Friday, November 20, 2009

Do Boomers care about operating systems?

Do boomers care about computer operating systems (OS)? I didn’t think so until I heard from a reader that thought this was a relevant topic for this blog. He was speaking of the operating system Google is creating called Chrome. Chrome is not for your first computer. It's for that second one that you carry around with you on vacation. Don't tell me you don't do this. Most of my friends do.

Before you yawn, remember that technology is only good if it solves a problem. Google is trying to solve a number of little annoying problems that we ordinary PC users encounter every day.  If you are like me, you are upset that:
·         You have to wait for the computer to boot up after you turned it off and for all your programs and email to be ready to use. If your TV made you wait like that, you’d be mad, I bet.

·         Your computer runs more slowly than it did the day you first got it.

·         You forgot to backup your files and then your computer crashed.

·         You hate putting on a new disk drive, printer or web cam because it’s too complicated and then after all that work, the device doesn’t work.

When it first announced it would work on Chrome,Google said, “We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear — computers need to get better. People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up. They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them. They want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files. Even more importantly, they don't want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates. And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet.”

Well, good luck with that, Google!

There is a whole lot of tech mumbojumbo out there about how the Chrome OS differs from Apple's OS or Microsoft's Vista OS. Apparently Chrome makes it easier for users to do everything on the Internet. The catch is that most of your data will also be somewhere on the Internet too. PC World has a couple of nice little articles about why Google Chrome will succeed or fail if you are interested.

So, your disk drive won't crash any more, or you won't need a disk drive on the road. On the other hand, do you trust Google to keep your data safe? And as a savvy boomer, you always want to ask "What's in it for Google, anyway?" Will this make it easier for them to bombard me with ads? Will they use my data for their never ending quest to "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."? Or are they as benign as they would have us believe? Do they just want us out there, Googling all day long?

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