back to article Opera on Google Chrome OS: what me worry?

Is Google's impending browser-based operating system a concern for other browser makers? Well, it's not a worry for Opera, according to its chief standards officer. "I don't think it's a particularly big deal," Charles McCathieNevile told The Reg this afternoon at the browser-obsessed Add-on-Con in Mountain View, California …


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  1. Martin 6 Silver badge

    No reason not to allow Opera in

    MS has a business case for stopping Opera, IE only sites require the user to buy a Windows OS.

    Google's aim is to have a net where anybody can get to Google rather than MS users being redirected to Bing or iPhone users being limited to iApple's own iSearch.

    Keeping Opera out of Chrome just shoots themselves in the foot for no strategic advantage.

    1. Bilgepipe
      Gates Horns

      More FUD

      Actually, Apple uses Google.

  2. Remy Redert

    Re: No reason to allow Opera in

    To push it even further, Google have no reason to block the wholesale replacement of Chrome in their Chrome OS, should someone be so inclined, so long as the replacement browser supports HTML 5 sufficiently.

    And as it stands, with Chrome OS most likely being entirely open sourced, Google really has no way to prevent exactly that from happening.

    Whether or not it happens will depend entirely on whether or not the community considers Chrome the better browser (And even then, it'll probably happen eventually)

  3. Neal 5

    I just wish

    that I could actually get so motivated/demotivated by this story as to actually post a worthwhile comment. Possibly there just isn't anything in this to enthuse me into my usual mode of ironic scorn of drivle for the sake of drivle.

  4. McMoo

    Woah... Microsoft?

    When MS do this it's evil, but a Google monopoly is cool and sexy?

    Google and its fans scare me. At least everyone *knows* MS is evil. Google is worse, by doing what MS is prohibited by law from doing, while sugar coating the lot.

    Not good news.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Opera's Status Quo...."It's Standards Compliant"

      When/where did anyone say that a Google monopoly is sexy?

      1. TeeCee Gold badge


        Maybe there are nude pictures of the Google monopoly circulating to prove this, but we're just not allowed to mention that there are.

        Or aren't.

        Or whatever.

  5. Nerd King

    ChromeOS is no big deal

    I can build something that'll do a very similar job with Ubuntu minimal CD, add Xorg, fluxbox and various other bits and bobs, add Firefox/Opera/Arora/Dillo/Lynx/other-browser, idesk to give me desktop icons and bob's your uncle, one super-fast lightweight browser OS. So why's everyone hung up on ChromeOS which seems to be below the level of those crappy splashtop things?

    1. Antidisestablishmentarianist

      I salute you

      Truly, you are the King of Nerds.

  6. Paul Charters

    I'm slightly confused...

    ...MS have endured years of antitrust legislation and near-criminalisation for having their own browser/software included with their OS... Google can go ahead and create an OS that is completely browser-centric and not support other options, whilst it collects and sends all of your personal data to Google, and they can do this without any sort of legal roadblocks?

    I don't understand it - why do people use Google's products?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Microsoft: Monopoly.

      Google: Not monopoly.

      Can you tell the difference? Bundling a browser with an OS is NOT illegal in itself.

    2. wv9e

      atleast someone gets it....

      Google is evil...

  7. jim 45

    enthusiasm curbed

    I was stoked for Chrome OS after hearing about the 7 second boot time. But recent statements by Google execs on privacy - something they obviously don't understand - have made me question just how far I want to let this company into my life. Best outcome would be that someone else responds to the 7 second OS boot challenge. There's a big company in Redmond with vast OS experience that could no doubt deliver what we all want, but they've shown no interest.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe not all in the cloud

    According to the presentations on YouTube demo'ing ChromeOS, it comes with two partitions: one for the OS and one for user data, so it would seem you don't HAVE to store data in the cloud. It also looks like they will run something close to an App Store, except the apps will still be in the cloud, so I guess you'd really only be pre-approving which apps can run (perhaps with a compatibility check) and installing an icon/tab. Their security model suggests that if it ain't in the App Store (or whatever it's called), you can't run it. So, if another browser is permitted, it would only be by the good graces of Google and the ChromiumOS project.

    Since ChromeOS is all about the browser, and it's so tightly integrated, then I don't really see them allowing another browser.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This man over here

    will never use a Google OS.


    Horrid smug, two faced company.

    In the selection of amusing icons to attach to posts of eternal wittiness there, perhaps, should be an "evil G" and a "halo'd G" for those who wish to indicate their fawning obeisance for, or hatred/suspicion of, Google.

  10. Big Al

    Ray of light

    "The truth," he says," is that most users don't even pay attention to browser security."

    How very, very true!

  11. Greg J Preece

    Google's operating system?

