What does Google’s recent announcement that it is getting into the operating system business tell us from a sys admin perspective?
For a start whatever effects it will have are some way off. Chrome OS isn’t due to be released until the second half of next year. It is amazing how much fuss a company like Google can generate with a single press release. Chrome OS doesn’t exist yet, and won’t exist for another year and yet here we are all talking about it like we’ve never seen a Linux based NetBook OS before.
The main thrust of Google Chrome OS seems to be to strip everything out except the web browser. A kind of back to basics operating system predicated upon applications being in the cloud where all you need to play is a modern web browser and an internet connection.
From a sys admin point of view that sounds great, all I get to do is give everybody a dead simple laptop with a dead simple operating system running on it, hook it up to the internet and then let the users log into their cloud applications. I’m not responsible for the cloud apps, so my responsibility ends at the router. Somehow I doubt things will work out like that.
Until the manageability of all those nice cloud based applications is resolved I can’t see how NetBooks and their ilk, based upon Chrome OS or otherwise, are going to take off as workhorse PCs in even small/medium sized organisations never mind enterprise level.