Chrome OS is Finally Here, Sort Of

Chrome OS is really cool until you find out that Chrome OS has to run on proprietary hardware.  What?

As WebProNews said, “The biggest news in tech and business that wasn’t related to Wikileaks this week.”  On Google’s official blog, CEO, Eric Schmidt boldly announced that Chrome OS was “something computer scientists have been dreaming about for a very, very long time…The kind of magic that we could imagine 20 years ago, but couldn’t make real because we lacked the technology,”  and in an even grander tone predicted that, “In 20 years time, I’m certain that when we look back at history it will be clear that this was absolutely the right time to build these products, because they work—and they work at scale—I’m confident that they’ll go on to great success. Welcome to the latest chapter of an epic journey in computing. Welcome to Chrome OS.”

Welcome to Chrome OS

While Chrome OS is the ‘operating system in the cloud’, devices running it surprisingly don’t require that you’re always online. Most webapps are completely capable of running offline, but you always have the option of enabling a cellular data service that’s built-in to the device. Service is available from Verizon and you get 100MB of free data every month for two years. Similar to Apple iPad’s agreement with AT&T, there are no contracts for use and plans start at $10/month.

Some standard apps include the normal Google faire (Google Reader for RSS, Google Maps, Google Talk, Gmail, Youtube, and the Chrome Store), but also NPR, the New York Times, and a Notepad program.  If Chrome OS Apps are anything like the ones currently available for the Chrome browser in the Chrome Web Store, some ‘apps’ may be no more than downloadable bookmarks (favorites for those IE users left in the crowd).

Back to Business

Microsoft may finally have to worry.  I say that specifically about the Citrix offering.  You know corporate buyers will love a simple OS that runs on lean (read: cheap) hardware and that will run Citrix desktop programs (virtual desktops, applications and business services on any device).  This is all possible due to the built-in

Citrix Receiver, which allows organizations to manage the proliferation of new devices entering the workplace by providing secure, high-performance delivery of virtual desktops and Windows, web and SaaS applications on any user device.

According to Citrix’s website, the receiver, “Gives today’s increasingly mobile workforce fast, simple and on – demand access to virtual desktops, enterprise applications and IT services from any device they choose by:

  • Enabling the delivery of business applications to any user on any device
  • Ensuring secure access and complete IT control and visibility
  • Allowing users simple, self-service access to Windows, web and SaaS applications”

So will you use it? The real question is: why wouldn’t you?