Google just released their new Chrome OS that puts computing solely in the cloud. While on it’s face, it seems just like another Google project but this is actually huge. The first response is that what about my Microsoft Word or Photoshop? Yes there will be a need for those programs but for most computer users perhaps 90%, Google Docs and Picnic will most likely be sufficient. The ten percent of us including me will probably need our heavy duty design programs, excel processing functions and massive files. So it will definitely be fine for those of us who check Facebook, chat, email, watch videos, and do some word processing. What are the major ramifications and possibilities of Google Chrome operating system? Let’s list a few (fifteen to be exact):
1. OS of Choice for Lower Priced Devices: Google will essentially give it away for free thus lower the production cost of laptops, notebooks and tablets for manufacturers. This is to the detriment of Microsoft mainly (perhaps you should not have created such a bloated OS).
2. Growth in Market Share: Chrome OS and Chrome browser will grow in market share in browsers and operating systems. This causes a drop in Windows operating system as well as the dreaded Internet Explorer (Firefox as well). (Note that Windows 7 and IE 9 were vast improvements but innovation just came too slow).
3. More Users and Increased Product Usage: Users of Chrome OS devices will become new users of all of Google Products such as Gmail, Docs, and Maps. Increasing user base and time spend on products thus increasing revenues. While there are users of Google products, most probably don’t use Google Docs or other products.
4. Further Growth in Android because of Chrome OS: Android and Chrome OS will be increasing intermingled as users will prefer to sync their laptop with their mobile phones as well.
5. Software Developers to become Chrome App Developers: With the need for sophisticated applications for the new cloud based OS, companies will find a new market for their products aside from Mac and Windows.
6. Growth of Subscription Based Apps: Users will become increasingly dependent on paying monthly for applications instead of buying them since they can now be used across devices.
7. Chrome TV: Google TV may also be linked with Chrome OS to provide a better experience. Image surfing the web and clicking the “Watch” later button and it’ll appear on your Google TV. Perhaps you have something in your Google Cloud storage and you simply go to your TV and pull it from the cloud to watch.
8. Increasing Dependence on Google Products: Because the whole Chrome OS experience is dependent on logging in and creating an account, users will be increasing used to the Google interface and products causing dependence.
9. Chrome OS Education Edition: Because the OS is fast and simple, it would be ideal for laptops for young children and students. It would not be a surprise for Google to spearhead a campaign to have Google Chrome OS notebooks in the hands of every student.
10. Chrome OS Offline Features Created: I have not used the OS yet but I see eventually there is an increasing need for a Offline feature. If it doesn’t come out with a strong feature, it will be built out with super caching of all programs and processes.
11. Chrome OS Virtualization: People will still want their other programs so I would image that Google would created Chrome OS to allow for these programs to be used on the OS in a separate “sandbox” or container. I’m sure the idea is highly complex but it would be awesome to create a faux Windows OS to allow for the running of these programs.
12. Down Goes Online Security: Since Chrome OS handles security, there will probably be lower sales for software security.
13. Chrome OS Enterprise Edition: Yes Google will end up wrapping their Google Apps with Chrome OS in one neat and simple package. Simply rent a computer from a authorized dealer and log on, then magically your company computer is all set up.
14. Death of the IT Guy: For major companies the shift probably won’t happen very fast, but for small companies, they will increasing like the cloud and paying for an Enterprise Chrome OS since it simply kills the need for the IT guy or entire department.
15. Growth in Google Search: Since the OS has the Google search bar, it essentially puts the search everywhere the user is on the device. This will become a seamless interface that generates even more money.
Those are just some possible impacts and events that may occur. I think they are highly likely than just a simple list. But I think it has large ramifications in how people will interact with the web across multiple devices (laptop, desktop, TV and phone) in multiple areas of life (personal, work, and school). This simply links everything that Google has been doing together. That’s why the cloud and Google Chrome OS is different.