Death of the PC OS — Google's Chrome OS Signals A New Era Of Operating Systems Focused On Online Services In The Cloud

Frank E. Gillett [Posted by Frank E. Gillett]

I was intrigued and excited to see Google announcement of their second operating system effort today, Google Chrome OS. I’ve been thinking about how client operating systems will evolve ever since I began struggling with having data spread across multiple PCs. I finally gathered together my thoughts on the future of client OS in the The Personal Cloud, published just two days ago.

My working title for this report was “Death of the PC OS” because I believe that the industry needs to rethink and expand the role of PC and device operating systems. Ultimately we titled the report “The Personal Cloud” to capture the new approach, focused on information and online services that the industry will move to, rather than today’s aging device-centric approach.

The announcement of Chrome OS is the NOT the beginning of new front in the old PC operating system war, which Microsoft Windows clearly won. It’s an early marker for the emerging battle of personal cloud platforms, which vendors will build using online services, plus various combinations of a Web browser, device operating system, or software players. Do you agree? Will Google stretch Chrome OS beyond netbooks and consumers, as we expect?


re: Death of the PC OS — Google's Chrome OS Signals A New Era O

I'm still a little unsure about the benefits of Chrome OS. It's lightweight, fast? Windows 7, OSX, and several Linux distros are very quick with the appropriate technology underneath them. Is it simply the lower cost through tech req's / free OS to develop cloud-specific machines?You're right to say that the role of the OS needs to expand, but right now this feels like a contraction of capability, not an expansion. I don't understand why people would sacrifice the functional benefits of a desktop OS that can run remote apps as well as perform complex tasks locally. I understand that a minimalist OS that meets the needs of the inside of the bell curve should be easier to design, but I also believe that big companies like MS and Apple are capable of delivering capability-heavy operating systems while keeping them user (and cloud) friendly. It's a big task, but not insurmountable by any means.Looking forward to getting more detail on ChromeOS.

re: Death of the PC OS — Google's Chrome OS Signals A New Era O

If anyone can challenge Microsoft's dominance in the OS market it's Google. But the rumor that MS will announce their own cloud-based productivity suite to challenge Google Docs on Monday have me pretty convinced that not much will change. Add Windows 7 and Azure into the mix and it seems more like Google tilting at windmills than slaying giants. Justin Siefert has a great post about this topic here:

re: Death of the PC OS — Google's Chrome OS Signals A New Era O

Frank whilst I agree that Google is moving on a Cloud centric journey, the way you (and I) think. I believe Google's ultimate target is corporations. For consumers there is already 'Smart Phone' which provides cloud experience. It is corporations which need help in terms of a 'Cloud' OS and ways to set up compliant private clouds. I believe Google has complete solution stack available for corporations. And from recent announcements, it appears Microsoft too is joining the real battle, the battle of Cloud supremacy.