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Will Google’s Chrome OS Succeed?

Is Chrome OS As Revolutionary as Eric Schmidt Says?

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The biggest news in tech and business that wasn’t related to Wikileaks this week, was probably the unveiling of Google’s new operating system – Chrome OS. Earlier this week at a special Chrome event, the company highlighted a number of new things they’re doing with the Chrome browser (which has grown by 300% since January, according to Google), opened up the Chrome Web Store, and showed off the long awaited Chrome OS. 

Will you buy a Chrome OS notebook when they’re released? Let us know

If you’re not familiar with Chrome OS, you can learn more about it here, but it basically turns the Chrome browser into the entire OS. Everything is in the Cloud. It’s designed to make your entire computer experience very fast from booting up to coming back from standby mode. The company launched a pilot program in which it has sent a bunch of applicants test models of an unbranded notebook computer with the operating system built in. The goal is to get people to test it and give feedback before a consumer launch (which will come sometime in 2011 beginning with models from Acer and Samsung). 

Google has shared some words from CEO Eric Schmidt on its official blog, who appears incredibly confident about the operating system’s future and place in history. He discusses the history of the concepts behind Chrome OS going back to the 70s, which is pretty interesting.

Schmidt calls the concept behind the product "something computer scientists have been dreaming about for a very, very long time…The kind of magic that we could imagine 20 years ago, but couldn’t make real because we lacked the technology."

"In 20 years time, I’m certain that when we look back at history it will be clear that this was absolutely the right time to build these products," he says. "Because they work—and they work at scale—I’m confident that they’ll go on to great success. Welcome to the latest chapter of an epic journey in computing. Welcome to Chrome OS."

Is this a little over the top or is Chrome OS as revolutionary as Schmidt makes it out to be? Early reviews of the test model have been generally positive with some complaints, which should be expected as it is just that – a test model. 

One of the biggest complaints has been the machine’s sluggishness when it comes to handling flash, such as when watching YouTube videos. Adobe says it is working with Google to resolve this. "Enabling video acceleration will deliver a more seamless experience on these devices. Because Flash Player is integrated directly into Chrome Notebooks, users will automatically benefit from the latest features and improvements as new versions of the software are pushed out."

Google has high hopes that Chrome OS will be heavily used by businesses. Security is a big reason for this. Take a lot at the company’s security overview for Chrome OS here

The question is do consumers and businesses want to move entirely to the cloud? 

Will Chrome OS succeed? Will it become as revolutionary as Schmidt thinks? Will consumers buy Chrome OS machines? Tell us what you think?

Will Google’s Chrome OS Succeed?
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  • topperh

    Can’t wait for mine. Tired of hard drives and local files and all their associated maintenance and upgrade issues. There is a lot of negativity from the blogs about Google Chrome OS. That’s because these Linux nerds, Macosx fanboys, and windows hangers on, can’t even grasp the cloud concept. Chrome OS is not for them.

    • Chris Crum

      I think many consumers use notebooks for nothing but the web, and the OS would appeal to them. I don’t see it replacing all computers anytime soon, but I think there will be some interest if it makes it to enough devices.

  • Mick

    Topperh, I hate to burst your bubble but Chrome is just another Linux system like Ubuntu, Mint, Kubuntu, Lubuntu and all of the rest. Nothing new or creative. Think of it as Linux with no software installed on the hard drive and a bunch of links to web apps. You could accomplish the same thing with any linux system by removing all of the software. Personally I don’t trust anything Google puts their name on. They are the biggest data miners in the world and will be more than happy to give you their “free” OS so they can mine your web habits. My $.02.

    • Chris Crum

      Either way, Google’s version will make it much simpler for the average consumer to understand. All they’ll need to know is that they can turn on their machine, and they’re on the web (the Google brand doesn’t hurt either).

  • http://www.sagive.co.il/ ????? ????? ?????

    they are doing some very nice stuff
    very nice:)

  • Donald Curtis

    google did so i damn sure google chrome will.

  • http://www.arcanasphere.com MrAndrewJ

    After 8 1/2 years with my current employer, doing everything from hand-coding XHTML to taking and filling orders, I could actually be making a dollar more an hour cooking fries at the DQ down the street.

    Cash is a little short, and that DQ looks better every day.

    I’m honestly torn. Having that kind of Google Docs experience would be great for me – I podcast every Saturday night, and use my current laptop to write it. Having a true one-button export from OpenOffice to Google Docs would be nicer. Having Google Docs take care of all that thinking for me would be great.

