I think it's time to nip this horseshit in the bud, before it gets out of hand.
How Does Arringtons Know What Operating Systems Is?
He doesn't. It is TechCrunch's official position that Google Chrome will compete full on with Microsoft Windows, and computers will be sold with Chrome only, having the Windows layer "stripped out". I am not shitting you, he actually said that. Yeah, I get where the argument is going about web apps being more dominant than desktop apps. That prediction is a crock of shit. A 2007 survey found that 73% of Americans have never even heard of Google Docs, and 94% have never tried an online office suite. Yeah, desktop apps aren't going anywhere.
But I'm not here to talk shit on Web 2.0 today. I'm going to present a glimpse of the hole that the incompetent programmers are digging for us.
When Times Were Simple
Let's have a look at the application stack that we all know and love: programs compiled to run in an environment with a C library.
Fuck me, life is good.
Making It Easier On Programmers
I first learned to program in C++ and then later on I learned Java in college. I thought the whole Java Runtime Environment thing was kind of weak, but if it means I don't have to manage memory, that's cool. Same goes for Python, Ruby, and whatever else has its own VM or interpreter.
This situation is pretty agreeable, and lets us prototype applications rapidly. Sure, there's a small trade-off with execution speed, but they have multi-gigahertz processors nowadays. No big deal.
Making It Easier On Idiots
After a while, everybody wanted to be a programmer. Since programming is actually kind of hard, many of these folk landed in PHP and HTML, hence the explosion of webapps. As such, the browser became a feeble example of a "runtime".
Now, with Google Chrome being lauded as a Web Operating System, the stack gets way bigger. This is what it looks like on my computer, considering I run Linux and Google hasn't released their Operating System for the Linux Operating System (that makes sense, doesn't it?)
Users have pretty basic needs when it comes to computers. They want word processing, spreadsheets, communications, and games. These needs have not changed much since the advent of the personal computer. So, when your Aunt asks why her 1.2GHz computer isn't fast enough to run an online word processor that has the same fucking features as the 1987 version of Corel WordPerfect, you don't have an answer for her. There is no justification.
The "Web Operating System" just highlights how much journalists don't know about computers.