Is Another Operating System What the Technological World Needs Today?

Google Chrome OS – Faced with the release of a brand new operating system, the world looks forward to a different kind of change.

google-chromeGoogle’s release of the Chrome web browser made many users believe that it was part of a much larger operating system in the making. With the recent reports that the Chrome operating system was actually being developed by Google, (and which may officially come out in the latter part of 2010) many are looking forward to it with mixed feelings. New concerns are coming out about how this new Chrome OS will differ from Google’s mobile open-source operating system, or if they will even differ at all.

With the past OS releases by huge companies like Microsoft and Apple, the coming out of Google has clearly defined that there is definitely a sort of ‘operating system war’ that is ongoing. Apparently, Google has the main objective of making its new operating system friendly to users, enough to increase user experience and skill in terms of handling and using the new OS. And considering all the headaches already being experienced by users already, this is not such a bad goal.

In terms of mobile OS’s and applications, innovation in this field is far progressing beyond what many expected. With the development of Android and iPhone, users have all been treated to sophisticated and ingenious applications that are always welcome and keep customers waiting and watching for more. Ultimately, with Microsoft’s development, it has basically been competing with itself considering the large chunk of the market that uses its Windows products. More and more customers and companies look for Windows compatible applications and hardware that run on Microsoft Windows more than any other product around. Therefore, Apple or Linux are hardly considered competition in this Microsoft-dominant world.

Android was launched just a couple of months after Apple’s iPhone OS 2.0. Since then, the hottest trend now is to keep up with the development in mobile operating systems. To date, Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 is still ahead of others, like Google’s Android or the Web OS of Palm, but there is still the possibility that this will change tomorrow. Because of iPhone OS’s straightforwardness in terms of use and application, it stays ahead of the rest. However, it is important to note that the Web OS of Palm has a great interface and is easy to integrate with services available on the internet, while the Android has impressive email and calendar features. Android, too, has an attractive design which also provides great connectivity in terms of services provided by Google Web. This was all evident with the release of T-Mobile G1 when it was made available in the latter part of 2008.

Although the mobile OS’s are especially designed to work on handsets, it must be noted that upon designing them, Apple, Google and Palm aim to reduce this limitation of use to handsets only. There have been some reports that a Google OS based on Android has already started making its rounds around the internet and there is a possibility of net-books, like Acer Aspire One, to use and/or eventually run on an Android OS. Keep in mind that our smart phones running these seemingly ‘mini’ operating systems are using similar processors to computers, so it is not impossible that such technology will be running on both phone and PC equally.

In retrospect, with the release of the news of a Google Chrome OS, the idea that net-books will be running on Android isn’t all that surprising. The question to ask now is: why would they choose Android? So far, the integration of Google to the internet has not been all that exceptional when we experience it from smart phones running Android.

In fact, the recently released Chrome browser by Google is giving us a taste of the disappearing boundaries between browsers on the internet, and browsers on the desktop. Upon using the Google Chrome browser, you’ll find that you can make shortcuts to any web page or application on your Windows personal computer. This is a feature which is not yet available in the Chrome version made for Macs. Is Google Chrome as impressive as it seems when comparing it with the features already available on the iPhone OS3.0 or the iPhone 3GS?

What is available vs. Google Chrome OS

It is important to find out other options already existing out there before judging whether a Google Chrome OS is what the world really needs at the moment. Google actually described the Chrome OS as a separate project from the Android project in its Google blogs. While Android was specifically made to be used from smart-phones to net-books; Google Chrome OS, on the other hand, was being developed for users who are always on the internet and probably make a living on the internet. Therefore, Google felt the need to develop Chrome OS to be used, not only on net-books, but on PCs and desktop computers. They admitted that there are many features where the Android and Google Chrome OS overlap, but such a fact only makes the technological development more useful to Google customers and users.

But so far, when one checks out the descriptions of both the Android and Chrome OS, there is still very little difference in either. One can even challenge why Google would describe Android users as those who probably need to be connected to the internet so much that they need to be connected even on their mobile phones and other mobile devices.

Is Google’s Chrome OS competing with Microsoft Windows? For Chrome to be a good competitor, it would need to support peripherals and components through a wide device driver, which is something that Google has not dipped its technological fingers into just yet. If Google does not have this particular support, then users employing the Chrome OS will surely develop headaches with the issues that will arise when plugging graphics cards and printers into their laptops and PCs. It’s possible that Google may need to develop a Windows virtualization for its Chrome operating system since many users rely heavily on applications for Windows (considering general company standards nowadays), and may need the same when accessing Windows applications on Chrome-run devices.

Another question is, how useful is having a browser-based application versus existing ones? Although Google has boasted that the Chrome operating system applications can run off any other browser available, is there really an advantage to that? One must recall when Apple tried to release its browser-based applications and failed at it, what makes Google any different? But Google’s Chrome OS may have some advantage that Apple’s iPhone did not have – HTML 5 allows for support of locally-stored information for web-based applications. This, however, still needs to be tried and tested and proven to be a well-implemented approach.

Looking Forward

Google stated that customers using the internet more are beginning to demand that there needs to be an improvement in computers in general. The time factor is becoming more important to people as they want their emails and messages immediately and not have to wait for a download. They want their computers to run faster and they want their information to be available and accessible whenever and wherever they are. They want to think less of backing-up files and worry less about losing data. They themselves have expressed that they don’t want to constantly have to update themselves when buying new hardware and software, which sometimes takes hours. They want things available to them and easy to use.

It is easy to see the concerns of users and customers, especially when considering software updates. But so far, not many people yet are willing to store data on the internet or “in the cloud.” Many users are still not ready to use one PC as a primary device and risk the fact that applications may not work in other devices to which it may be attached. With the needed technological development nowadays, it is impossible to assume that a company like Google would not do software updates at all. All companies are constantly updating software to get rid of bugs and to resolve issues.

Ultimately, there is a need for there to use Google’s Chrome OS and Android as the world develops and technology improves. It is in the basic nature of competition for there to be a natural drive to improve one’s products. Although Google may not be a serious contender for companies like Microsoft or Apple in terms of operating systems, they can still challenge these companies to come up with more innovative and creative products to later give them a run for their money. However, Google may still struggle to get into the ‘operating system niche’ that Microsoft has comfortably created for itself, and which Apple is starting to create with all its nifty technological products.

Now it is just time to sit back and relax and see what the OS wars will bring about next. With the competition will come neat products and applications which will definitely be worthwhile to check out.

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