Saturday, July 11, 2009

Much Ado about Chrome OS Dethroning Windows

Recently there have been many articles written about Google's upcoming Chrome OS. Some say that Google is trying to dethrone Microsoft. Personally, I do not think Chrome OS has that capability. Chrome OS to me is all about simplicity in accessing the web. However I feel that Google through Chrome OS, is resurrecting the old concept of thin clients.

Just think about it. Let's say you have a netbook (small and light notebook) that has 3.5G / Wifi / Wimax capability. Switch it on, and it boots up in 10 seconds into a Chrome browser. That's it. It's just that simple. Word processing? Use Google Apps. Now with Google Gears, you do not need to be always connected, and I expect Google Apps to take full advantage of this capability.

How about file management? What happens if you download media files and you want to view it offline? I could think of a simple way. A special page embedded in Chrome OS that allows you to view the files saved in the computer. With some special protocol tagging, it's quite simple to launch some in-built apps within Chrome OS to view those files. Since Chrome browser "sandbox" each tab, there's little risk of malicious malware infecting the other tabs.

How to find those files? Look no further than the Google search engine (or Chrome search engine), and the concept of tagging. Why do you need folders if you can just put a tag, and access it through a tag cloud? Just by using tags, and sorting it according to the last created/modified date, you can easily find your files. Worst come to worst, it's Google search engine to the rescue.

How about new applications? How about a Chrome AppStore?

There are rumours of Chrome OS being available in late 2010 and some said that its unrealistic. To me, I think it is achievable if it is a thin client, with a controlled group of hardware manufacturers (Acer, Adobe, Asus, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments). The beauty of Chrome OS is that it also does not in any way canabalise the Android OS because it is serving a different market. In fact, I believe Chrome OS is built specifically to drive adoption for Google Apps, and cloud computing.

Of course all these is just my guess. I do not work in Google, and I definitely know nothing factual about the Chrome OS other than what I've been reading off the web. However, so far all that I've read points me to this conclusion.

I guess we can only wait to see if Google is indeed building a disruptive technology.

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