Google’s Operating System Approach Falling Short

Google’s hitting the end-user and manufacturer with a double-whammie when it comes to their operating systems.  The much-touted Android operating system is going closed-source for the next two releases (at least of its operating system), and Google’s entry into the laptop and desktop space, Chrome OS, is floundering and Google’s offering a rental program with their “Chromebook” laptop.

In part due to a few bad players in the Android biz, Google has announced that Android is going closed source.  In fact the next release of Android, code-named “Honeycomb” won’t have source code available until at least after the release of the next, next version.   (See The Register’s Article on the debacle.)

Google’s Chrome OS is continuing to stumble about.  It has fallen sh0rt of every expert’s opinion.  Google announced May 10th at its Google I/O conference that Samsung and Acer will ship cloud-only laptops running Google’s Chrome OS on June 15, with prices equivalent to low-end regular laptops, with the option for renting them for $28 per month. There’s been a sharp increase in Chrome OS beta updates in the last few weeks, so it’s no surprise that Google is finally giving reality to the old “Webtone” promise of Sun Microsystems in which the Web is the operating system and devices simply are portals to it — what we now call cloud computing.  (Read more at Info World.)

The future?  Google will certainly be putting more money into its Operating System family.  It’s the only way it can continue its expansion of data collection — and boy, will it be able to collect data when they’ve got control of every device you use.

I guess the good news is that Google’s by-line is to “Not Be Evil”.  Let’s hope that doesn’t change.