    Yet, there are the various audio and video capture necessities which my current laptop handles perfectly. Considering that I’ll finally be able to fix my desktop when the tax return comes next year, buying the Chrome device on its release date would be even more redundant.

    I will seriously begin considering the Chrome devices when the time comes to retire this laptop.

    I won’t be buying them on release date. I also don’t think that they are going to capture “the public” as much as they will capture a mobile entrepreneur crowd. It’s sitting between Android, which is capturing the casual/mobile crowd, and a traditional laptop which allows for a very strong creative experience. I don’t really see Adobe After Effects happening for a while, or even a Chrome port of gIMP.

    Its primary use so far seems to be for putting together business reports on the go. I love Google, and I love that Chrome is being released. But realistically, it doesn’t look to yet have the mass appeal that it will need. If it ever does capture that appeal, I see it leaning toward business users.

    • Chris Crum

      Automatic updates over time should help it expand functionality and spread through word of mouth as it becomes able to do more, I would think.

  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk/ KJ

    I like the look of what it can do at the moment but will be waiting until it can do everything my current laptop can. I only want one machine for everything.

  • Guest

    If Google gives me Chrome OS for free, I’d be very offended. You really have to be out of your mind to trust Google with your data, REALLY out of your mind. No thanks, I’ll keep my old XP offline with all its problems. Google has a bad bad reputation when it comes to the handling of personal data.

    • Chris Crum

      It’s basically just a web browser. You don’t have to be signed into Google to use it.

  • Cormac Maher

    It’s the first dedicated cloud OS and without a doubt that’s where computing is going. I’m already using Google Documents, Dropbox and Xmarks and loving the benefits, so I’d say that experience would only be enhanced by an OS like Chrome.

    • Chris Crum

      Google will not be the last one to offer a cloud-based OS.

  • http://quickwritingtips.blogspot.com/ Dan @ Quick Writing Tips

    Yes, but if it’s easy to use and relatively crash-proof it’s hard not to think how MSFT is gonna be screwed. How much money can you make competing with free?

  • http://bt.ma belsemtech

    i thinks that’s google is not a baby so the os will be the Great os in the worlod :)

    • Guest

      and I think they are making it for people just like you. Good luck.

  • Dr Mike Foster

    As will all “Cloud” apps, this relies upon a good connection to the heavens. If you are in rural UK, with an unreliable broadband connection (On School days after 4pm – forget any hope of a reliable connection – also during the School vacations, on wet days – the same applies) – I have to rely upon programs on my machine. So cloud computing for me is a no-no. If the Chrome OS relies solely on Cloud apps – then communities with Internet poverty will not take it up.

  • Guest

    No

    Reason being: Google have developed a reputation for themselves whereby they cannot be trusted on issues relating to Privacy.

    I don’t use any PC software that Google provides, if I do, then its only for testing, and I lock it down

  • http://businessintelligencetutorial.blogspot.com Business Intelligence Tutorial

    The idea was conceived long ago, by Netscape and Sun. Not surprisingly some key figures from these companies have gathered at Google.

    I can’t wait to get a Chrome OS computer. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect is that I don’t have to think in “upgrades” – like with Windows: Should I upgrade to the latest version? Will my current programs work? Will I waste 2 days with upgrading and re-installing programs?

    Hopefully, the Chrome will establish a standard for web-app development so that software companies like mine will not have to face so many choices and trade-offs.

  • lawisevil

    Cloud computing is great until you can’t access the cloud or someone busts in and destroys the entire system. Destroying the system is extremely easy.

    With Google’s history of playing everyone, it would be dangerous to do business with them. They always datamine everything and everybody and this results in their “cool” attitude about life but if you think they are cool they will be putting a knife in your back as the same time.

    Take artists. They love them and give them great rankings on all their searches but they also give great rankings to every torrent that steals content from the artists. They make money from both ends as they have always done. Someone who conducts themselves in that manner cannot be trusted under any circumstances.

    Gee when I posted I did not know there would be a math test.

    • Leigh Jepson

      OK, so you think that Google specifically arranges their search results for every keyword/phrase so that they can make more money from both angles? I’m sorry, but thats just garbage – imagine the amount of time/manpower that would take!

      Personally, I like Google – yes, they make money by advertising and they make more of it by very good targetting – and thats basically what they do – the other things that come of it do two things. a) increase exposure/usage of their systems/ads (ergo make more money) and in the process, b) actually produce stuff thats useful!

