Google’s dominance of the internet took another twist this week with the announcement that Google is to introduce its own operating system, introducing Google Chrome OS.
So what does this mean for traditional operating systems?
Well Google Chrome OS will actually work in a similar way to Google Chrome Browser, speed, simplicity and security will be the main features. Chrome OS has been designed for users that predominately spend their time on the web one of the most fundamental changes will be that users won’t have to source security, malware or virus updates as this will happen automatically. Google’s intention is clear they have designed an operating system that will be fast, and will enhance the user experience on the web.
Google’s goals in creating an OS are certainly responding to the increasingly web-based activities and pursuits of the average computer user. Websites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and BBC iPlayer are increasingly capturing larger proportions of the time a user spends on his or her machine. Resultantly, a web-based machine could appeal to a large number of users. After all, as Google points out, many of the existing operating systems were built before the era of the web.
In addition, Chrome OS’ open-source platform could play a part in lowering barriers to entry by encouraging people to play a more active part in the web. That’s because, not only are netbooks lighter and more portable than desktop computers and larger laptops, but Chrome-based netbooks are likely to be significantly cheaper than those loaded with pricey Windows. In the UK in particular, this could play a role in helping low-income households and those resistant to taking up broadband to get online in the government’s Digital Britain pledge for 100 per cent broadband penetration by 2012.
So what now?
The announcement of the Chrome OS has given Microsoft reason to fear the expansion of Google, but how much of a threat will it actually be to Windows? At this early stage it’s difficult to say, with the first developments of Chrome OS a long way off. But what is certain Google Chrome OS has created a stir and the debate of its threat to Microsoft will rage on.