Google Chrome OS Bets Your Head Is in the Clouds

Maressa Brown

google chrome osGoogle may rule the web when it comes to being the number one search engine (Bing who?) and web-based email service, but how about the world of software? The colorful company has made its presence known in the world of smartphones already, and next up ... it's taking on Mac OS X and Windows by releasing Chrome OS.

The thing is ... Chrome OS won't operate in the traditional way that Mac OS X and Windows operating systems have. Instead, Google's OS is a cloud-based operating system. In other words, Chrome OS only runs web-based applications through a modified version of the Chrome browser. The boon, according to Google: Chrome OS powers up in a matter of seconds (just 8 actually!) and has a longer battery life.

Come June 15, Samsung and Acer will launch small laptops that run the Chrome OS software. Samsung's ($429 for Wi-Fi, $499 for 3G) will have a 12.1-inch screen with an 8-hour battery life, while Acer's ($349+) device will have an 11.6-inch display and 6.5-hour battery life.

Call me a buzz kill, but I'm not seeing how this is particularly revolutionary. It just sounds like ... a glorified netbook.

Chromebooks are just small laptops that can only run web applications ... which I guess makes up 75-90 percent of what people do on any kind of electronic device these days, but I wouldn't spend upwards of $350 for a device that does less than an iPad and significantly less than a MacBook.

Google argues that Chromebooks are superior to existing devices because your apps, documents, and settings will be "stored safely in the cloud." So, say you lose your computer. You can just log into another Chromebook and get right back to work. Yeah ... I guess that's cool. Although security is supposed to be fab, I'd be a bit wary of having all of my data, purchased apps, settings, etc. just floating out there "in the clouds."

I suppose only time will tell if Google can truly revolutionize the netbook/notebook market with their OS. But I'm still questioning whether they're actually filling a void in the marketplace ... or trying to fool us into believing there is a void in the first place.

What do you think -- could you see yourself buying a Chromebook?


Image via smemom87/flickr

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