Could Chrome OS Thrive in Public Kiosks and in Cars?
Could Google's Chrome OS arrive on platforms that have hardly been discussed for it yet? According to rumblings from Google and some media reports, the answer is yes. Of course, there has been a lot of talk about possible mergers between Chrome OS and Android, and talk of Chrome OS tablets. But there are some facts about the guts of Chrome OS that could make it ideal for other applications.
In a recent post on Google's Enterprise Blog, there is an interesting discussion of Chorme OS for use in public kiosks. Meanwhile, a piece this week in Wired declares the OS ideal for use in cars, where Linux is making a lot of headway.
According to Google's Enterprise blog:
"With easy personalization and built-in security, Chrome devices were made for sharing. The new Managed Public Sessions feature delivers a highly customizable experience for both customers and employees without requiring a login...Because Chromebooks are low cost, easy to set up and manage, and require virtually no maintenance, Chromebooks with Managed Public Sessions make perfect shared kiosks."
Indeed, there are a number of Chromebooks available in the $200 price range that offer lots of personalization options, tight security, customizable logins and very nice displays. They could work well in public kiosk scenarios.
According to Wired, Chrome OS--or a close substitute--could be the ideal platform for use in cars:
"We need a Chrome OS for cars..Login to Google on any device, anywhere, and you’ve got access to everything you’ve invested in the internet giant’s ecosystem. The same thing could be done with automobiles."
Of course, Chrome OS is Linux-based, and Linux has made huge headway in automotive efforts. Linux is already a part of some in-vehicle entertainment and communication systems, and companies including Toyota are working closely with The Linux Foundation on Linux/car technology efforts.
It was always assumed that Chrome OS would compete with Windows, the Mac OS and Linux for users focused on common applications. But Chrome OS could make a lot of sense in other types of scenarios. It's a young operating system, and we may not have seen it hit its sweet spot yet.