Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Chrome OS and the enterprise - Updated x 2

(See bottom of page for updates)

As OM Malik noted on his blog, there appears to be a lot of hot air and not a lot of substantive analysis of the news of the week (?) the Google Chrome OS.

You can find some of that hot air here, a list of Google Blog search results for 'Chrome OS':

There is plenty of comment about low spec'd netbooks and cut down OS's not cutting the mustard etc, and why not, the Google 'press release' blog posting does afterall mention netbooks as a specific market. However no one seems to have thought about the bigger picture here, what about the enterprise market ?

Remember Sun and the 'network is the computer' - oh yes, we could be heading back round that circular argument again. I have blogged previously before on the fact that the 'cloud' is not reliable enough for many corporations, but that hosted apps such as GMail, Google Docs, and in the future Google Wave is (or will be) good enough for many smaller businesses - but where are the Google Apps Appliances to sit in the rack next to the GSA ? EMC has certainly talked about 'private enterprise clouds' - building your own 'cloud computing' type environment on your corporate backbone and inside the firewall.

So why would you not put Chrome OS onto desktops, conventional laptops and smaller netbooks (and lets not forget Android powered phones !) to provide the latest in 'thin client' experience in a corporate environment ? Simpler and cheaper support than Windows ?

Stephen Arnold sticks to his theme of looking more deeply into what Google is up to, and is maybe closer to drawing some similar conclusions in his post: Chrome, a shiny wrap for the plumbing of Google

Does anyone else think that when this vapourware becomes solid in 2010, it might be as part of a major push into the enterprise IT scene by Google ? Your own Gmail box versus Exchange ? Wave and Docs versus SharePoint and Office ? GSA versus FAST ? A YouTube appliance as Digital Asset Management ???

Who knows, only time will tell, but personally I think it would be very interesting to see a Wave and Docs based ECMS taking on the big boys in the space ;-)

Meanwhile on my nice new corporate IBM Lenovo ThinkCentre, with its locked down corporate Windowws desktop I am realy missing tabbed browsing, Digsby, Tweetdeck etc............

UPDATE - The Register actually seem to agree with me to some extent, they remember the Network Computer (NC) and wonder if Google might cosy up to Oracle for NC-redux ?

UPDATE #2 - Steven Vaughan-Nichols at ComputerWorld also seems to have caught part of the bigger picture in his posting: Why Google Chrome OS Matters Already on Day 1

3 comments:

Mark Bean said...

Chrome is all about process specific applications. You can create multiple customized instances of the chrome browser that use the same chrome back end infrastructure. Voila - reduced custom development and increased re-use of code.
Triple win for Google.

Jed Cawthorne said...

Thanks Mark, nice point - think about that tied into a Google Gears MK II and some of thier serious back end data crunching capabilities ?

Mark Bean said...

Jed- I'm thinking App engine "for the win".

Also - more use of the Chrome Browser worldwide. Google currently pays Mozilla and Apple for embedding Google search boxes into Firefox and Safari, respectively. By stealing some users from those browsers, they’ll be potentially saving many millions of dollars per year.

They’re a web-app company. It would be nice to also be a player in the browser business, since the browser is the environment in which every important part of Google’s business runs.