In a blog post yesterday, Google tipped its cards a bit and gave us a peek into the future of desktop computing as they see it. In essence, with their Chrome operating system (with the Chrome browser being the most visible manifestation of this) they are attempting to redefine the entire ecosystem of the desktop operating system. If this catches on, the biggest threat will be to Microsoft and Apple, the current desktop OS incumbents.
The value proposition is very compelling if they can pull this off and get wide adoption. For the consumer there will be much less reliance on the type of PC processor, the installed suite of software (namely word processing and spreadsheets), and the complexities that go along with keeping a computer up to date and healthy. The vision is for software to be purchased from the "cloud" just as one would purchase an app for their mobile phone. An important enabler of the ultimate success of this approach is the maturity of web-based ("cloud") services and the growing comfort consumers have with this model.
Time will tell.
The challenges represented by the well-entrenched players dominating this market are formidable and Google is probably one of the few organizations that have a shot at pulling this off.
For businesses, this move represents a continuing evolution of the "Integrated Lifestyle" and further blurring of the lines between traditional, disparate channels and delivery mechanisms.
(Contributed by Ron Reeves)