First Look: Are You Ready for Chrome OS?

2 minute read
Geoff Spick avatar

As Google (news, site) prepares to launch its new operating system, what will it offer to a rapidly diverging market?

Shining Up a New OS

Google's Chrome OS is a new operating system aimed precisely at the netbook market. The new system will offer Web-centric computing without the fat of a traditional OS. With the netbook market seeing its sales weaken in the wake of the tablet and smartphone surge however, one can't help but wonder if Chrome OS will be just another Google Wave or a market changing move. 

Netbooks have done a sterling job of reducing users' backache -- manufacturers have stopped obsessing over horsepower and boost Linux as an alternative to Windows. Now, along comes Chrome OS which brings us the idea of an operating system for the cloud age.

Slim and Lite Systems

In fact, Chrome OS looks more like the Chrome browser than it does a traditional operating system. Tabs divide your workspace and the operating system expects users to do most of their work on the Web. This has helped Chrome OS move on from several monolithic aspects of the traditional OS.

For a start, it can be upgraded on-the-fly and over-the-air, keeping your system up-to-date and protected from inherent vulnerabilities as they are discovered. Chrome OS will also be the first OS with an app store from day one. While it and the Android store are totally different, you can expect a lot of apps to flood from one to the other.

Learning Opportunities

How Should CMS-Types Be Prepared?

Anyone with a CMS should ensure their app works tightly with Chrome, if there is a sudden surge in Chrome OS-powered netbooks, then strong compatibility could open service to a new market. Similarly, if you offer an application on other stores, can you convert it to Chrome?

Market Forces

Many of us question whether there will even be a market for Chrome. Perhaps, for business users who don't have the funds to splash out on more expensive laptops, the ensuing Microsoft operating system and office furniture. 

A full launch of Chrome OS tomorrow is pretty unlikely, as partners concentrate on their seasonal offerings. When the launch does occur however, if it can make as much of an impact as Android has, then there is hope for Chrome OS. Still, a lot of the Web seems to be wondering, what's the point?