One of Google’s big selling points for its new Chromebooks is the promise of a seamless  updating mechanism that keeps the system up-to-date without any work on the part of the user. Google co-founder Sergey Brin is making headlines this morning for contrasting that approach with the traditional Windows updating process.

Speaking during a press conference at the Google I/O conference yesterday, Brin first said, “I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with Windows … Windows 7 has some great security features.”

But then he added: “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.”

Of course, Microsoft has an Automatic Update mechanism in Windows, and it offers application virtualization and related technologies in an effort to simplify the process of deploying applications inside businesses. But with the new Chrome OS, Google is attempting to make management and updates essentially invisible, part of the company’s web-centric model.

That may be fine for end users, and particularly consumers, but it will be interesting to see how many larger companies  — with IT departments accustomed to being in control of app deployments and OS updates — are comfortable with the concept. Google is offering businesses the option of renting Chromebooks for $28 per user, per month.

Here’s a Google video touting the Chromebook updating mechanism.

Feb. 2010 photo of Brin by Steve Jurvetson via Flickr

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  • Gail Klockner

    The “don’t worry, we will take care of you” mantra of Google creeps me out. Sorry

    Sergey but your computing ideas are scary and I think a threat to my liberty at some level.

    • Victor

      As any consumer, you have a choice. No one is being forced to buy into Google’s pitch. For some consumers, if the price and offer is attractive enough, why not? My sense is, at the price point they are offering, it isn’t yet attractive enough.

      • Guest

        You forget that this is aimed at the desktop. They do want to kill it. That means that at some point my “choice” is taken away from me. It’s more expensive than what we already have anyway.

  • Guest

    Windows users to Brin: stop deluding yourself.

    Honestly, the thought of delegating all of my personal information to a corporation that lives by selling it makes me sick. What’s next after the Chromebook? The Facebook-phone?

    I think I speak for all intelligent computer users when I say, “no.”

    • victor

      Which corporation doesn’t live by selling?

      • Guest

        Selling your information to advertisers is the point. Corporations provide a service or product that is utilized by the buyer. Google provides a service that is free to the user but the buyer is the advertiser and you, the user are the commodity being bought and sold. And Gail is right, it is creepy.

        • Jman

          As an advertiser and agent to many Google advertisers, we have no insight whatsoever into users. I can target searchers by what they search on and where they are, but I don’t learn anything about them. When I use their display advertising, I can target groups that have certain characteristics (e.g. you visit tech sites) or show ads on specific sites, but I get NO information about you, i ONLY get the traffic.

          • Guest

            How do you think Google knows how to “target searchers”?

            Google wouldn’t actually give my personal data to you. You could then start your own Google. You are allowed just enough data to incorporate your ads into my search results. In exchange, Google gets more data about me.

          • Jman

            For search, Google doesn’t need to know ANYTHING about you. As an advertiser I basically only get to say, “show my ads to people who search on XXXX”. When someone searches on XXXX, Google looks at who wants to show ads on that keyword, then shows those ads. I (advertiser) don’t get to know anything about you. There’s no mind reading here, there’s no personal information involved.

          • Guest

             Oh, Jman. Don’t be naïve. Do you really think your ad shows up in the same position for the same search for different people? The next time you’re at a café, ask the different patrons to Google the same term whilst logged in. You’ll observe that the search results, including the adverts, are tailored to people in ways outside your control.

      • Guest

        None, victor.

        Which corporation lives by selling things? Bing “Fortune 500” and tell me how many of those companies make 95% of their income selling information about you, an Internet user.

        • Victor

          That’s funny. “Bing Fortune 500″…. Tell me when you “Bing” something,  MSFT would resist the urge to sell your personal info? And the 95% of GOOG’s income part? I have to assume MSFT would love to get some of those income from search. The bottom line, no one is forcing you to use GOOG or MSFT products. Consumers are smart enough to weigh the risks and benefits of the privacy they give up.

          • Guest

            The point is still valid. Guest could have said and you wouldn’t be changing the subject. I don’t care about MS, but Ballmer said once he didn’t think it was right for Google to be reading people’s emails. You’re overestimating who has the knowledge or understanding. Do people know about these other services? Did the market give them a chance? These are rhetorical questions.

          • Guest

            Oh, Victor. Bing “number of persons on Facebook” and ask yourself how smart consumers are to weigh the blah blah blah they give up.

  • Bullhorn

    All of my LOB apps here at work, all IE dependent.

    • Anonymous

      You are dependent on software no matter what. Whether it’s IE or some other software.

      the word ‘app’ means you are dependent on software.

      If you were to follow Google’s plan, you’d be not only 100% dependent on Google’s cloud, you’d be dependent on Google’s app, Google’s hardware, Google’s security and Google’s stability. AND THEN you’d be dependent on your internet access carrier, Google’s and your company’s ability to stay unnoticed by hackers, dependent on the internet itself and so on….

      So which scares you more?

  • jigarme

    Brin & Google, you should understand Web can NOT be everything. Broaden your mind and try to see the reality! If you’d given the Chromebooks for free, people would have given you attention, but now that you’re “Selling” it, nobody would give a damn.

  • Keith Curtis

    I’ll keep my Linux operating system. It is easy to manage, I can access any google services, and it has thousands of free apps that don’t work on the web.

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