Windows user's open letter to Android boss Sundar Pichai

An event with Google's new head of Android is coming up, and Crave's Eric Mack has one request: that Google's ecosystem becomes awesome enough for him to leave Windows... for good.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Eric Mack has been a CNET contributor since 2011. Eric and his family live 100% energy and water independent on his off-grid compound in the New Mexico desert. Eric uses his passion for writing about energy, renewables, science and climate to bring educational content to life on topics around the solar panel and deregulated energy industries. Eric helps consumers by demystifying solar, battery, renewable energy, energy choice concepts, and also reviews solar installers. Previously, Eric covered space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
Expertise Solar, solar storage, space, science, climate change, deregulated energy, DIY solar panels, DIY off-grid life projects, and CNET's "Living off the Grid" series Credentials
  • Finalist for the Nesta Tipping Point prize and a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Eric Mack
4 min read
Dear Mr. Pichai, please help me leave Windows... soon. Stephen Shankland/CNET

Dear Mr. Pichai,

My colleagues inform me that you've been sending out invitations to a soiree next week to chat about Android and such. I'm sure my invite is sitting in my mailbox back in New Mexico, but unfortunately my summer travel plans prevent me from being able to attend/crash your fine event.

Nonetheless, seeing as how you're new to this gig from Google's Chrome unit and you seem to be working to get up to speed quickly, I thought I'd send along one simple request as a long-term part-time resident of the Google ecosystem:

Please give me the amenities I need to become a full-timer.

See, right now I split time between your neighborhood and another place where I'd been living more or less exclusively for years (sure, I experimented with hanging out in some open-source environments in college, but that doesn't really count, does it?) before I discovered Android and Chrome.

Windows' well-worn welcome
When I first moved in to that other place, it seemed like a nice spot with lots of Windows (over the years I had more put in until I had seven of them, to be precise) that gave me a view of the entire world. But lately, the neighborhood has changed drastically.

The once beautiful Vista vistas seen through those seven Windows now seem to be covered over with clutter. Sometimes, when I think about all the unwanted changes, I literally don't know where to Start.

Funny side note, the number 7 was also a feature of my favorite spot in your neighborhood, but that's a long, sad story.

At first, I tried to keep up with the changes by making some of my own. I upgraded to Windows 8 in hopes it would give me that broader view that made me fall in love with the place in the early years (eight must better than seven, right?). I also upgraded some of the hardware around the old place to try and make it more compatible with the new environment in the old neighborhood. But in the end all those improvements felt very Surface, and truth be told, I'm still having a hard time adjusting, despite the fact that I went with an expensive Pro.

Making more than just Surface changes
That's why I'm hoping you can give me what I need to finally become a full-time resident of the Google universe.

For roughly half a decade I've been enjoying the services of the futuristic Android butlers your place provides -- unlike other personal assistants, yours always seems to know what's on my agenda for the next day, even if I've forgotten to mention it directly. Sure, it's a little creepy at times, but I know the Homeowners Association for my other place with all the Windows (despite its bluster to the contrary) would go about it the same way, if they could only figure out how.

Lately, I've noticed that you've been putting a little more polish on the Chrome(book) finish on your digs, but I'm still left to wonder if the guts of the place aren't quite finished enough for me to move in permanently. It's just that the whole development feels a little ungrounded, like it's all floating in the cloud(s). I mean, I know we all commute, either digitally or physically, but I've always felt strongly that when it comes to what's important in life, you've gotta keep some of it local.

So I hope your little party goes well, and I hope that soon there's more local infrastructure in the Google environment that you're building so I can buy a much bigger piece of real estate there, settle down, settle in, and sell off that old place with all the Windows.

Or, if you happen to have a hard time with real estate/tech metaphors, just please beef up the Chrome OS to compete better head-to-head with Windows and hand it to me on a Chromebook with decent specs and local storage that syncs nicely with Google Glass, a slick new Moto X, and second-generation Nexus 7 tablet.

Give me all that and I'd be just about ready to take on a 30-year mortgage (that's in "tech years," which translates to about two regular earth years) and live comfortably in the Google Republic.

Or, if it doesn't work out, I hear the market in Cupertino is heating up again...