From what I gather from What is Google Chrome OS video, Google Chrome OS is an operating system that only includes a browser. Great, as we all spend a lot of time on the internet, right?
According to the video, it means you won’t save documents on your computer for example and there will be no other apps, only a browser enabling you to access web apps.
I have quite a few concerns with the concept…
It means that all your stuff will be saved in the cloud. You know, the pictures of your nephew attached to the email from your sister, the spreadsheet to help you track your accounts you have created (with a web app of course) etc.
This requires a lot of trust in the reliability of your internet connection (and I have yet to find an ISP that is 100% reliable) and in the companies/websites/web apps that allow you to save stuff “in the cloud”.
Firstly, it means that if the internet is down, your computer is down. OK, I know there are web apps that work offline but a lot of them will not work if you have nothing saved/can’t save on your computer. For example, I have seen some great canvas or image editing apps but they all need a location to save your image to, and if your internet is down and you have no way to save on your computer, you will have no way to save your work, so you might as well not bother.
Secondly, what happens if you have chosen to save your stuff with cloud storage from company X and company X folds overnight? (hey, it’s a capitalist world and I’m sure you have all seen companies folding overnight – for example, some travel companies have, leaving customers stranded abroad, cancelling their return flights!). Also, how much can you trust them with your data? As our digital data is now the bulk of our data (who prints family pictures? who sends letters to their lovers?), I doubt we will want to trust third parties with them…
Sure, a browser-based OS makes sense for 90% of what we do on a computer, that is get on Facebook, send an email, watch a video etc – but what about the other 10%? Do you really want to limit your hardware to 90% of its potential? I mean, even my mobile phone can save documents to the phone (and to SD storage).
What are your thoughts on Google Chrome OS? Am I missing the point (or misunderstanding how it will work)? Or do you too also think that it’s asking a bit too much trust from the users, trust in unreliable ISPs and in the cloud as the only place where to save your data?