And again.. chrome... the "web browser" is an application that you explicitly start and it connects to the network. It is understood to be a network consuming application. Your actual desktop search UI? Should it really be networked by default? You seem to have missed my point. There maybe be an implicit assumption sitting in the heads of some users that certain types of network activity, need to be part of an explicit transaction that involves the user making the choice to engage in networked services. For web browser, the act of firing up the application becomes that explicit transaction, the bright line the user chooses to cross, knowing that by doing so they are potentially using network services. The web browser as a thing is generally understood to be a networked thing. But the desktop integrated search UI? Does logging into your computer then become the choice point for interactive network activity? I'm really not sure that's going to sit well. If it did, well then we'd all be happily using Chromebooks.
I think the always networked is a hard sell to a segment of users who want to feel in control of their computing interactions. And I think the linux faithful has a larger population of people who want to feel in control of what their computer is doing than perhaps the wider population. It's probably one of the unvocalized things that attract people to any traditional linux offering really.
I think if Canonical is really serious about the always-on always-connected lifestyle, and want to build products that cater to that lifestyle without compromising their vision for the take-control lifestyle.. I think they'll lose their appeal to a wide swath of their current userbase. If that is what it takes for them to make the leap across the chasm into a mainstream mass-market product...its a pretty high stakes bet. I think they can compromise a weebit and make what they are trying to do more palatable to their existing userbase instead of burning that particular bridge. Then again, fires are cool...so I'm kinda conflicted over what I want to see them do.
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