A PC World analysis claims that the Chrome OS netbook will be a “radical departure from techniques of recent years.”
If you were around the computer industry 10 or 15 years ago, you may recall Larry Ellison’s infatuation with the concept of a thin client: a minimalist chunk of hardware that sits on a desk, inextricably tethered to a server. The server provides all of the brains and most of the storage; the thin client only exists to interact with the server.
I tend to think of Chrome OS as implementing a gaunt client — thin to the point of cadaverous — tethered to the Web. No desktop applications. No backup programs. No UI tweaks. No tuning. No utilities. Just the Web, the browser, and the Web, and the browser.
And that’s the beauty. A slick but powerful interface (e.g., application tabs, dockable pop-up panels) with everything stored in the cloud. This will lower cost of ownership and facilitate sharing at the same time — an attractive combination for enterprises and consumers alike.
Radical? Yeah. So much so that I’m willing to wait another 3 months for mine. So much so that I am planning on being an early adopter, sight unseen.