Is a Google PC a good idea?

Linking to items is becoming a habit, but Mitch Shapiro noticed something I did as well in the rather long New York Times piece on Ray Ozzie and re-engineering Microsoft — namely, word that Google is working with Wyse Technologies on a $200 “thin-client”-type PC.

According to someone at Wyse, the search company is looking at a Google-branded machine that would be marketed by telecom companies in places like China and India. Wyse CEO John Kish said that Google is “on a path to developing a stack of software in competition with the Microsoft desktop, and one that is much more network-centric, more an Internet service — and this fits right into that.” Is it any wonder that Microsoft has started talking very publicly about Web-enabled versions of Office and rolling out things like Windows Live?

Dave Farber at ZDNet notes that this idea is just the latest in a long line of “network is the computer” visions, most notably from Sun, which could never seem to make it fly. Oracle also tried it — and Wyse CEO John Kish happens to be an ex-Oracle executive. David Berlind at ZDNet has also speculated that the time has come for a networked PC, and Google is the one to bring it to us. But others remain skeptical. Is a Google PC the way to go?

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