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Cloud Computing with Chromium and Jolicloud: Two Steps Back

Dec 22, 2009, 15:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

[ Thanks to james Maguire for this link. ]

"So far, Chrome includes controls to turn Wifi and Ethernet connections on and off, but no other system settings or customization options, to say nothing of desktop utilities of the sort found in GNOME's applets or KDE's widgets. No doubt some of these features will find their way into Chrome before the final release, but, for now, these lacks add to the impression that using Chrome means giving up much of the control that I'm accustomed to having over my computer interface. While Chrome is easy enough to use, it seems to insist on users doing things its way.

"This impression is heightened by the omnipresence of Google applications. You can, of course, bookmark Thinkfree, Zoho and use them instead of Google Docs, or Flickr instead of PicasaWeb, but, currently, at least, Chrome steers you towards using Google's applications.

"In fact, it was only while using Chrome that I appreciated how integrated an approach to computing it represents. If it succeeds, Chrome will dominate all aspects of users' computing in a way that no other company except Microsoft has ever done. Admittedly, while Google has a mixed reputation in open source, it still has a better reputation than Microsoft, but I suspect that this control of user experience will produce twinges of uneasiness in open source circles. Even if Chrome is released as free software, the control of computing by a single corporation, no matter how enlightened, just doesn't sit well."

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