Sunday, October 02, 2011

Joe Wilcox is Giving up the Chromebook

… and going back to Windows 7.
Giving up the Chromebook:
My two-month journey to the cloud can offer lessons to Google, which has much work to do yet before Chrome OS is really ready for the masses -- that is unless the problems I observed are specific to my Chromebook (which I highly doubt). The browser-based, Linux OS is still an early-adopter product -- the bleeding edge that cuts quick and sometimes deep. I'm not convinced even Chrome OS should have a future at all. But I can see where Google is going with this thing, particularly following last month's release of Chrome 14 with native code. I'd rather see one Google operating system -- Ice Cream Sandwich or successor running Chrome.

I don't find his reasons for giving up on the Chromebook particularly convincing, although I do think an operating system so dependent on Flash is a dead-end. Wilcox is a longtime Microsoft apologist (some would say fanboy) and is often critical of all things not Microsoft, so it's not surprising that he's soured and Apple's Lion OS and Google's Chromebook, moving back to Windows 7 and eagerly awaiting Windows 8.

there are fundamental performance problems that make Chrome OS feel like beta software. Google Talk crashes several times a day, as do some third-party plugins. Flash is a killer (crashes helluva lot), and I'm convinced it's a major source of browser tab crashes, sometimes maddeningly slow performance and complete browser UI crashes. This kind of behavior is simply unacceptable in a shipping, commercial operating system and creates a bad user experience. Instant-on is great, persistent-on is better.

I haven't tooled up and tested for memory leaks, but I can feel something dragging performance -- noticeable at first by slow load times in browser tabs -- that inevitably ends with Flash, tab(s) or the whole UI crashing. Fortunately Chrome OS restores all work -- I've never lost anything -- but there should only be occasional need for the capability. I see daily problems.

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