Chrome OS gets a second look by Gruber

Although John Gruber is an avowed masticator, I do enjoy his take on issues dealing with and pertaining to technology. To wit: his take on Chrome OS which, in a few paragraphs, boils down the entire argument to “We don’t know enough yet to decide but things look interesting, although it seems like it might be a certain form of vaporware.”

Two important points he covers: Chrome OS isn’t Linux any more than the iPhone OS is Linux. It’s based on a commodity kernel but will have its own Windowing system. In an interesting aside he notes that Linux has thus far been competing – poorly – with Windows. The hope, then, is that Chrome OS will avoid the uncanny valley effect of KDE and Gnome, two windowing environments for Linux which try, vainly, to mimic the experience an average user has while booting up Windows XP, for example. Instead of copying, Chrome OS should expand on Google’s own “working in the cloud” metaphor.

He also tears a hole in the whole “big bag of drivers” issue by positing that Chrome will run on only certain machines. Just as OS X doesn’t have to support every hardware configuration known to man, Chrome will only have to handle – at least partially gracefully – a few add ons and USB devices. There will be no endless permutations of hardware and software installations in this case. There will be a netbook that is tuned to run Chrome OS and maybe a few basic USB drivers. Anything else and you’re trying too hard.

Read the whole article. It’s great stuff.