Friday, July 10, 2009

Are Google Apps Adequate?

Two years ago I predicted by 2010 we would see a Google OS using Linux as a portal to their web applications. I speculated it would be based on Ubuntu, that's yet to be determined, but I will confess that that part of the prediction may be wrong.

Now I want to speculate onto whether their applications are adequate to power an entire OS running on top of Linux. Here are the main Google applications:
  1. Gmail: Good enough. Many people use it's web interface exclusively already.
  2. Docs: Has come a long way so maybe. A year ago I would have said no way. But recently I've given docs another try and have been impressed. Finally you have fixed page view and print preview. Also, docs gives a way to collaborate that other office clients can't.
  3. Calendar: Good, same as Gmail.
  4. Picasa for Photos: Good, same as Gmail.
  5. Media Player: ? I don't know what Google has up their sleeves for this. You have Youtube, but what if people want to watch a DVD for instance. I don't know of a Google App for that.
  6. Reader: Same as Gmail.
  7. Voice and Video: You guys have to check this out.
  8. Viewing arbitrary files: ? Some files will be easy like .pdf files. Like the media player, I don't know how Google will handle the wide range of file formats that exist.
  9. Google Labs: I could keep going on but I think by now you get the point.
There are more things I could discuss but by now you get the point. For most things I believe a Google OS will be adequate for most people. There are a few things like a media player that I will be interested in seeing what they do.

However, someone like me still needs a terminal and numerical software so I don't if this Chrome OS will work for me. We will have to see. I always have a free Linux alternative in Ubuntu.

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