Google OS, What’s it mean for Flash and AIR?

by troy on July 8, 2009

Google just released news of a Google OS, to compliment the Google Chrome Browser, what's that mean for Flash and AIR as a platform?

First, you here can read more about Google's announcement here:

This has been coming for awhile, I think this is a win for Flash developers but not so clear for AIR.

Here are the benefits for google entering in this space.

Increasingly, people live on the web, want instant ubiquitous access, and don't care much about hardware when talking to it. The net is the new TV, what is desired is an appliance of sorts that boots up instantly, no maintenance, no hassles. Thus the need for anything besides a browser is minimized.

OS's cost money With small netbooks getting cheaper every day, tossing out an heavyweight OS that most people don't need makes a lot of sense. The rewards are obvious, 5-7 sec boot times (to get to your application), $50-$100 less, no OS to maintain on the users part. It's also open source so nothing hidden.

This means that the entire world that people will be using on those eventually billions of devices will only be the languages of the web for everything they do on it!

This means that the traditional desktop applications languages (C++,C, C#, Pascal, etc) won't even be an option on these devices. So this as a great time to know mad Flash skills. The opportunities for RIA applications the billions of people are going to demand are going to be huge. We are talking an immense amount of money on the table, but only for those who get it.

AIR is less clear, Google OS, competes with AIR on many levels. Adobe is positioning the AIR runtime much like an Browser only OS for many devices. A good thing for many devices that have been mired in proprietary runtime. The good side is the skills of mostly web will work in either place. The bad side is the details of offline/online are going to vary, between Google Gears, HTML5 also supports client side DB's and AIR's SQL+ desktop access there isn't one common answer.

Exciting times.

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