Chrome OS – Lost in the cloud?

It’s no Windows killer and it'll take some belief in the cloud before Chrome OS can change things.

Not everyone wants to upload data to Google servers. The question might be how willing or able Google to compromise its initial concept to accomodate local applications, offline processing and local storage.

As soon as this compromise is made, Chrome OS becomes nothing more than just another desktop operating system, albeit with an ultra sophisticated multi-threaded browser, although it becomes infinitely more useful to the "ordinary" user who likes to to keep his or her data close at hand, and private, and may not always have access to the web.

Despite the huff and puff, a device that comes with Chrome OS installed is likely to be seen by home users as little more than a remote device for browsing the web and reading email, a useful ancilliary rather than a replacement for the desktop in the office or the home.

More useful may be the option for business users of instant access to applications, processes and data on the office LAN from a remote access point. In this case the fact that the data is stored on the LAN rather than the remote device becomes a virtue.

It will be interesting to see how much Chrome OS is customised as it is adapted for specialised devices and mobile access by the telecom companies, and whether it is adopted as a thin client for office workers, giving access to a central hub for office computing.

Down the rabbit hole

Users are possessive of their data, and often with good reason. There are issues of licensing and the current availability of applications, and there are questions of privacy and control. We live in a world where data is being collected in greater and greater volumes, and is increasingly being concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.

Google might not want to share your data but government agencies can go beyond the law to access what they will, and both governments and corporations are increasingly obsessed with gathering information about our lives. The web is a big hole in which to lose your privacy and forget your passwords.

Such reservations are likely to be ignored and may be overcome, but web computing is not for everone. Chrome OS and its future clones will not replace the functionality, versatility, privacy and integrity of the desktop computer but may influence the way that people work and play on the web.

In doing so, Chrome OS will almost certainly put another dent in Microsoft's hegemony, but is unlikely to usurp the desktop computer. Power users, developers and specialists will always require the on board power of the computer close at hand.

Similarly, Chrome OS is not a "make or break" move for Linux on the desktop and offers no direct challenge to Ubuntu or the Mac, except in the most generic sense, but may influence browser technology and future developments in the Linux kernel to the advantage of other Linux distributions, and this may be its most positive outcome for Linux users and for web users as a whole.

Featured Resources

The challenge of securing the remote working employee

The IT Pro Guide to Sase and successful digital transformation

Free Download

VMware Cloud workload migration tools

Cloud migration types, phases, and strategies

Free download

Practices for maximising the business value of digital infrastructure Consumption-as- a-Service subscriptions

IDC PeerScape

Free Download

Container network security guide for dummies

Enforcing Kubernetes best practices

Free download

Recommended

Google banned from importing patent-infringing tech following Sonos IP victory
Policy & legislation

Google banned from importing patent-infringing tech following Sonos IP victory

7 Jan 2022
Google, Facebook fined €210 million for making it difficult for users to reject cookies
Policy & legislation

Google, Facebook fined €210 million for making it difficult for users to reject cookies

6 Jan 2022
Google is working with leading PC manufacturers to improve Android on Windows
Google Android

Google is working with leading PC manufacturers to improve Android on Windows

6 Jan 2022
Google Cloud acquires Israeli security startup Siemplify
cloud security

Google Cloud acquires Israeli security startup Siemplify

5 Jan 2022

Most Popular

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD
Microsoft Windows

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD

4 Jan 2022
Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug
email delivery

Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug

4 Jan 2022
Solving cyber security's diversity problem
Careers & training

Solving cyber security's diversity problem

5 Jan 2022