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A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
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(Nearly) full tickless operation in 3.10
Let me know when they realize that even the damn iPhone only sells as well as it does because it's a moderately capable gaming machine.
The Cr-48 and Chrome OS: Google's vision of the net
Posted Jan 18, 2011 2:00 UTC (Tue) by jhs (guest, #12429)
However your concerns do apply generally. ChromeOS has many challenges to overcome before I'd consider it a success.
Posted Jan 18, 2011 10:27 UTC (Tue) by jmalcolm (guest, #8876)
Even some of the later comments here seem to miss that fact.
Posted Jan 18, 2011 7:15 UTC (Tue) by butlerm (subscriber, #13312)
Posted Jan 18, 2011 8:18 UTC (Tue) by PO8 (guest, #41661)
All sarcasm aside, I'm genuinely curious—who's the demographic for this? One of the first rules of business is to identify a customer base before designing a product. Someone give me some details of the age, socioeconomic status, vocations and avocations of folks who would think a ChromeOS device is pretty neat.
Perhaps the less-active elderly? Many of them are supposedly looking for an entirely turnkey solution with zero administration and zero risk of malware. Needing to be net-connected isn't likely to bother them, and their needs are mostly limited to communications and personal data processing, which this platform should handle fine. There's a lot of them, and in the US at least they tend to be reasonably affluent but not extravagant spenders.
Now to get rich designing elder-centric webapps for ChromeOS, LOL.
Posted Jan 18, 2011 8:52 UTC (Tue) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
folks who need the computers to do work, not for high-end games.
People who want to want to use their machines, not fight with anti-virus anti-spyware, etc
even power users who want something light with a long battery life that they can carry around and use to connect to their other systems
Posted Jan 18, 2011 13:50 UTC (Tue) by sorpigal (subscriber, #36106)
It seems like you probably can't get much work done on one of these and, even if you could, few businesses would buy them for employees when they could buy an infinitely more flexible netbook for a similar price.
Posted Jan 18, 2011 15:41 UTC (Tue) by jzbiciak (✭ supporter ✭, #5246)
Imagine a sales floor or a call center or what-have-you. Any computer will do for what you need a computer for. Sit down at any station (or in the case of a sales floor, pick up a sales tablet) and do what you need to do, and get on with life. Any computer is as good as another, so you don't have to worry about picking up <I>your</I> computer.
UPS and FedEx already have a limited-scope version of such gadgets for tracking packages. It's not an unreasonable model when the computer is not the end itself, but rather a means to an end.
Posted Jan 19, 2011 2:27 UTC (Wed) by xilun (subscriber, #50638)
Neither corporations nor the paranoid geeks that want to build/administrate/maintain and have total mastery of their systems including of course security and privacy are the target of ChomeOs. It's far more suitable for the general public (at least the part that don't really care about privacy and have very little needs beyond web-surfing, and will happily stays in the limited roles the big corporations are willing to put them it, with clear borders).
Posted Jan 19, 2011 2:33 UTC (Wed) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
I'm sure that if you called and wanted to order several thousands of them you could arrange to get the key in the rom changes to something else.
it may even be that the rom is socketed so that you can change it out.
this is assuming that it really is rom, not just flash that requires opening the machine to reprogram. I haven't seen a real hardware tear-apart to know the details of this.
Posted Jan 19, 2011 7:36 UTC (Wed) by Cato (subscriber, #7643)
I think having a really low cost locked-down Citrix client that can also run web apps directly would be quite attractive to corporates, particularly if it can also be configured to only connect via corporate VPN (which avoids the insecurity of open public WiFi).
Posted Jan 19, 2011 1:25 UTC (Wed) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
your power users who need special software aren't the users for this, but your call-center users, shipping/receiving/warehouse people just need a machine that can access the web-based apps that they are using.
adding an extra platform to support does add management costs, but if the reduction in admin effort and cost is enough, it will win out.
Posted Jan 19, 2011 9:50 UTC (Wed) by frazier (guest, #3060)
(from the time + proximity perspective of some decision makers)
Absolutely. This is Google-in-the-workplace. Everyone is already using Google in some form or another. This is just more Google. No big deal.
Linux is a big deal. Who's running Linux? I think we might have some Linux servers in IT, but our Microsoft Partner set up the high visibility web stuff on ASP.NET. All is good.
I'll divide out how I think most people make decisions (from toothpaste to God):
1. Time (amount of time consumed with something)
2. Proximity (how close they are to something. Worth noting, 1 and 2 can swap depending on the person and/or situation)
#3 trails hard with many. Linux doesn't have #1 or #2 with many because their Linux time (server) is largely transparent, and for them it's something inside their browser (the web site, not the web platform used). Google though, they've been searching with them for years. They may already have an Android phone that stays with them. For them, it's not a Linux phone, it's a Google Android-based phone. They spend time with it, and it's close by.
