5 reasons why Google Chrome OS may not make it.

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

6 Replies to “5 reasons why Google Chrome OS may not make it.”

  1. I can give you one reason why users aren't going to jump on the bandwagon and install it: frustration.

    I've outlined this problem in a comment on an IT blog. The problem is this: hardware and the kernel. The Linux kernel has to have support for a motherboard's chipset built into the kernel. Unlike Windows, where I can install Windows XP from a disk that was bought in 2001 on my Core i7 architecture machine with the Intel X58 chipset, I cannot install any Linux based system that doesn't have, at least, kernel 2.6.27. What does this mean? That's basically the same as if I was to try and install Red Hat Linux 7.2 on my machine and it's not going to happen. But it works with a very outdated Windows disk that does not get any support for the machine from the internet during boot, nor during installation – yet it works. When a user has new hardware, and the version of Chrome OS isn't new enough, it won't install. That means that users in droves will be frustrated and abandon it.

    One of the biggest problems facing Linux over the years has been hardware support. It was, for a long time, the Achilles Heal of it. That has lessened quite a bit, but the fact that the Linux kernel still needs support for chipsets built-in to the kernel to even boot is a major stubling block.

  2. Hello Ruel24,
    You splendidly hammered the nail on the head. That is sure going to turn people away in droves. Google would have to work overtime if the hardware/kernel 'evil' is to be contained relative to Chrome OS. Excellent point my friend.

  3. Chrome was released on 12/11/08 and has about the same market share as Safari. Not bad for a browser that hasn't been officially released on OSX or Linux, and still isn't a year young.

  4. @Anonymous
    Thanks for pointing out the typo. Chrome the browser in my view has in some ways lived below expectation given the kind of publicity it received when it debuted. It has made some strides no doubt, but it still has been largely a disappointment.

  5. Not all hardware is so unusable on Linux.
    What makes Linux unbootable (and, therefore, unusable) are the ACPI/APIC especific BIOS, which search for a string identification of the OS. Usually they search for something ms windows like, thus crippling a Linux installation.
    But with more users jumping on the Linux wagon, chances are the manufacturers will provide information and drivers to be inserted in the kernel.

    BTW, congratz for your soccer team.

  6. Hi A, lets hope the increasing number of Linux users brings about the much needed change from hardware manufacturers. Thx my friend. That game was really an epic one

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