Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Google Chrome OS: We all benefit!

Some people are arguing that we don't need another Linux OS. There are plenty of great distributions such as Ubuntu, Debian, Mint Linux, Fedora, Mandriva, Open Suse and many others. According to them, the release of a new OS will only put stress on the existing distributions.

It is true that there are hundreds of distributions in the GNU/Linux community. But the more we have the better for us all. Usually, the best distros rise to the top and the others that are not as popular slowly wither away. It gives us a huge choice and this competition creates innovation. The announcement of Google creating an OS that will be based on the Linux kernel is very important and has significant implications. Google has a lot of funding and can push the Chrome OS to many new users who have never heard of Linux before. Most GNU/Linux distributions do not have a lot of money to advertise as extensively as Google will. The advertising of Chrome OS helps to advertise GNU/Linux in general. It is true that Chrome OS will put some stress on the already established distributions but this is a minor issue if you compare it to how much good they will do for the GNU/Linux community in general. Google hasn't released anything yet and only their announcement of a OS has brought the word Linux to the masses. The news has been very popular on technology sites and many other non technology ones as well. This shows how powerful Google and its ability to market Linux really is.  Google is one company that has the power to bring GNU/Linux to a whole new level. Even if their operating system would prove to be mediocre, people can always switch to a more established distribution of GNU/Linux afterwards. A company with so much power as Google will spread the GNU/Linux project to the masses. Just making people aware of an alternative to Microsoft Windows is a huge accomplishment in itself.

So, to the people that are complaining that we don't need another OS or that it will put pressure on the existing distributions: it is important to weight the benefits of Chrome OS over its disadvantages. When Chrome OS will be released, a lot of people will at least try their operating system because it is from Google. It will attract many new users from Windows and Mac OS, introduce them to the concept of GNU/Linux and show them that alternatives are available. Then, if they are not happy with Chrome OS they can try out other established distributions. Google will play a huge and overall positive role for the GNU/Linux community. The more companies, organizations, individuals get behind GNU/Linux and promote it, the better for us all. With the introduction of Chrome OS we all benefit.


  1. I can never understand why some people decry a concept, such as 'another Linux OS', rather than wait for the product itself and give credible critique.

    It may well be that Chrome OS offers nothing of value to the community, or that it harmfully disrupts the other distros, but to be frank we don't know until it is released. And if those other platforms are in such a fragile state of existence, then perhaps we all need to get a little tougher and do some pruning.

    If not, then these smaller distros will continue to have their fans and these larger concerns can get on with taking their whack at Windows.

  2. I hope I'm not the only one who doesn't see this as a new OS. This is simply a new default patch set and configuration manager. Regardless of you configuration tool, processor, or memory map it's still just Linux. It has all the benefits and drawbacks of other distros. The only real debate on any new flavor of Linux is the community, support and implementation ease.