Why the Chrome OS Notebook is not a lost cause

It looks like the Chrome OS is a bad strategy for Google, if you ask the market researchers. For me, if I could tweak the OS, then it really makes for a compelling device. My mother do not use touchscreen devices, and buying a tablet for her is not a great idea. However, she is quite adept at using a desktop or a laptop and for her, Chrome OS is a great idea.

I have a home server that runs Cent OS, and most content we consume at home is stored on it. I can create separate pages for Movies, Music, Mail, Web (linking to some website), TV and News; and then add shortcuts to the homepage like below (pardon the rough edges):

Sample Home Page
Sample Home Page

Look at the implications if she uses Chrome OS, with these modified settings:

  • No need for me to configure something whenever an issue occurs.
  • No CDs to carry around for installing a new version of the distro (of course, CDs are obsolete but sometimes you do need them)
  • A much easier way for her to access content that she wants.
  • She can use a device that she is used to: No learning curve.
  • No hard drive  => Much less power.
  • I can restrict internet access as needed.

In a typical development organization, we can have a central source code repository (maybe an extension to check out and commit code), a web-based editor and separate servers(virtual or real). Separate servers can be used for research and development, production, testing and support phases.

In document-intensive work environments, a local server (or a pool) can be used to store documents – something similar to Zoho but stored locally. Of course, the data can also be stored on a web-based provider such as Zoho, Google or Microsoft if necessary.

I believe that the Chrome OS is not a lost cause, or a poor strategy as many would have us believe. It is not, as of now, a closed and big brother controlled platform as Apple’s iOS. And it truly abstracts all the hardware and software from the user, providing a single interface – the browser. I can’t wait to see this concept in action.

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