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Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google says Microsoft is guilty of torture. He says that using Windows is a tortuous experience.  (Source: Russian American Media)
Apparently everyone's favorite internet giant is stepping up rhetoric in the face of Chrome OS launch

Sergey Brin, an outspoken Russian-American computer scientist, gained fame and glory as one of Google Inc.'s (GOOG) "big three".  He co-founded the search firm with Larry Page, who recently took over for the departing Eric Schmidt at CEO.

In the wake of Google's unveil of Chrome OS (Operating System) PCs at its annual I/O developers conference, Mr. Brin unloaded on the world's leading operating systems maker, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

At a Chrome OS launch event he began friendly enough, stating, "I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with Windows. Windows 7 has some great security features."

From there, though, his critique of his competitor grew more pointed.  

"With Microsoft, and other operating system vendors, I think the complexity of managing your computer is really torturing users.  It's torturing everyone in this room. It's a flawed model fundamentally. Chromebooks are a new model that doesn't put the burden of managing the computer on yourself."

Mr. Brin's rhetoric seems more than a little confusing and contradictory.

He does get one thing right, though -- Chrome OS is certainly a unique take on the operating system experience, though.  The new OS starts off ordinary enough, built on a stripped down Linux environment.

From there the experience veers from past designs, by funneling the user's entire interactions with the system through a web browser -- Chrome -- to be precise.

The technique offers certain challenges -- particularly the difficulty of writing fast applications given that you have to deal with a secondary interface layer (the browser).  Modern web technologies, though, somewhat mitigate these issues.

On the plus side putting applications in the browser allows them to be sandboxed.  This protects against system crashes and certain types of security problems -- e.g. viruses (though some malicious programs like keyloggers could, in theory still work, depending on the precise details of the sandboxing scheme and how clever the malicious app's authors were).

The other unique aspect of the OS is that it will offer online backup of all information on the computer.  This cloud-based system means that if the computer ever suffers physical damage or a malware attack, restoration can be accomplished in a much easier fashion.

Google has partnered with Citrix Systems, Inc. (CTXS) and VMware, Inc. (VMW) to offer in-browser virtualization.  This could eventually allow Chrome users to access common Windows productivity tools like Microsoft Office.  Google claims that in a recent survey of 400 companies that it conducted, 75 percent said they would be able to switch from Windows, given the right mix of internet apps, offline accessible apps, and virtualization.

Microsoft has toyed with the notion of a similar cloud-driven operating system, releasing a test version of Windows dubbed Windows Azure.  While Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 offer some cloud integration, they lack full, automatic backup to the extent of Google's.

Laptops with Chrome OS will be available June 15 from Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY) and, Inc. (AMZN).  Google has announced two models thus far -- a 11.6" from Acer with 6 hours of battery life ($349 for Wi-Fi only, more for the 3G version) and a 12.1" from Samsung with 8.5 hours of battery life ($429 for Wi-Fi only, and $499 for a 3G version).  Both laptops pack dual-core Atom CPUs from Intel Corp. (INTC).

The laptops may be a bit pricy for the curious buyer.  A smaller screen version with an ARM CPU could possibly hit the $200 mark, but at present no such option is available.  Still, some may jump at the opportunity to escape Microsoft's "torture".

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A viable option
By browzman on 5/12/2011 5:20:41 PM , Rating: 1
Having lost two Windows systems to virus attack it was and now is very difficult to recuperate. For the last 3 weeks I cannot find the Tech who took my laptop to remove the virus and now I am contemplating a new laptop and then comes the "recuperating curve" before I am back to normal.

Google definitely may be a viable option with Chrome OS.

RE: A viable option
By Omega215D on 5/12/2011 6:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
So what are you doing on a tech site if you are absolutely clueless on how to deal with your pc effectively, let alone maintain it properly to avoid the situation in the first place?

Windows 7 and Vista (both were on my self-built PC) have yet to give me any real issues (just weird file arrangement but still not as hidden as my Mac).

RE: A viable option
By StevoLincolnite on 5/13/2011 1:14:28 AM , Rating: 2
You need to take a step back and look at what you're doing wrong.
I haven't had a virus in years... Why? Because I do not click on random stuff that pops up on my screen and my computer "wears" proper protection. (Windows 7+NOD32+Firefox with Adblock Plus and a few other apps.)

Most problems people have with Windows is due to what the user has done wrong, the OS doesn't automatically go off and download a Virus just to make life difficult.

RE: A viable option
By themaster08 on 5/13/2011 2:54:00 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. We get this all of the time.

A computer will come in for a virus removal. 3 weeks later it's back in. Why? Because the idiots have downloaded whatever it is that gave them malware in the first place!

But of course, they're oblivious to this. They are the helpless victims that Windows seems to give malware to each time they surf the internet.

I sincerely believe that in the years to come, malware creators and distributors will shift away from Windows and force their efforts onto mobile/tablet operating systems.

Malware has already been created for Android, and will continue to do so. The PSN debacle has shown just how easy it is for hackers to access over 100million accounts. We'll be seeing more of this.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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