While the news of Google’s OS has been getting considerable attention, the idea of a Linux based OS with a special emphasis on the web (that is, cloud computing) is not new. Good OS (or gOS) is already on version three. It is essentially Ubuntu Linux with the addition of Google gadgets, plus a lot of talk about cloud computing. Of course, Google is a huge company and enjoys considerable influence. As such its Chrome might have an impact on Windows.
Of course, Google has tried to go up against Microsoft by offering a suite of programs as rivals to Office. So far, Microsoft has had nothing to really worry about. Also, the Chrome OS seems to be aimed mainly at netbooks. While this market has been hot, there is the possibility that it will cool down. More importantly, netbooks are something of a niche-most users (especially business users) use and most likely will keep using desktops and laptops. However, I must admit that I rather like my netbook and recommend them to people who need a light, small and capable computer. Of course, Windows XP recently replaced Linux as the normal install in many netbooks and it will be hard for Google to push Microsoft out and its Linux back in.
If Google is going to make a significant advance against Microsoft, they will need to get Chrome to the good things Windows allows users to do (like run a top office suite) while avoiding the problems of Windows. If they can make an OS that does all they claim it will do, I will probably install it on my netbook, but as a boot option rather than my only OS. After all, I’m not sold on cloud computing, most software I rely on is Windows or Mac based, and I don’t see Chrome being able to properly run Windows games.
Even if Google’s Chrome is not a Windows killer, the entry of Google into the OS business should impact the development of Windows. That is, Microsoft will most likely copy many features of Chrome into the next version of Windows (8 or whatever they call it) or implement them via add ons or Internet Explorer in Windows 7.
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