Google's Chrome OS is going after Windows. Is this going to be a game changer?
The plan is part of Google’s bet that a huge shift in computing is under way. In Google’s view, Web connections will become so fast and browsers so powerful that most of the programs that currently run on PCs will be replaced by online applications. That would eliminate the need to install, upgrade and back up software. Analysts say advances in technology make that vision more realistic today than when the browser company Netscape unsuccessfully championed it a decade ago... Rather than buying bulky desktop computers, consumers have been turning recently toward small, low-cost laptops known as netbooks, which serve as little more than gateways to the Web. Google says its operating system will be initially aimed at netbooks, which are generally not powerful enough to handle the latest version of Windows.
Here's why Google may succeed where the Mac OS and Linux OS have not: the Mac OS is tied to Apple's hardware, and Linux, while having made great strides, is simply not user-friendly enough for 90% of the computer users out there. If my mother can't install it, then it's not going to rival Windows. So Google's OS, not being tied to hardware, and being developed by a company that knows how to make user-friendly software, has a shot. But I don't buy this brave new cloud computing, netbook world yet - there are simply too many places where it's difficult to get internet access: there is either no access, it's spotty, or you have to be a subscriber. Even in our modern, high-tech lab, net access goes down on occasion. I need to access my documents, spreadsheets, draft email messages, etc. when I'm not connected. If the entire OS is based on having access to the web, it's going to be of limited use.