What Lies Ahead for Chrome OS?
So rumor has it that Google's Chrome OS, which had been slated to arrive some time next year, is about to arrive as a beta release. As I pointed out this morning, netbooks based on it may help preserve open source influence on a hot hardware category, but is Chrome OS likely to be a smash hit?
When the news of Chrome OS first arrived, I collected some things I felt it had in its favor, and some things that are not in its favor. While Google's Android mobile operating system is really starting to take off, I still think Chrome OS faces challenges.
Chrome OS won't arrived in final form until months after Windows 7 has had a good opportunity to become entrenched on netbooks, and Google has said that the operating system is aimed at the netbook space. Also, GigaOm noted here that Google isn't really in favor with telecom giants, who are predicted to play a big part in how netbooks are distributed.
But most of all, we have yet to see what kind of application ecosystem there will be for Chrome OS. Will systems with it come loaded with lots of Google apps and that's all? As David Coursey says here, Google may very well position Chrome OS as a portal to cloud-based applications and pay little attention to applications available at the local level.
For many reasons, I think Chrome OS will have to jump some hurdles to succeed. Still, people love all things Google, and I expect the new operating system to find some fans.