      I really think that some people would prefer to still live in caves – just because thats how it was at the start (if you get my drift).

      Oh, and its not exactly degree level maths ;)

  • http://www.dustinschmidt.com Dustin

    Mick, the paranoia behind Google acting as “Big Brother” has been going on for the past few years and it’s a microcosm of the fear-based society with live in.

    Look, Google makes tons of revenue from investors, business partnerships, and strategic positioning in the marketplace. Specifically, advertising. I don’t think they are out to get me or you. They are continuously looking for more ways to provide lucid web-based technology that will replace desktop applications and so far they do it better than anyone else.

    The biggest difference between Google Chrome OS and say Ubuntu or any distro of Linux is that users will have significant backing by a company that has a huge investment, (both financial and branding) to go along with a community developing open-source web apps. It’s like taking the best features of Windows XP and blending them with Ubuntu except you’re going to have far more reliable programming.

    • Guest

      RE: Look, Google makes tons of revenue from investors, business partnerships, and strategic positioning in the marketplace.

      Wow, I am not sure I even know what that means. I would think investors would pull their money if it wasn’t making more for them but for Google. I think most of Google’s income is from advertising. Selling or using your personal habits to companies that might benefit from it by selling you something. Me, I think I will stay in the dark ages and keep my data on my own computer instead of putting it on Google’s. Won’t be having any of that ‘wave’ kool-aid the google kids are drinking, either.

  • Robert

    If the OS is tied to the cloud, hope your connection is fast, stable and reliable. In some parts of the world, and at some price points, that may be so, but for many… not yet.
    As web-based systems such as Zoho, the various webmails etc have shown, they can be very productive and very useful… until the connection dies. Then, unless they allow for offline work (and you remembered to download the document files) there is a nice peaceful period where not much work gets done.
    There is a definite place for web-based software, cloud computing, SAAS – whatever the current buzzword may be. But sometimes, having the application and the data on the local drive is the best option. Especially if you are trying to keep some degree of privacy.

  • Guest

    I don’t think i will go with Chrome OS, Browser is different story, but OS… Certainly NOT.

    Unless it claims it can run all Windows based application as it is without trouble.

  • http://www.saasmap.com Guest

    Application availability has more or less determined the success of operating systems. Cloud applications are appearing daily. Also cloud platforms for developing applications are also appearing. (Heroku for instance). We have passed the time when SMBs must hire system engineers to support in house servers and applications housed on them as well as the desktops with monstrous buggy operating systems that reside on them. As the internet becomes ubiquitous, so will the “cloud” OS’s led by Google’s Chrome and Android.

  • Guest

    I guess if you’re based in a static area and will never move from it and that has hi-speed broadband you could make a case for this. Businesses could then really physically lock down their data and apps – but if you’re off on a trip – good luck – I see a lot of 404′s in your future

  • http://www.edcwebdesign.co.uk EDC

    Not that I have a problem with custom distro’s that open linux up to the masses. However Google could at least be up front about it. This is just another cut down Linux version for netbooks, if it wasn’t Goggle we woundn’t even be discussing it.

    Still, if Google have the corporate influence to persuade the big names to get involved in linux development it’s got to be worth while. Will I be using ChromeOS? No, I need a full operating system with desktop apps.

  • Dave

    Although I’d like to try it, I’m too old fashioned and will continue to use traditional locally installed applications on my desktop computer. I’ve abandoned Windows and have been using Ubuntu for some time now, so I have Firefox installed by default, and I’ve been using Opera for several years before I switched to Linux. Although it isn’t open source, Opera is an awesome browser. I did try Google Chrome to see what it’s like, and although the speed of that browser is impressive, I was amazed that the address bar lacked a drop-down (a very basic feature of every browser out there) and several other features were awkward and un-intuituve. I wonder if ChromeOS will be yet another example of Google producing a piece of good software with a few annoying features?

  • http://www.weballways.com Gym Rank

    Let’s experience the Chrome OS and based on comfort label users will decide to choose their best available in present time.

  • http://ezvaporizers.com Vapman

    I will get one if for no reason than to expose myself to the new technology whether it passes or fails.

  • http://coinliquidations.net Guest

    Mick, I agree with your comment a 110%, you hit the nail on the head google would like nothing better than to track all our surfing habits.

