First of all, according to Computer World’s CyberCynic, the rumor going round that a beta of Google Chrome OS has been released is false. Google has said they have not released any such thing. That said, I have been watching with a lot of interest the buzz surrounding Chrome OS. Many people have different interpretations of what Chrome OS is going to be.
The original Google post that announced the OS itself was very vague and this helped increase the speculation surrounding it. However, gleaning from the later Q and As from the Google Chrome blog and analysis from other prominent blogs, I have identified 5 bottlenecks that Google would have tackle otherwise Chrome OS may not make any meaningful impact on the OS market.
Reason 1- Microsoft
Microsoft Inc. is the biggest reason why Google Chrome OS may not make any significant impact. Most of the time the strength of MS is underestimated. To give you a typical example, when Chrome the browser was launched, a lot of people touted it as the IE killer. And now one year on, Chrome the browser is still struggling to clinch to the 2% or so market share it has managed to gain. Guess which browser is still the leader. Among the reasons for the development of Chrome OS is for Google to make a direct challenge to MS. However, I doubt if MS would just stand there and watch while Google makes an incursion onto its own turf.
Reason 2 Design
The design of Google Chrome OS is such that the Chrome browser is going to be the center of affairs. Everything is going to revolve around the browser. However, it is not always that I would want to do something on the internet. Sometimes I power my pc to read a book, or watch a movie or just play cards without ever opening the browser. If Google Chrome OS will require the browser for even mundane tasks like that, then I would simply not use it. I have to say though that the OS is not out so this point remains just a speculation based on what is known about the OS.
Reason 3- Privacy
Google is aiming to make the web the hub of computing. The web itself is not a bad thing. However, what happens when everything I do on my pc is known to Google? From the documents I type to the movies I watch to the news articles I like reading, Google will know all of that. Is Chrome OS also a tool for Google to create a massive data mine it can use for more targeted advertising like it does with Gmail?
Before you counter that Google already knows everything I do online, I would say that is not true. Google only knows what I do when I am signed in to any Google account. Yes the web has no privacy, but I can still type that confidential letter without anyone knowing of it on my pc. That would now be so with Chrome OS and Google Docs.
Reason 4- Reliability
With the recent outages that Google has been suffering, the question that comes to mind is how reliable will the cloud be for an entire OS to be reliant on it? What happens when I have stored a massive amount of data in the cloud only for me to wake up one day and be told my data is gone with the wind just like what happened last week with the