Google Vice President, Linus Upson, recently told The New York Times that when the Chrome OS deploys, some 60% of all businesses could get rid of Windows for good and switch to Chrome overnight. Uh, Google has a problem. It's called arrogance!
If you don't believe arrogance can fell an empire, just go back and study World War I. For a more recent cautionary tale, look at Wall Street over the past couple of years.
Upson's vision of stripped down netbooks with the Chrome OS is just the latest articulation from Camp Google.
It goes something like this:
- The Chrome operating system will be almost a seamless experience for those who already use the Chrome browser. That's because the browser will, in essence, be the operating system. That's right: no data storage AT ALL on the hard drive. All data, all apps will be on the cloud. Everything will be done from the browser.
- Since everything will be on the cloud and not on your hard drive, users will never have to worry again about losing data or how to safeguard sensitive information on a stolen laptop. Just change the passwords and move onto another computer.
- Upson even goes so far saying that companies could do away with their systems administrators, since all updates would be automated from the cloud.
- Google doesn't want you to worry your pretty little head about anything, businesses. They want to control, I mean, handle everything.
First of all, could Upson be skipping some steps here? For example, you might actually launch your product before bragging it could grab 60% of Microsoft's market share overnight.
I have some other big questions, as well:
1. By all accounts, the Chrome OS is being developed primarily for netbooks. However, netbook sales have been dropping off dramatically in proportion with the meteoric rise of smartphone and iPad sales. By the time the Chrome OS launches, will it be all dressed up with no where to go given the quickly fading interest in netbooks?
2. The Android operating system is red hot right now. So why in the great wide world of sports would Google muddy the waters by pushing two operating systems at the same time? As the lines between personal computers and mobile devices blur more everyday, how long would it take for Android and Chrome to start cannabilizing one another?
3. Consumers want choices. They want devices that can run any application their little heart desires. They want devices they can use to access anything their little heart desires. Chrome OS will undoubtedly be optimized for running Google apps. What if those aren't my first choices?
4. I can't judge Google too harshly for being a control freak. I'm a control freak, too. I like to have control over my own data. I like it locally stored on my hard drive and I know exactly where it is at all times. I do like backing some of it up on a cloud. But, there are some things that I like to keep local. If Google has its way, will I have mine?
5. Uh, when does the thing launch again anyway?