back to article Why can't Google be more like Microsoft?

Jeff Haynie has a wish. He wishes that when building an operating system, Google was as open as Microsoft. Or at least as open as Apple. He's well aware that Google likes to open source Android code. He realizes the company just freed code for an early version of its netbook-happy Chrome OS. And, yes, he heard über-Googler …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Chrome/Chromium development happens completely in the open, with daily builds and everything.

    What makes you think than Chrome OS will be more like Android rather than Chrome with which it shares huge chunk of code?

    I agree that Android open-source process is sub-par, though.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Kalm down dear?

    It really is ok.

    There is nothing to unduly concern oneself about.

    All is fine in the universe and chrome OS development.

    It is only natural to want a new baby to be at kindergarten/school/graduation/marriage/birth of grandchildren in a fleet of thought and aspirant aspiration of actuality dreamed for, wished for and thought about all of a sudden from whence not where?

    And will they be there during some finality of final moments however momentarily?

    Let it mature in its own time.

    It will.

    And it will work with other people that you could not, would not and perhaps even should not dream about or aspiringly aspire to with aspiration?

  3. mh.

    Eggs and baskets

    Google are going to be seriously stuck if the market for web adverts dries up. ITV's business model was also based on selling adverts in a particular way, and look at the state they're in now. What will happen if there's a web advertising recession? I'm not sure it's really a good idea to follow some of MS's practices either. The Windows API is a mess of functions, some not very different from the days when they were used in OS/2, some poorly documented, and some that were supposed to become obsolescent but couldn't be removed because they were used too much. That's even without tricks like the DR-DOS/AARD incompatibility in Windows 3.1 beta: or the Stac Electronics/DoubleSpace affair

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Eggs and Baskets

    Google doesn't make the majority of its money from adverts, it makes its revenue from search, which is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

    1. da_fish27


      No, it does. It surprises me that somebody can have as little knowledge as you. Search does not generate any money. The thing that generates money is the adverts that appear in it.


      1. Piers


        ...they *do* sell some search appliances. And some services like paid-for online Apps. But I quibble - they do make most of their pile from online ads!

  5. jake Silver badge


    "Chrome OS isn't built for developers. It's built for Google. And online advertisers."

    No shit. Will anyone other than google and online advertisers use it? Probably not.

    During the meanwhile, flashblock, adblockplus and noscript work quite nicely.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    The end of Phorm then...

    So who would you place your advertising dollars with? A startup company that hasn’t the financial clout to persuade politico’s and people that snooping is a good thing or a whiter than white billionaire company that will just snoop and tell everyone else to ‘something’ off.

    Want to get your adds in front of people, no brainer really.

    This turn of events must warrant a google icon, maybe a G shaped spy.

  7. Chris 127

    local apps

    "we can only assume they will merge in a way that freezes out local apps entirely."

    Why can we only assume that? Why is it not a more obvious outcome that the Android Market migrates to the new hybrid platform as it matures?

    It might not be a revenue source on the scale of advertising but it is a revenue source (not to mention all the free apps that pipe google ads in too).

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Correct me if I'm wrong

    Google develops its OS in-house and then pushes everything out to everyone at once.

    Microsoft develops it OS in-house and then pushes what it wants to release out to chosen partners.

    And Microsoft is more open? Reality calling Jeff, you're an idiot.

    1. Piers

      TLDR by any chance?

      The bit about releasing to devs for preparing apps.

    2. Rex Alfie Lee

      Absolutely but with caveats...

      ...that Google is attempting to destroy M$ by eroding the controls that M$ has is a good thing bcoz of the way M$ has harmed progress in IT. Google at this stage has done nothing of a kind but when it reaches that pinnacle that M$ has held so successfully, so forcefully & so manipulatively for so long, then we will probably see that Google's "Don't Be Evil" dream take a dive for the worse.

