January 30, 2006
Google Operating System as a hosted desktop
Bill Boebel writes some interesting ideas about how the Google Operating System might look like and how the traditional software is to be replaced with web applications.
"Traditional installed software is on its way out and software as a service ("SaaS") is on its way in. Soon most, if not all, software applications will be available as a hosted service. Both hosted and non-hosted versions of popular applications will be available for many years, because not everybody will be comfortable making the switch to hosted right away - just like there are still Windows 95/98 users today.
So what is Google's master plan? Some say that they have no master plan, just a lot of smart engineers cranking out independent projects. I don't believe that. I believe Google does have a master plan and it is aimed right at the heart of Microsoft. I believe Google thinks it can crush Microsoft's operating system monopoly, and thus it's desktop monopoly, by turning more and more uses on to their hosted applications, and eventually by removing the need for an installed operating system altogether. I believe Google can and will eliminate the traditional operating system - by introducing the world to a new choice: "Network Only" mode.
In just a few years, I believe that all new computers will come with a "Network Only" boot option. In this mode, your computer will plug into the network as a terminal and can run entirely web-based applications. There will be no software to install - you just plug in and go. This option will be built into the BIOS so that when you turn your computer on, you can choose if you want to boot traditionally via Windows (or other installed OS) or if you want to boot in "Network Only" mode.
With a hosted desktop you have total portability and your virtual computer is always on. You never need to close your files, you never need to email documents to your self to get it from place to place, and your experience is always the same. No matter where you are in the world, or which computer you are using, you simply need to login and you have access to everything."