Thursday, July 9, 2009

Google OS for Netbooks

MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 06:  In this photo...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Google announced that they are building a new computer operating system. The Google Chrome OS is a lightweight OS designed on the Linux kernel that is intended to be used on Netbooks and other computers where users want to use primarily web applications. The Google blog article reads:

Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.

As a huge Google fan I am very excited about this news, and 2010 cannot get here soon enough so I can try this new OS out on either my EEE PC or perhaps a new netbook from one of the vendors that have already been announced as working with Google.

As I have thought about this new Google OS a few things have come to mind:
  1. My biggest disappointment with the Chrome browser is the lack of integration with Google stuff. Google Reader for RSS and Google Bookmarks for bookmarks would have been very obvious integration bits. I really hope Google includes lots of Integration with the OS. Since Joshua Schachter joined Google, I have been waiting for a way cool new version of Google Bookmarks. Perhaps that integration will come with Chrome OS?
  2. Jungle Disk, Live Mesh and Pogoplug are my local links to cloud storage. With these three applications I am either replicating data (Mesh), backing things up (Jungle Disk/S3), or simply making most of my data available anywhere (Pogoplug). I hope that Google realizes that getting to this data is important, and either works to provide access to some of these types of cloud services or offers a compelling service of their own (the fabled gDrive). I am storing a few hundred gigabytes on the three services I mentioned, so any gDrive will have to allow that at a price point close to what I am paying now to make me even consider it.
  3. My EEE PC is awesome, but part of that awesomeness comes from my ability to connect to the Internet from anywhere. I tether my Blackberry using VZAccess to grab a 3G connection on the go. I almost always tether via Bluetooth. If the Chrome OS does not offer me the ability to use VZAcess and tether my BB it will be much less useful and I would likely just keep what I have and use Windows 7.
I think Google has a real opportunity for the netbook market with Chrome OS. Windows 7 works so well that I am not 100% sure that this OS would have much effect on Windows sales for anything other than netbooks. I certainly don't see anything in what I have read that would make me consider abandoning Windows at the office. I guess there is nothing to do now but wait and see what Google does.

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