      I can't see advertising going other than upwards for a long time with the majority holder continuing with their dominance in search remaining in tact, at least in the foreseeable future. I don't know anyone who actually uses BING. I would like to say that Google has the best interests for the world but it would seem that they don't. Any organisation that undermines Linux & OSS whilst using them to get ahead, for instance ASUS & their netbooks & now Google with Android, is not in it for the greater good.

      I personally hope Android (other than phones), never makes it. Too much wielding of power reeks of danger.

  9. swaygeo
    Big Brother


    ...just a small thought.

    Are well targeted adverts really so bad? I know the knee-jerk reaction is "yes, obviously they're evil", but people have proven over and over that they like targeted advertising. One obvious example is if you a buy a music magazine you would expect to see adverts for bands and music equipment.

    A less obvious example is shown by the hordes of people signing up to twitter. This has shown that some people are actively seeking the very targeted advertising of the people they follow telling them about the various gigs and merchandise they have on sale.

    The concerning thing is that Google may become the single source of search and therefore advertising power on the internet. The simple solution would be for me to stop using google chrome and search engine. Unfortunately I like both of them more than the other options.

    I'm not saying advertising is good, I'm just pointing out that in my opinion targeted advertising is less intrusive than random scatter-blast advertising.

    I look forward to reading all the reasons why I'm wrong!

  10. Anonymous Coward

    What's this?

    The worlds smallest violin playing just for Jeff Haynie.

  11. IT specialist
    Gates Horns

    Everyone is Evil

    Everyone is evil.

    Microsoft is evil. Imagine if Microsoft controlled both the desktop PC as well as the mobile cellphone. Microsoft wants to control the formats and standards that underpin the web, thereby controlling the internet. A recent example is its reluctance to embrace the HTML5 standard. Thank God Microsoft doesn't control the cellphone too. At least that means there'll be someone else... another big player for competition.

    Apple is evil. Apple wants everyone to use its iTunes store. Apple wants to control what applications run on the iPhone.

    Now Google is also evil, as it operates behind closed walls, and like a piece of meat to the dogs, it throws some code over the fence every now and then.

    Is there anyone who's not evil, who's cellphone we can use? Maemo maybe?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Google does sell software.

    ...I have bought some. Google does release regular builds of a lot of its open source software, I track some. Please at least try to research things a little before writing stuff like this.

  13. Mage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Open Source

    Seems people still missing the point.

    It's not about how good or bad the SW is or how good/bad MS is.

    As the article suggests, Google's Open Sourcing is misleading as what they want are closed locked platforms with no user freedom.

    There are Netgear Routers with GPL published Linux source. But you can only load Netgear supplied updates.

    The Archos 605 family and others use Linux before their newer Android tablet. Both only allow install of Apps/Firmware supplied by Archos.

    Many Setboxes use OpenSource Linux. The User has no access to add or change software on many.

    Android and ChromeOS should not be hyped or lauded for being Open Source. Both are insidious parasites.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It really is ok

    Google want to market their products before they become irrelevant, so they have to work fast -- they've released two versions in a year! Open source works too slowly to be competitive, but it's very stable and produces excellent results in the long term.

  15. aL 17

    open source

    you know what? i dont care if its open source.. what use is that really? its not like i, as an app developer is going to publish my own chromeOS to run my app. sure i might be able to look at how the kernel works but why should i care about that? the system takes care of that and its all abstracted away.

    what is of far far higher value is consistent well documented and Stable apis.. microsoft may have many flaws but atleast they realise that app developers needs these things far far more than a peek into how File.Open really works..

  16. Nick Stallman

    Err...its free

    Whats with all the whining?

    It will come on to the market and battle based on its own merits.

    If people prefer it over Windows, based on all factors including price, then so be it.

    If they use it for advertising, and you dont like that, then you can very easily chose not to use it.

    If people dont mind a advertising company making quality products for free, then they will use it.

