More content?

Following on from yesterday’s effort to move away from ‘this is what I’ve been doing’, I’ve come across something else I could write about on my blog.

A friend of mine, Zeth, wrote about this on his blog about a month ago. I didn’t read it until now, but I’m going to comment on it anyway. So there.

This is what he said:

Google is now offering an interesting package. Gmail is better and easier than Outlook. Blogger is easier than Frontpage to use. It seems that Google are moving towards offering almost a complete operating system through their websites. If they bring out a word processor then all an average computer user would need would be a very basic terminal (such as web TV) to access the internet with a broadband connection. This terminal could run on a cut down Linux. This ‘Googlebox’ (GBox) could be what WebTV always wanted to be, a replacement for a Windows PC for average users.


Ok. I haven’t used GMail, so I can’t comment about its ease of use! Having said this, I do think it may replace Outlook Express, but Outlook is more than just an email program. 1Gb storage is a lot, but do you really need that much? I mean, I’ve got about three year’s worth of emails on my computer and it doesn’t take up that much – maybe a couple of hundred megs at the most. And a lot of that stuff I could probably get rid of!

Blogger is easier than Frontpage to use… if you want to create a blog. It doesn’t offer any web design facilities, you just select a template and type away. If you (a) don’t want to use a template or (b) want to create a static web page (or a scripting language) you’re still going to have to use other tools.

As for providing a basic word processor — this would be a useful feature for a ‘GBox’… I don’t know whether it would catch on though. Would people really want to type out a letter on their TVs? The average resolution of a TV screen is pretty low, even for widescreen. I don’t think it would really feel right typing out a letter or a document on my TV screen! (And of course, you’d have to buy a printer as well).

It would just be better to get a cheap or second hand PCs. I think one thing that the manufacturers of the ‘web-box’ underestimated was people’s desire to do different stuff with computers. I know that doesn’t make sense, let me explain… people who are just getting into technology and want to send emails etc probably only think they will want a basic terminal to start with. But then they might buy one and realise they actually want to do more, they want to play the odd game, or run another program… this is why I think basic terminals haven’t really caught on!

But I know nothing, so it’s probably best to take my opinion with a very large pinch of salt…


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