    "You can't install another local browser on a Chrome OS machine without, well, rewriting Google's operating system."

    Grrrr....Google's operating system? You mean the copy of Debian/Ubuntu/whatever they've installed their browser on? Man, that'll take all of 20 seconds...

  12. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Missing the point

    Google is funded by Advertising - this is all about making sure that add-ons like Adblock can't stop the signal.

  13. Mage
    Thumb Up


    This is a Gimcrack Gimmick Gadget anyway.

    It's like the "pda" that only can display a built in Wikipedia or the HarryPotter Trivia toy. If it's cheap enough some people will buy a dedicated Google Browser. If they want to do anything else they will buy an open platform (Netbook, MID, Laptop, phone with Windows, Maemo, Linux, OSX, Symbian).

    iPhone, Android and ChromeOS are not open. available source nor open source does not make an open Platform.

    Opera are right not to worry (yet).

  14. Mage


    I've seen 15s on XP.

    I'm sure 5 to 10s is achievable in Linux with a Browser only by any Linux expert if you assume the hardware is fixed, turn off all logging & probing etc..

    A 500MHz ARM dedicated Qtopia PMP can boot from cold in 20s.

    ChromeOS is a marketing con to ensure targeted advertising.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    "If you end up at a website that makes use of the Chrome Frame, the treatment of your passwords, security settings, personalization, and all the other things one sets in a browser is suddenly unknown,"

    I think we can safely assume that chrome frame will phone home and google will own you.

  16. paul sobek


    Who even has an internet connection reliable enough for this? I'm sure I haven't in the last three properties i've been in.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Odiferous de Monsieur Balmer?

    Wouldn't it be sort of poetically brilliant, EU-cutesy cute if the funding behind browser based operating systems (I use the term loosely) were none other than a certain Mr S Balmer?

    Sorta says: up u EU in a way that they would never understand?

  18. George 24

    What does the EU think of that

    So MS is obligated to allow other browser on their OS, in the EU having to distribute their OS without IE, but Google can go ahead and force you to use Chrome (which is crap). No way will I buy any device running Google OS.

    I can wait another 20 seconds to boot my netbook in a version of Linux that lets me do what I want with the software of my choice, without surrendering my data and my first born to Google...

    Google is overtaking MS as the biggest mongrel in the computer world.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      You need a clue or two

      Microsoft has to carry other browsers because it broke the law by abusing its dominance in the OS market to ruin the competition in the browser market.

      Google's Chrome OS is not a dominant OS, and Google has not been convicted of anti-competitive practices.

      Chrome is crap? That's nonsense. Quit trolling.

    2. Chika

      Not a lot

      What Google seem to be attempting to do is their own take on a thin client rather than a full on operating system. An embedded system that attaches to a system of their own design. It shouldn't be confused with traditional operating systems and, in this case, given what it appears to do, it should be treated with suspicion.

      It just looks to me like Google are taking various leaves out of Microsoft's own anti-competitive book and using it for their own ends. That doesn't exonerate Microsoft; it just brings Google down to exactly the same level. It's a little early, however, for the EU to make legal type noises yet as the finished item has yet to hit the market.

      It'll be interesting when it does, though!

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Red Rag/Bull/China Shop/Broken Crockery

        "It's a little early, however, for the EU to make legal type noises yet as the finished item has yet to hit the market.

        It'll be interesting when it does, though!" ..... Chika Posted Saturday 12th December 2009 23:31 GMT

        Now that the EU know the score, it would surely be incumbent upon them to make their objections known now before things take off, if they think they are big enough and have any "jurisdiction". Failing that, one must assume that any later intervention would be sour grapes and politically motivated, and that is an altogether different game with some very tricky dicky rules, the first one of which is that there are no rules but a whole raft of parasites looking to profit from the endeavour of others?

        Then could Google tell them to F*** *** nicely, and do something clever themselves.

  19. Trygve Henriksen

    McCathieNeville should find something else to be bad at...

    "The truth," he says," is that most users don't even pay attention to browser security.

    Just because users are unaware of the problems doesn't mean developers should also ignore the issues.

  20. RW

    @ Megaphone

    Quoth he: "Google is funded by Advertising"

    The laughable thing about the near-stranglehold the marketers have on Google is that advertising just doesn't work very well. Ask yourself, when was the last time you responded to an ad thrust under your nose by the Google empire? Very likely never.

    The profession of professional lying (aka marketing and advertising) shot itself in the foot long ago with its distaste for the simple truth. I am sure I am not the only one who simply disregards ads — and thanks to Ad-block in Firefox, see relatively few of them online.