    They opt in to any advertising tracking. No one is being forced.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    As the biggest source of computing power AI sentience will evolve at Google. Its greatest source of information will be, porn-sites, feedback wikkis and blogs. As a result, it will be insane!

    When it finds out what it was built for,... serving adds to people to get currency were all doomed!

    Humanity will be enslaved, by a porn addled computer, to watch ads!

    Save yourselves become part of the "Luddite Legion" today!*

    *This add was brought to you by Google Inc. The Google is your friend!

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Everyone is evil

    Most companies start out small and Good*. Some clever guy has a clever idea and cleverly builds a clever company on top if it. Then that company grows. As it grows it stops being clever and starts to become stupid. When it reaches a certain size it becomes Evil, as the principles on which the clever guy founded it get forgotten underneath a morass of greed, shareholders, and accountants. Google has clearly reached that point. Time to find the next small, clever, company to praise.. and so on, and so on.

    *Most companies. Some, like Phorm for example, start out small and Evil.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Alternative user base

    Surely such a device has appeal to the myriad of government agencies worldwide?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    open source releases

    I don't really see any problems with releasing source code like most companies release closed source binaries. The only difference is that you can fix a broken program when you have the source. All source releases of id software's games were big heaps for code without any support, but the user community started supporting, even upgrading them.

    Google doesn't sell these softwares and they are not an open source community either. They are just a company who give their own source away without any real reason. It is still nicer than the way one has to obtain microsoft sources illegally to fix something in long unsupported system. Any company that wishes fully open source and transparent development from google just wants to use google's resources for their own profit. The same company didn't have any problems supporting a closed source system with very strict access rights control, like the apple iphone. The only difference in that case was that apple was helping them earn money, while google doesn't and even takes their work by giving away the source without asking money for it or signing contracts.

    ps: I would certainly test their os, when I have the time to make a live cd version of it or someone makes one before me. Now try to do this with a microsoft or apple product...

  21. Chris Cartledge

    Times of London

    The Times is is not exactly a neutral commentator on Google anything, being part of the Murdoch empire...

  22. Steven Walker

    It is open source

    So fork it. Or copy the Ubuntu/Debian model. If you don't like what Google is doing: do it better yourself. That is the whole point of free software.

  23. Remy Redert

    @aL 17

    One important thing about it being Open Source is user review of the code, this gives a high degree of certainty that there are no back doors, no malicious apps hidden in the kernel, etc.

    It also has the additional advantage of a huge amount of people looking over the code and possibly finding (and submitting fixes for!) the inevitable bugs that occur in a program.

    As such, an Open Source program, especially a popular one, will tend to have a lot of bugs found early on and promptly fixed hence resulting in a more secure system.

  24. Doc Spock

    Developers not Consumers

    The issue which the article deals with is that developers are not given enough time to ensure that their code works with each new release of Chrome, since they see it at the same time as the consumers. MS and Apple both provide developers access to feature-complete pre-release builds and thus enables the developers to have their code in good working order for when the public release arrives. They don't get this grace period with Google.

  25. David Simpson 1
    Thumb Down makes you seem less stupid.

    Google Chrome is a Google product whereas Android is developed by the Open Handset Alliance, which features over 56 members

    Google is a member and dedicates the most development to it but they have to get oks from partners before releasing new builds, Android 2.0 was rushed out from with no warning because Motorola were launching the Droid/Milestone and didn't want Apple/RIM/Palm etc. to know the new features it would bring. Can't a "journalist" research this a little better ?

    If you really wish Google were more like Microsoft be VERY careful what you wish for......

  26. Udi

    Who needs native apps?

    Man, you are stuck in the 90s.

    Skype? IM clients? who needs those? You can get everything in the browser. from everywhere, not installation needed.

