Will Google’s Chrome OS Succeed?

    December 15, 2010
    Chris Crum

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?