    But on top of that, advertising is simply ineffective. A recent discussion in a Craigslist forum about advertising for a new restaurant or bakery yielded the point that local businesses really depend on word of mouth advertising, and the same is probably true of online businesses to a greater degree than generally recognized. The idea that advertising becomes more effective if targeted via incessant snooping on one's web browsing is simply false; but I suppose this myth helps Google con the advertising industry more effectively, which somehow seems like a marriage made in heaven.

    I buy a great deal online, but the only role Google has played is in digging up potential sources of whatever I'm looking for via its search engine.

  21. Paul Ireland
    Thumb Up

    mobile browser freedom

    It seems that the more open platforms for mobile browser freedom come from Nokia and Microsoft. I am reading and commenting on this page using a Nokia 5800 with Symbian Series 60 which has its own nice browser but I have also installed the Opera Mobile (not Mini) browser, which is also available on Windows Mobile.

  22. Gannon (J.) Dick

    The problem is attitude.

    Microsoft got off easily. Google will present the "We're not Microsoft" defense, and reluctantly accept a "You are so" fine while not admitting any guilt. You can't put the Net Neutrality jen back in the bottle and you can't expect the hardware manufacturers to mass produce low margin crap for a few years while Google reconfigures the net.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      There's no "we're not Microsoft" defense. It's all about whether Google is abusing a monopoly or not. They aren't.

      1. The Indomitable Gall

        Yes they are

        With the lion's share of all search results, and the vast majority of the targeted advertising market, Google are a monopoly.

        The problem with IE was that its lack of standards compliance was used to leverage sales of Microsoft webserver and web authoring software.

        Google is a monopoly, but not in the desktop space. Antitrust proceedings would only follow if Google use their monopoly position in the search space to force their way into the desktop space. Like ranking all ChromeOS machines above others if you Google "netbook", for example.

        In fact, I don't think it'll be long before a court orders an audit of Google's secret magic potion for exactly that reason.

  23. Block

    Monopolies don't come into it

    the reason for antitrust with Microsoft was because IE was initally based on Spyglass Mosaic and due to some licence shenanigans they weren't allowed to sell it. Bundling it into a sold product (Win 98) invalidated whatever licence they had, well that's the argument. As such IE is not part of windows, it's an add on and they can't bundle it over and above other browsers, hence the windows without IE option in the EU.

    Google on the other hand didn't borrow the source code for their browser so they can do whatever they like, and if chrome OS is essentially chrome with a lightweight hardware interface i don't see where opera would fit in. The vision is to have apps on the web, so how would you even install opera...

    If you really want a lightwieght opera browser OS, just bare bones some linux and put it on. Don't expect google to do it for you.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hold on...

    "With Chrome OS - due in netbooks at the end of next year - Google has shunned local applications and local data. All apps and all data are handled inside the browser - Google's browser. You can't install another local browser on a Chrome OS machine without, well, rewriting Google's operating system."

    Didn't MS get well and truly shafted over this very issue with IE and Windows, in Europe?!

    Now everyone's favourite mate Uncle Google is allowed to get away with this?

    Another reason to be suspicious of Google. When are people going to learn, they are not a friendly cottage company giving out freebies, but just another in the long list of nasty exploitative corps only interested in their bottom line!

  25. Anonymous Coward

    whats your definition of spyware?

    To me sending all of your data and personal information off to an outside party fits my definition, you may be fooled into thinking your data is just being stored but what's to stop google running there indexing tools over it?

    Will these devices have GPS too?

  26. jon 77

    people seem to forget.....

    Any mobile browser that actually uses a server, like opera mini, ucweb, skyfire, etc..

    They are just TERMINALS, that depend on the capabilities of the server for rendering a web page... If either server crashes, goes out of business, has network problems, etc, etc, you will have NO browser...

    Point is, if you are without your browser for a while, you can do something else, like organize your files, play a few games, etc, etc..

    But if all this is managed by the webOS, you will have nothing - except the basic stuff - lets hope they dont manage 'making a call' through the web...

  27. John Sanders

    We'll all be fine I'm sure...

    This is as long as one can run opera inside chrome which is running under firefox emulated by internet explorer inside an elinks browser running under UAE.

    I won't be satisfied by any less than that.

  28. wv9e

    Nazi take over

    I've been warning all for years... Google is the new Nazi party online... everything they design is made to collect and control your information and your personal choice to browse what ever you want when you want.

    Get Google Chrum and get controlled..... well lame ass leftists are clueless anyway.

  29. lukewarmdog

    It's behind you

    Lot of AC "Google isn't a monopoly" posts recently.

    If you fervently believe this is so, post your names.

    Will they match the Google employee list?

    Google is no Microsoft but you don't have to be, Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly on monopolies. There can be more than one, despite what Highlander told you.

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