Google unveiled their Chrome OS last week running on a very inexpensive netbook. It’s all about cloud-computing. Or, in 1996 language, thin client network computing. Pete Mortensen:
It’s yet another take on what cloud-based consumer computing could be (insert “network computing” if you’d like to relive 1996), an heir to the promise of Java and so many others. And it looks to have some legs, even if we’re still quite some ways from seeing commercially available hardware ready to run on it. Many developers will create apps for the platform, and its write-once, read-anywhere (WOMA!) promise is mighty seductive.
Bad news for Apple and the Mac, right?
Even as the web has eroded a lot of the traditional functions of the desktop OS, there is still a burning need for great UI that the vast majority of web apps, even Chrome, can’t deliver upon. I know that an increasing number of my favorite Mac apps are largely front ends for a far more complex web-based back end. MarsEdit for blogging, Reeder for RSS, Tweetie for Twitter, iCal for scheduling and others. In fact, the more successful ChromeOS becomes at getting people into the cloud, the more opportunities for native Mac clients there might turn out to be.
Chrome OS is network computing of the 21st century. Will businesses adopt non-Microsoft, thin-client network computers?