Chrome OS: The Second Wave
In case you haven't noticed, after lukewarm reception for its Chrome OS in the market, Google is doubling down on its efforts to gain acceptance for the operating system. And maybe the effort can still be successful. After all, hasn't Google steered the Android mobile OS to remarkable success in a short period of time? Here are some of the latest assessments of Google's chances to build a strong user base for Chrome OS despite lackluster user enthusiasm so far.
Google has just unveiled new Chromebooks--low cost computers running Chrome OS. Early Chromebooks were criticized for lacking power and local storage. The local storage issue, where Chrome OS aggressively forces users to store data and applications in the cloud, has been an ongoing issue.
In addition, as we've reported, there are clear signs that Google Drive--which offers users gigabytes of free storage in the cloud--might be the stopgap that solves Chrome OS' perceived storage problems. “We’ll…effectively integrate [Google] Drive into the native file system of Chrome OS,” said Scott Johnson, Google’s Google Drive product manager, in a discussion with Wired.
ZDNet is even out with a story titled "5 Reasons Everyone Will Be Using Chrome OS in Three Years." That seems a little optimistic, but the story notes that Chrome OS and Android will probably merge, and Chrome OS will be an inexpensive, flexible OS to run.
If Chrome OS and Android do merge, users might be attracted to running the many apps available for both operating systems alongside their current favorite operating systems. It's not uncommon at all for users to take advantage of virtualization to run, say, Linux alongside Windows. Could Chrome OS have a future as many people's secondary operating system?
One thing's for sure: There are multiple scenarios through which Google could still turn Chrome OS into a success, including possibly subsidizing Chromebooks for businesses that might buy them in bulk. Don't count the operating system out yet.