preview-version, but you already can download and install it. What new features this update brings to business users? First of all, it restores the Start button and enables to load the familiar (Windows 7 style) desktop by default. However, the Start button doesn't work the same way as before. It just opens the Metro-start-screen (shown on the screenshot above).
The newly published report by IDC showed horrifying numbers of PC sales in the last quarter - they significantly fell, under the pressure of smartphones and tablets. For Microsoft, this means one thing - the market share of its operating system Windows - is rapidly falling. So Microsoft is now ready to admit its mistakes and sacrifice short-term profits in order to save its treasure. The main news - is that the first update Windows 8.1 will return the Start button. The disappearance of this beloved button in Windows 8 plunged many people into panic. Especially office workers. Version .1 - is usually a sign for companies that they can update OS. So, specially for the release of this "business" version the Start button will be returned. In addition, there will be an option to make the conventional desktop default, instead of Metro-style Start Screen.
Well, actually, Google has its own plan "How to destroy Windows". It supposes that the Chrome browser will become the main application that you use on computer (because everything you need is available from the Web). And then there will be only Chrome. Windows will become an unnecessary layer. Startup BlueStacks invented the same plan, but instead of Chrome they decided to port Android on the top of Windows. And taking into account that mobile applications have recently become more popular than Web applications, this plan could work even better. How does it work?
Today Windows 8 has officially launched around the world together with Surface tablets and Windows Store, that already contains almost 8,000 apps. Recall that the main feature of Windows 8 is that it's optimized for both computers and tablets. There are two versions of Windows 8: RT - which only works on tablets and supports only metro applications from Windows Store, and the x86 version, which works on both PCs and tablets, and supports both metro and regular (including legacy) Windows-programs. The second version has two interfaces - the Metro and the regular, and you can switch from one to another. It's noticed that Windows 8 is faster than Windows 7. Now, let's see what people are saying about Windows 8:
In order to remind everyone how ground-breaking will be the release of Windows 8, Microsoft has even decided to change its corporate logo. The last time they changed it was 25 years ago. As you can see, the new logo has the look and feel of the Windows 8 (Metro) style, the basic idea of which is simple and universal interface, suitable for mouse and fingers. Logo is so simple that you can draw it in Photoshop in 5 minutes. And that's how Microsoft wants you to associate its products with speed and simplicity. Below is a short video presentation of the new logo: