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Google Chrome OS needs to prove itself

Laurent Lachal | July 13, 2009
The proof of the Google Chrome OS pudding will be in its eating.

Internet-centric but not dependent

Google dismisses OSs designed in an era where there was no web. The expectation behind its own OS is that most of the user experience takes place on the Web. The key word here is most. With technologies such as Gears (that predates the Chrome browser and is embedded in it), and the Native Client plug-in and O3D API technologies that followed, Google is also working at enabling online applications to run offline. It needs to points this out more aggressively.

Keep things in perspective

The proof of the Google Chrome OS pudding will be in its eating. When the Google Chrome browser was released, in a report entitled Google enters the open source web browser fray we warned dont fall for the hype; Google Chrome still has everything to prove. A few months later, despite Google claiming 30 million regular users, the browser has not made much impact.

Similarly we do not expect Google Chrome OS to take over the world it is a bit late for that. With Windows 7 about to ship, it would have been better for Google to release, rather than simply announce, an alternative for the netbook market. Key to Googles OS success will be its ability to create a strong community around it. This is going to be difficult. A rethink of the project based on an alliance/convergence effort with the Ubuntu community could help.

Laurent Lachal is a senior analyst currently in charge of Ovum's open source research practice. 


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