Google Chrome OS: who is it for?

Since fleshing out the details of their browser-based OS, many people have been asking who is actually going to use this software?

Why would Google take on Microsoft and Apple? Doesn’t Chrome OS conflict with Android’s interests and what Google are trying to do in the mobile space?

I think people who are thinking like this are missing the point. Google especially targeted businesses and how the OS can be used in business when they revealed Google Chrome OS last year. They don’t see your average user installing this on their home PC.

Think about when you telephone a call centre or set up a new account at your bank or look up a novel on the library computer system. You will notice that your request is handled through a web-based application. A fully featured operating system like Windows 7 is not needed in these cases; all that is required is a browser. Think of all the money companies could save by not having to pay for the hundreds, if not thousands of licenses they would otherwise have to purchase from Microsoft / Apple.

Of course there are free operating systems out there at the moment, Ubuntu being a personal favourite. There are also a whole host of reasons why Linux has never taken off as a desktop solution (most of them have nothing to do with how good the distributions are themselves). I think the difference with Google Chrome OS is that it has a big brand behind it. IT administrators will feel more comfortable installing Google software that they know will be kept secure, regularly updated and will have a large community behind it.

Only time will tell if Chrome OS turns out to be a success, but I wouldn’t write it off so early as some have.

Categories: Technology