Chrome OS: some thoughts

So Google has finally given some more information on their Chrome OS which is due to be released towards the end of 2010.

On paper, it all looks very good especially with the 7 second bootup time! Also I agree with their premise that these days people are turning on their computers to get online – for me, outside of work this is certainly the case. However the developers would have you believe that you can do everything online (via Google’s servers) without the need for local storage. That sounds fine in principal when you have an internet connection – however out of the home this becomes more of a barrier. Particularly in the UK 3G mobile data cards or public wi-fi are often expensive, and connection speeds are not that quick.

Google will counter with some of the offline capabilities of programs such as Gmail but anyone who has used this feature on the Chrome browser will know it’s not ideal.

Where this falls down for me is that is the whole experience is totally dependent on being online and I’m just not sure consumers are ready for that experience. I get the feeling that even if they are using this device as a “companion piece”, they will want some local storage for things like music and photos and will also expect some desktop functionality as they are used to.

Some people are touting this as a “game-changer” however this is just Chrome the browser as an operating system. Now I love Chrome and use it everyday but although it has improved the way I experience the internet,  it certainly hasn’t radically changed it. I suspect the same will be true of Chrome OS however I will reserve judgement until trying it out and further competition in the market against Windows and Apple is always welcome…


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