Two days ago, Google announced the Google Chrome OS (Operating System) project.
Google Chrome OS can be seen as Linux with a special window manager to only allow one application: the Google Chrome web browser. In essence, a computer running Google Chrome OS will only have one application, a web browser. This means that the user will only use web-based applications presumably (but not forcibly) from Google (e.g. Gmail, Google Docs, etc.)
Google will initially launch this OS on netbooks (those ultra small laptops with small screens.) Netbooks account for only a few % of the market and most people use them for browsing only so this seems a sensible strategy (it would have been stupid to launch the OS on full-fledged PCs as people would have immediately requested for “Photoshop on the web”.)
Our friend, Fake Steve, is adamant that building Google Chrome OS is not a good stategy for Google. In my opinion, he is correct when he questions the business logic of Google. You see, Chrome OS is going to be free (like most Linux distributions), has one good browser (like most Linux distributions), with good support for Google apps (like most Linux distribuions) but is going to be costly to build for Google (unlike most Linux distributions which exist already.) So why build yet another Linux distribution (which is what Google Chrome OS is in essence…) Why don’t Google use something which exists already?
What do you think?