  • Yohon

    Considering Google/YouTube is owned by the government (NSA), I would not want them handling (owning) my OS e-mail or anything else. the clouds are nothing more than CHEMTRAILS…

    Stand against the machine…

  • http://www.go-games.com/ Simon Hensby

    So all your data and applications will be in a ‘cloud’ on servers around the world and your computer will be nothing more than a workstation. Eventually simple tasks will become more problamatic as advertising will hit everything you do. Imagine writing a simple letter and being bombarded by Adsense suggestions every few moments and the only way to get rid of them will be to return to an independant desktop PC. Plus with the internet already so congested, how much slower will it get when everyone is doing everything online including all those gamers with their heavy graphic games. The cpu consumption will switch from standalone PCs to those cloud servers. Not to mention the security issues, DOS attacks etc., those clouds will become hackers heaven.

  • http://www.bryantdunivan.com bryant dunivan

    and I do think this technology will catch on, it will just require a fundamental change to how we interact with our computer. People will have to think in terms of web apps, rather then a app on the hard drive.

    not being able to use the internal hard drive could be a pain, but with development we may gain access to it sooner rather then later.

  • NO WAY

    Never never never gonna use that OS. Hey! Let’s put all out eggs in one basket! Let’s give all our docs to the biggest data miner on the planet. Great idea. If you’re Evil.

  • http://meadrose.com Mead

    Ever since I worked at Xerox Corp, I have been eager for the market to bust out of the mindset that computers are a combination of car, tv and typewriter. The future of computing would be free of all those legacy constructs.

    My vision of the computer user of the future reveals no apparatus more evident than a cell phone. We can safely assume that earbuds and a heads-up micro-display on the inside of a pair of sunglasses would provide a semi-transparent multimedia interface. Commands would be issued by any of a number of means whether by voice or gesture. Everything except the boot loader of the local device would be kept in the cloud.

    I loved it when wii started to expand interface possibilities. I am loving it more that chrome is taking it to the next level with this OS. I can foresee that it will be on smart phones and in publicly accessible kiosks as well as on old-fashioned desktop devices.

  • http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com ron

    No internet connection no Information…..
    would be a good idea to have a dule boot, or run chrome in a shell under your favorite system.
    This way you have the best of both worlds cloud when able to, plus all your files localy.documents could be prepared when offline & sent when online. when the cloud system crashes or worse nothing lost….

    • IgorG

      You will be able to work without internet connection. With HTML5 the browser can store data and then sync when connected.

  • Ryan Kempf

    I think it depends on some factors and they are #1 I think Google Chrome is a huge success if its anything like that it should be great on the other hand not being able to use the hard drive is really a downer #2 put the Google OS on pc’s also not just notebooks and #3 last but not least I think the price is too high people will prone not to purchase it in my opinion

  • Pablo

    I have 8Gbs of various movie snippets on my digital video camera, so how do I

  • India

    Opting for Google Chrome OS is no different than broadcasting on Facebook your credit card details, your bank account login info. for all to see. It won’t succeed. As soon as the “somebody penetrated the cloud and stole untold amounts of info. and posted it on the web..” news break, which they will, that’s will be the end of Chrome OS. Chrome OS wasn’t going anywhere anyway because it is made by Google. Google is good at nothing but search and that because they really got lucky at a time when only 20 people knew what the internet was. Common sense will tell you Chrome will go nowhere. They’ll abandon the project soon after just like most of their projects. There will probably not be any support, a heaven for identity thieves, a joke. It will become a liability for Google. Will be too expensive to maintain and sales will be in-existent. I predicted all of their failures. I know this project will be a total failure and will be abandoned soon after.

    • http://www.waterrower.com David RI

      ‘Google is good at nothing but search and that because they really got lucky at a time when only 20 people knew what the internet was.’ haha

      Seems many of you have forgotten android and what a success it is..??

      For me it was a great alternative to iOS and therefore I dropped my 3gs and AT&T and got into an EVO on Sprint for a lower monthly cost, and I couldn’t be happier with my mobile experience, which I feel Google has enriched far beyond what Apple gave me with my iPhone..

      Chrome OS seems to be very stripped, and lets not forget the Linux OS laptops and netbooks that have been for sale for some time, even through Dell (Ubuntu).. Numbers very underwhelming…

      I say they stick with android which is proving well on tablets, and develop a hybrid of that which is more powerful for notebooks and drop this Chrome OS nonsense…

      -Dave

  • C.S.

