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Dec 04 2009

Google Chrome OS Detailed for Industry

Last week, Google held a small event at their headquarters and outlined the company’s direction for Chrome OS. Chrome OS is Google’s entry into the operating system market, joining names like Apple OS X, Microsoft Windows and many Linux variations – Ubuntu, Suse and Moblin – to name a select few distributions. Google is promoting Google Chrome OS as a cloud service, with most applications running from the internet rather than on the local system. Examples of this include the popular Google services Google Docs, Gmail, Google Reader and others. In doing so, Google has already attracted the ire of some commentators. Michael Gartenberg in a column for Engadget disagreed with the approach, expressing that not all computer users spend 90 percent of their day in a browser doing their work, e-mail and networking.

Yet, it does seem as though the cloud holds enough promise for a broad enough group of users that Chrome OS will gain some traction when it does launch, which is anticipated for next year. Chrome OS would provide users of netbooks a lightweight, free and easy to use operating system, though the question remains – How long will netbooks be viable? As the market encounters more powerful cell phones and greater connectivity, some pundits are placing bets on smart phones being the future, and not netbooks. It is important to point out that Google has already placed a bet on smart phones with the introduction and continued uptake of the Android smart phone operating system.

Google’s efforts with Chrome OS have interesting implications for those developing hardware. The growing variety of operating system choices result in the need for increased testing across a wide array of devices. With entries like Chrome OS and Moblin gaining market traction, firms producing everything from cameras to keyboards now must consider how their customers will interact with devices. For many years, Microsoft Windows and Apple offerings combined for near market saturation – resulting in a manageable test and interoperability scenario for producers of both software and hardware. Now the picture is becoming much less clear for which operating system a consumer might be bringing their new hardware home to.

If you want to review Google Chrome OS yourself, we recommend downloading it from gdgt.com, as their hosting is the fastest way to get Chrome OS.

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