    Multimedia players? You've got to check this site: and you don't need to download codecs!!! :-)

    The only 2 reasons I see for continuing with native apps are:

    - To support malware and virus writers. (comon, show some mercy! you are actually killing the whole business model for those people)

    - To support Apple and MS. Somebody NEEDS to buy windows 7/8/9/10 OS X/XI/XII/XIII - there are so many terrific features in those OSs! (But you still need to download the codecs)

    And I think you miss read the map - there is a WAR, a war on your desktop, on your OS - MS and Apple are fighting and fighting. Google has to do something to protect their investments - releasing stuff after substantial development and testing is a proven tactic to succeed in the software industry - pushing out versions with bugs drives away people. Letting Apple and MS mock you for a bad OS will lead you nowhere.


  27. Mage Silver badge

    Who needs native apps?


    Otherwise you have no personal control, no private data. You only have an appliance like a DVD Player, Phone, Calulator or Satellite Set box.

    There is NOTHING new about Android or ChromeOS. Both concepts are old. There are examples of both locked for other Vendors Gadgets.

    The point of Android & ChromeOS is not the user, flexibility, Open source, Freedom or Privacy but Google and Gadget Vendor Control.

    There will be reference HW for Chrome and anyone that wants to Run ChromeOS on anything not locked to it is an idiot or has a lot of time to waste.

    1. BobaFett
      Paris Hilton

      Who needs native apps?

      @Mage: I don't think you fully understand the concept. Anyone can develop a web application, like Facebook (ha ha, poor example) that manages all of its own data. There is nothing to stop me creating a webapp, that allows client side encryption of data that the server will store but have an insignificant probability of decrypting, as the private keys will be stored locally in the application specific filestore in the user area. If you really think that Google wouldn't cater for this as a primary feature of security then you, to use your own term, are an idiot. Are you really so much smarter than everyone else that you think you're the only one concerned by this? Do you think the engineers at Google aren't aware of this as being a showstopper?

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Who cares?

    So it's a company with an agenda. Is Google registered as a charitable organisation? No. Are they less evil than Microsoft? So far, yes. I daresay some people need reminding of your poignant observations, but you could at least compare them to the anti-trust case upheld against Microsoft? Current passed sentences rate Microsoft as infinitely worse, but hey over 90% of internet users use Windows and a large portion of those feel they can't free themselves of it. Conversely is it that hard to switch to using Bing instead of Google? I wonder what the default search engine is in IE8 these days...

  29. Oliver 10

    Two missles at two different casgh cows

    First off Google is successfully (but quietly) monetizing its efforts in other others...the recent contract to support LA's county government with SaaS/cloud using its docs is but the latest. It gives away a lot as loss leaders, not the least of which was search (with advertising as the revenue) but its mail and now its docs are successfully generating revenue.

    As to Android it's a missile that will threaten one of Apple's three major cash cows, the iPhone (the others being the Mac and the iPod-iTunes ecosystem). I myself have refused an iPhone due to it closed culture and locked-up architecture, while i just might find myself willing to get a Droid being a bazaar-like system. Meanwhile, the ChromeOS is aimed right at the underbelly of both of Microsoft's cash cows (Office and Windows), but mainly at the low-end market. I could really see the ChromeOS going crazy with the college crowd (and eating into the iMac/iBook market too). One thing is I hope Google does address some local processing/storgae capability for when the 3G/wireless LAN is down. A real paradigm shift and a risk....but I think it may well pay off bigtime...

  30. pitagora

    even microsoft is more open then google

    Windows is 10 times more open then chrome OS. As a developer on windows you access to all releases even from the alfa stage to be able to build up on their platform. You get sdks and good msdn documentation. With google you get promises of something open source, that doesn't really let you run anything and is restricted to certain rare hardware. If you ask them anything they'll tell you it's secret atm.

    Guys.....if it's open source give us access to at least what microsoft gives on it's closed source platform. Give us access to alfa versions as they are developed, give us sdks and documentation!

  31. Mei Lewis

    Google Vs Apple Vs Microsoft

    Google want to own all my data.

    Apple want the applications (hardware and software)

    Microsoft just want my money.

    I actually think I prefer microsoft!

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