Why Google Should Cool It With Chrome OS

From Wired:

With Chrome OS, the search giant is pushing an OS that enables us to do less — even less than already low-powered netbooks can do. Web apps can’t let us process Microsoft Word documents, sync our iTunes libraries, or edit photos with Photoshop, for example. Thanks to their crampy keyboards and small screens, netbooks aren’t ideal for productivity apps such as Photoshop or Microsoft Word — but you’d be surprised at the different uses for netbooks that made them last year’s hit product category. Watch what happens when Google offers an OS that doesn’t at least provide the option of using the aforementioned apps.

Of course, as Google’s pitch goes, there are web alternatives to everything. Cloud storage for backups, internet-streaming music and video services, and the Google Docs web suite for all your spreadsheet or word-processing needs. The list goes on.

The idea is such: Give up the computing experience you’ve grown accustomed to for over a decade. Come live in Google’s browser.

Why would anyone wish to do that today, tomorrow or even next year when the OS ships?


  1. They’re betting that connectivity and bandwidth will be much better than at present. They could be right, they could be wrong.

    1. Frig, it’s not even a replacement for a notebook. The Google model is fine for a plausible situation where a netbook of some kind is used in place of the ‘smart’ bit of smartphones (on-the-go web browsing, movie-watching, reading, social networking etc, but benefitting from a larger screen and hardware keyboard)… That’s not a bad possibility, but it needs netbooks to be megacheap and the general trend seems to be for netbooks to be getting more expensive and moving into ‘notebook replacement’ territory. Could be promising for a tablet, maybe, if it wasn’t that tablets look likely to be similarly priced out of that bottom-of-the-market niche (seen the rumoured price of the Apple tablet? Sheesh!).

  2. It’s an odd situation that I’d rather see the OS market dominated by Microsoft. Google ruling everything PC-related? No thanks.

    What worries me, though, is that these kinds of articles always pop up shortly before a major corporate mega-breakthrough. I could google (*sigh*) similar articles about the iPod, the Nintendo Wii, the iPhone, blogging, YouTube or the airplane.

  3. I never use Word or Photoshop when not in the office they are too expensive. I don’t use iTunes at all.
    I want to see it in its finished state but I am very likely to opt for a Chrome OS Netbook sometime in the next 5 years. As long as it is compatible with HTML 5 and the few plugins that are required to use the Web effectively it should be everything I need.

  4. It looks very fast, which is winning me over. But I actually program on my netbook, and need to be able to do that ( NDS homebrew, arduino, processing ) so I think I am stuck with XP for now.

  5. I am kind of hoping for a dual boot option. It happens quite often that I need my netbook to google something real-quick in class. In that case, chrome’s speed would be very helpful. I do frequently use word processing and even picture editing software on it though, so I would still keep xp. I wonder if that will be possible, although I don’t see why not.

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