I kind of see where you're coming from on this. It's difficult to for us all to get a handle on such a huge topic - not to mention that we're speculating about the future, eh? After all, an inventor might come along with the quantum space-time flux capacitor and change everything.
My programming pals and I are thinking long range. I agree about dumb terminals of yore - but the comparison of internet terminals with old escape-sequence ASCII green screens is only partly correct. Looking at current trends, in a few years, the 'modern' internet terminal will be anything but dumb: imagine that your solid-state disk terminal has a GPU running 12,000 threads supporting a neural network along with multi-core, low power CPUs, tons of memory, and good batteries, all in a pocket-sized package. The neural net helps you find data and code, the CPUs crunch it.
All of these machines may well be pretty tightly coupled - If I were needing to crunch some huge data set, I might be willing to budget in extra power from a "CPU Cycle Rental Company" - of course, google is already working on that
> 1. Very few IT departments are willing to give up that kind of control to a third party.
Then again, it depends on who's in control. It's all in the contracts and the laws these are built on. Consider how many companies have been using third parties to run their data centers, do network admin., and hardware support. IBM, DELL, and Ross Perot's folks - to name a few of the hundreds of companies - offer IT soup-to-nuts. Via the contractual agreements, they become less a third party and are absorbed into the company. Granted, you are pointing out that IT folks are unwilling to give up control to some amorphous cloud. (Just ask any admin what a few hundred developers with swap-drives taken to and from home and work can do to a large corporate network.) That's where the contracts come in. As Google is begining to offer OS and App functionality - if contractually safe - and at significantly lower rates, the money will follow - that's why MS *is* really worried. If Google can offer data center functionality, etc. at lower rates too, then IBM, et. al., will be in doodoo too.
2. Most users with more than a bit of computer experience aren't going to give up total control of their system that easily.
This applies only to the home or very small office. Most users with any level of computer experience in a corporate environment have little control over their own machines. Good thing too. I would even argue that, on Windows at least, home and home office users have only limited control - just pop open your event logs after a month, or better, look into the registry after a year ... I'd bet dollars to harddisks we have no idea what %90 of that stuff is ... then there's Windows Update, Virus Scanners, IE and Firefox 'plug ins' yada yada yada --- about the only real contol we have is watching, killing a task, removing software - or the favorite Windows hobby: Reinstalling.
The easier and cheaper you make it work, the more literal control I'm willing to give up, while retaining our contractual rights. Consider the flip side: what if Microsoft made Win7 available for only $10 - but to get one copy, you would have to fill out 30 pages of info and legal forms, with lots of time-consuming, tedious data? Right, we'd all move to VL in a hurry
>The way the OS is going to be loaded, you can't do anything with it. It's designed to connect to Google. That's it.
That's exactly why Microsoft is worried. It only has to be a portal into Google's growing functionality. After MS screwed up on the Internet, they realized what they missed - and already then knew what google was up to. MS made a failed counter with "MSN" - it failed because it didn't become the de facto world portal that google now is. It failed because MS got there second and late. At the time (and maybe now too) MS had the biggest network in the world - they had the infrastructure and would have loved to hear you say instead:
"The way the [Microsoft] OS is going to be loaded, you can't do anything with it [other than what MS allows]. It's designed to connect to Microsoft. That's it."
Microsoft usually plays catch up - this time, Google's got big head starts on multiple fronts. Watch - they will be going after the corporate world soon.