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Monday, May 16, 2011

Why Chrome OS sounds like a bad idea today.

On 7th July 2009, Google announced a bold move to enter into the OS market and take it head on with Microsoft. Back then, the popularity of Netbooks was on peak and sales were  high. Entering into the OS market aimed at Netbooks was a usual move for the company.  The idea was simple, Design a light OS which is tightly integrated with the Google’s services and search, have everything in cloud and make that plastic device a mere window to the user’s data and the Web. It’s been 2 years and a lot has changed since then. Apple launched iPad inventing a whole new category of Tablets. Tablet sales have already surpassed to that of Netbooks  and it seems like they’re on their verge of extinction. When people talk about buying a mobile internet device, Tablet is there first preference. Around  80 tablets were launched in the recent Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas and 50 more are planned this year. Compare to that of Netbooks, no single Electronics manufacturer is planning to launch another Netbook in the market.  It seems like the innovation in the Netbook market has began to settle. You get almost the same specifications as a year before.   
                                                                      Coming back to Chrome OS.  After using it for 3 continuous days, the initial impressions were not good. It is no different than a Chrome browser sitting on top of a Hollow operating system. I’d have used goodOS if I wanted something like that. With internet connectivity as slow as Indian Railway, the OS proved to be useless. It’s like they have created something a lot ahead of it’s time (Remember Newton?). I couldn’t enjoy the music, movies, the basic software and games I used to love on Windows. I couldn’t do anything. It was frustrating.  But wait, the OS isn’t designed for running heavy softwares and games, it’s only for the Web and Email. Sure it is awesome at running Web apps and surfing the internet but when you buy a device like that, you expect it  to fulfill atleast the basic entertainment needs of yours.  And this is where iPad comes in. Apple marketed it’s tablet as a complete mobile platform which you can use to watch videos, surf web, read books, play games and do other countless stuff. Chrome OS isn’t even close to doing what an iPad can.
                           To succeed in this crowded market of Mobile Internet Devices Google should consider taking the path of Android. Dumping or merging the Chrome OS with Android would be a good bet . Android Devices are in much better position today and they can’t go wrong with it. Having one OS will also remove the confusion between the consumers.  And that Hindi saying “ek se bhale do” doesn’t work here.


  1. goodOS? Ouch that hurts! Seems like it needs a lot of improvements. One needs some strong reasons to waste their money on just-email-and-web device. And exactly like chrome bowser? What would that mean? No desktop or what? I hope it is stable enough to work on web flawlessly.

  2. The OS is heavily dependent on Cloud. No windows, a limited file manager, basic pdf reader and a music app which works only when there is an internet connection. Why on earth would i spend 500$ on a notebook which has so many missing features?. Chromebooks also look ugly compared to the touch and app driven Tablets. Do remember that the OS i tested was an open source alternative "Chromium" instead of the actual OS to be used on Chromebooks.