    I’m with Mick. My data is mine. No need to offer it up to others who would possibly use it for their own nefarious purposes. Young onliners are far too trusting! Not only that but if your apps and perhaps your data also are in the clouds and your “cloud link” is broken, you are out of business!

  • http://www.zazzle.com/the_museum* The MUSEUM Zazzle Gifts

    every time i’ve tried a google product i have been dissatisfied. better programs were written for the trash-80.

  • Guest

    I’m with you Mick. Google is just marketing company that offers technology to lure in customers.

  • Dan

    I agree with Mick. Not only does Google now have your mail habits but they will now have total control of your business habits. What happens if you invest millions into a new idea that is stored in Google Cloud. What;’s to prevent their data mining systems from snatching the confidential information and beating you to the market with your own idea?

    I don’t trust Google. It’s another AIG and CitiBank and I certainly will not want them having access to my business data.

  • http://ilovecebu.com Girard Andrew

    I was eligible for a free one but I don’t have a US address. Anyway, I downloaded the ISO and tested it in Virtualbox. Looks fine. Basically, it is a stripped-down Linux OS with a Chrome browser. So, as long as I have a Chrome browser (whatever system), I will still experience this so called “Chrome OS” phenomenon.

  • utomo

    This can be success if
    - On Country where internet is fast and stable.
    - Has many good applications. for many purpose, and have good quality.
    - Faster
    - Easy to use
    and many more

    No
    - on country where internet is slow/ not stable
    - user afraid about data send over internet. because of the security, ETC
    google must avoid this.
    once this happened. many people will not trust the Chrome for long time

  • http://www.thesilverpeoplechronicle Lovefudge

    I’m with Mick. I don’t trust anything Google these days. No sense in giving them another tentacle to reach out with.

  • http://developex.com/ Developer

    it’s really damn SLOW!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111

  • BigAussie

    @Mick: have to agree with you Mick.

    I trust Google about as much as Micro$oft; and would rather know I am the only one with access to my files, browsing habits and email. As Mick says; Chrome OS is a cutdown Linux distro. A lot like many of the Android phones being sold by some Telcos. Full of links to their own content.

    Open Source can be used for good and evil (@ Larry and Sergey).

    Biggest problem with the cloud, from Australia and definitely parts of the Pacific I visit regularly — the internet is not stable enough yet. I work from home and travel, and have to make sure I always have a 3G dongle as well as an ADSL connection. Murphy’s law — when you are really busy the internet connection will go down. Then where is the cloud…..

    In a perfect world (we aren’t there yet) the internet would be provided by fibre at 100Mb/sec and would never go down. Maybe next decade!

  • http://www.spidergourmet.com seo CT

    I have 2 opposing views on this. First, if it makes the hardware cheap, therefore the total cost lower, of course consumers will flock to it. Most people who buy “pc packages” don’t care where their data is stored anyway, the low or next lowest price product wins.
    The second view is that because it is less hardware, because it is reliant on Google, because it is based on a skynet-like “cloud”, many people will avoid it, preferring that which they are used to and avoiding the intangible in favor of the tangible. Google has developed enough of a big corporation’s questionable nature in the general populace that people would be (rightly) suspicious of an offering that puts all their data, by design, up for mining.

  • Kain

    When I heard about the OS first I was expecting great things as I am a Linux fan.

    But this cut down netbook crap is useless.
    Most smart phones can do what the os can already.

    This is yet another weak me-too offering from Google.

    They really should stick with what they are good at.

    • Chris Crum

      Smartphones are becoming pretty popular, and some would probably find the full-sized keyboard helpful.

  • http://www.spydig.com/ withawitha29

    in the windows OSs,there were 2 class OS,2000 and XP.
    Chrome OS is new but free and open ,so using windows,and waiting for it’s growing

  • http://www.buildersinteriors.com Laminate Flooring Redmond

    Unfortunately, we live in “big brother” world. A world of monitoring, some of this can be used for us marketers.

  • http://www.Electric-Reviews.org Mark Demers

    I think Google is going to get a lot of people trying this out as soon as it comes out. Doing everything in the cloud sounds great and speeding up boot times seems like another plus. I think Google and YouTube will figure out the problem they`re having with flash and be able to fix it before launch.
    I would definitely love to give Google Chrome OS a try it should be awesome.

    You always have great posts and they`re well thought out too.

    Thanks for the updates and keep on working, i`ll miss your posts if you ever quit.