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