I think a big threat for Chrome OS is actually Android. Some cheap netbooks with touchscreens would cater nicely to points #1 and #2. Not saying it'll happen in numbers, but it certainly is possible.
...and yes, I know Chrome OS is Linux-based. That's #3 talk.
Posted Jan 25, 2011 7:42 UTC (Tue) by ceplm (guest, #41334)
Posted Jan 18, 2011 10:22 UTC (Tue) by jmalcolm (guest, #8876)
There is another article here on LWN about XFCE. In one of the comments, a poster talks about a relative that just used the icons on his desktop after a glitch caused the "applications" menu to disappear. He managed this way for weeks until the poster was able to stop by and fix it.
A lot of mainstream users consider gaming to be a core use for their devices so that is a legitimate issue to raise. That said, I think we do not understand how many people just want to use their computers for email, web browsing, and very simple document creation.
It is a bit humorous to me that us tech folks imagine that we are somehow the mainstream. Most people do not care about shell access. Most people are not developers. Most people are not computer enthusiasts. Most people, even many of the control freaks, just do not care about their computers enough to want to spend large amounts of time configuring and managing them.
Posted Jan 18, 2011 18:35 UTC (Tue) by martinfick (subscriber, #4455)
Posted Jan 18, 2011 19:43 UTC (Tue) by cmccabe (guest, #60281)
Casual gamers on ChromeOS can play HTML5 or (ew) Adobe Flash games. Serious gamers will buy a serious game machine like the XBox or PS3.
There are definitely problems with ChromeOS (biggest one: why isn't it Android?), but games aren't one.
Posted Jan 19, 2011 7:33 UTC (Wed) by Cato (subscriber, #7643)
However I do think in the longer term there will be a hybrid Chrome/Android, whereby most of your apps are in the cloud but you can run apps locally as well if required (possibly through offline-cloud features), for those times when there's no internet connection.
Posted Jan 27, 2011 6:55 UTC (Thu) by WolfWings (subscriber, #56790)
World of Warcraft and many other MMO's. WoW by itself accounts for 12 (yes, TWELVE) million active monthly accounts in late 2010: http://blizzard.com/en-gb/company/press/pressreleases.htm...
StarCraft 1 or 2. Look at the Asian competitive gaming market, it's huge for these and other RTS/pseudo-RTS games like mobile-artillery-fire sorts as well. Those are around 15-20 million active gamers depending on which news report you look at in the last year, some even higher. I'll go with 15.
CounterStrike and Team Fortress 2. I'm unable to find accurate stats for these, so I'll count them at 0, but mentioned here.
Hell, even Minecraft. 1-mil copies sold right there, at least 500k of those actively playing every day from when the stats page worked a couple weeks ago; they're mid-migration to a fully cloud-based web interface, so the stats-tracking code isn't operational at the moment).
Just from that handful of PC games, in a single day, there's roughly a sixth of the entire sold working worldwide console game population accounted for. One out of six, without delving deeply into stats, just nailing the highlights.
And that's not even touching on things like PopCap games that sell well, or all the various niche markets below the size or visibility of Minecraft. Or how many owners of consoles are actually active on gaming on a daily basis.
So, no, Windows PC gamers are not a minority compared to Console gamers at all. And that doesn't even touch on the number of companies supporting Intel Mac gaming now since Steam started the charge. Or even cross-platform and well-liked games that have millions of downloads for their niche market like rRootage for SCHMUP players, or the millions and millions of daily gamers visiting sites like ArmorGames or Kongregate. Or hell... the grandparents playing Solitaire on their Windows PC instead of shuffling a physical deck of cards because their arthritis has gotten too bad. That's still PC gaming too instead of playing it on a console.
Posted Jan 22, 2011 19:13 UTC (Sat) by oak (subscriber, #2786)
Android cannot have ChromeOS, but why CromeOS couldn't have Android and anything that implies, starting from AppStore? Only thing needed is a Dalvik JavaVM and some desktop integration so that Android apps blend nicely to desktop and users can easily access stuff they've bought, right?
As ChromeOS verifies whole OS on bootup and doesn't allow users local shell or root access, pirating the commercial games should be harder than say on Windows. And if Java GLES games run fine on Android phones like is stated here:
They should fly on a net/notebook. According to above article, many of the Android games (including popular ones) are just Java, rest may have e.g. native libraries wrapped for Java.
