Google’s Chrome OS – will it work or a big waste?

In case you missed it [or you didn’t know] but Google is releasing an operating systems designed specifically for netbooks – although it should work on a desktop. For whatever reason, Google figured there is a market for this. Unsure where they got the idea from.

A bit of history. Netbooks are low cost laptops. Originally they started out with 7” screens. Eventually larger ones came out. Although they can go as high as 12” screens, most still tend to be in the 10” screen range. Part of the reasoning is that they want to be small enough to be packed in [for example] any bag and not big and clumsy.

Part of a restrictions on them was from Microsoft who allowed a cheap licensed copy of Windows XP to be sold with them but only if the hard disk didn’t exceed [at the time of sale] 160 GB for a hard disk, 1 GB of memory and a low powered processor. Windows 7 increased some of the limitations.

Now when netbooks came out, they were offered in Windows XP and Linux flavours with the Linux edition slightly cheaper. There were many consumers who decided to be a bit cheap [or other reasons] and bought the Linux version. But they knew nothing of Linux and/or they couldn’t use their favourite applications. The netbook was returned. In fact, at one point in 2009, at least 80% of all netbook returns was because of Linux was installed [probably the rest was because it wasn’t strong enough].

Now Google is coming out with Chrome OS sometime in 2011. But all Chrome OS is, is an operating system built on Linux and it has a web browser as its desktop. So Google decided to make things a bit more interesting by allowing a few bells and whistles. But in the end, it is still Linux and most consumer users won’t want it.

So will this be the biggest waste of money for 2011? It has the potential.

Update 2011/12/17: Just over a year since I posted this blog, things don’t look too good for the Chrome OS. The two biggest retail makers of “Chromebooks” [a netbook with Chrome OS installed] report dismal sales in the Chromebooks to a point where Samsung may leave the netbook/Chromebook market altogether.  Some say that the sales are so bad, it makes RIM’s Playbook a monster seller.

One of the issues faced the Chromebooks was that the price tag was actually quite high – almost to a point to sprnd a small bit extra and buy a tablet. Another issue was that it was still a niche market – popular mostly with techies.


About ebraiter
computer guy

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