Posted Jan 22, 2011 18:49 UTC (Sat) by oak (subscriber, #2786)
I'd say that most people don't want to install any software on their machines (games or other things), mostly because they cannot be sure it will succeed. If they don't have friends or relatives who do the computer administration for them, either the software (like MS-office) is pre-installed when they buy the computer or they take the machine to a shop for install. However, I have hard time imagining somebody doing that to get some new game to their machine.
Nowadays people just open e.g. their Facebook account and play (Flash) games that are there or do some casual gaming on gaming www-sites (which also use Flash). If they want 3D games, they buy a game console, but it's mostly kids and lonelier singles who have time for that kind of stuff. People with families are too busy for anything but casual gaming.
Posted Jan 22, 2011 19:17 UTC (Sat) by PO8 (guest, #41661)
Posted Jan 22, 2011 19:22 UTC (Sat) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
we will see how this works out.
Posted Jan 22, 2011 19:36 UTC (Sat) by oak (subscriber, #2786)
Doesn't it also have (basic?) support for importing & exporting MS-Office document formats? At least .doc etc are listed on Google Docs pages as supported.
Posted Jan 18, 2011 13:29 UTC (Tue) by k3ninho (subscriber, #50375)
I kind-of expect Dell and Microsoft to respond to ChromeOS with a managed-service laptop on some lightweight edition of Windows (perhaps that's what the Windows-on-ARM announcements at CES were about). Outsourcing your duty to care for your equipment is going to become a commodity that you buy; I've spent the last decade with a mobile phone contract where I get next-day replacement of the phone if broken or lost and think that there are many people who would pay to have the same for their personal computing needs.
Posted Jan 18, 2011 15:27 UTC (Tue) by dskoll (subscriber, #1630)
All sarcasm aside, I'm genuinely curiouswho's the demographic for this?
While I would never use such a machine, I could see my kids using it. For example, my daughter's middle school encourages the kids to do their assignments using Google Docs. They have groups so teachers can pick up the kids' assignments directly from Google. It works pretty nicely.
Also, my kids spend 99% of their computer time in the browser, doing email, or doing instant-messaging. The Chrome machine would be perfect for that.
Posted Jan 18, 2011 22:07 UTC (Tue) by daniel (subscriber, #3181)
And if they ever find themselves without a net connection they can just go outside and play. Right, that's it.
Posted Jan 19, 2011 2:12 UTC (Wed) by dougsk (guest, #25954)
Posted Jan 19, 2011 15:17 UTC (Wed) by dtlin (✭ supporter ✭, #36537)
Posted Jan 18, 2011 21:45 UTC (Tue) by jmm82 (guest, #59425)
You mean pot smoking college kids?(yeah, I just generalized all "3d video gamers" into one stereotypical category, just like you did.)
Posted Jan 18, 2011 23:34 UTC (Tue) by PaulWay (✭ supporter ✭, #45600)
Hahahahaha - oh, dear, you *are* a hardcore gamer aren't you? That statement, my friend, is worth preserving as a sort of ISO standard of crapness.
The reason the iPhone sells so well is because it's slick, neat, and all the cool people have one. I know people who've bought it solely for those reasons alone. My brother owns one purely because he wanted to upgrade his phone, he's an Apple devotee, and he wanted a small, modestly powerful web browser at his fingertips.
I'm sure games make lots of money on iPhones - you can certainly see it on the Android platform. But they're hardly the reason for the iPhone's existence. Surely the 'Phone' in iPhone is a giveaway as to their true purpose? Surely Apple's previous line-up of iPods shows where they came from? Having games there is fun, no doubt, but you might as well assert that the purpose of the Linux Kernel is to play 3D games for all the relevance your statement has to the iPhone.
Posted Jan 20, 2011 1:09 UTC (Thu) by dmag (subscriber, #17775)
I agree that "entertainment" is used to _justify_ the iPhone quite often. But the iPhone was a hot seller for the first year of it's life -- when there were NO apps for it. So games aren't the biggest/only reason.
I, for one, welcome our new app overlords. NOT.
Posted Jan 20, 2011 9:10 UTC (Thu) by jschrod (subscriber, #1646)
See, I can make up empiric evidence as easy as you! You seem to be a hard-core gamer, or you think the IT world revolves around hard-core gamers. News flash: It ain't so, we 40+-ers aren't so fixated on gaming and we have more money to spend on IT devices than you.
Posted Jan 20, 2011 14:02 UTC (Thu) by vonbrand (subscriber, #4458)
I think you are both wrong ;-)
It might very well be that what is decisive for someone isn't exactly their main use of the machine: This one here is used mainly for web (like now), email and editing LaTeX. But not having decent MS Office suport (even if used much less than 5% of the time) would have been a show stopper for me.
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