Is Google Chrome OS not going after windows at all?

There has been a lot of discussions over the new Google Chrome OS announcement lately. I just read this article Google’s Chrome OS: Maybe Not a “PC” OS After All and this paragraph caught my attention

“The OS that would drive such a system would require a lot of work beyond just hosting a browser on Linux, which may be why Google says it is a year or more away. That’s because many of the add-ons that we need to enable web sites to properly function would need to be moved from desktop applications to become a part of the OS. I’m talking about things such as media players, codecs and add-ons that support PDF and other file formats, Adobe Flash, or even Microsoft Silverlight.  Google Gears, or whatever caching technology, also needs a lot of work.”

That last sentence is what caught my eye. Now it is no secret that Google have been promoting HTML5 VERY strongly. There have been a number of articles on the web since the Google conference last month about how much they are promoting HTML5, and what their motives could be. Most of the articles come to the conclusion that in the end, will we even need plugins like flash or Silverlight.

Google have made it very clear that “for application developers, the web is the platform”, implying that you won’t be able to develop for the linux kernel it is running on top of.

If you tie Google’s push for HTML5 with the Chrome OS announcement, then maybe we are onto something. Perhaps they aren’t trying to displace windows at all, but instead increase the number of devices that support HTML5 and not Silverlight / Flash / Java. They could be aiming this announcement at web developers here. When web devs are thinking what platform they should create their new web app on, they may default to using HTML5 over Silverlight because of the additional reach HTML5 is going to give them.

So there is my angle, they aren’t targeting Microsoft at the desktop, but are instead trying to dislodge them from the web and stopping adoption of Silverlight.

By David Burela

4 thoughts on “Is Google Chrome OS not going after windows at all?

  1. I think they’re actually recognizing that Flash, Silverlight, Codecs and PDF Readers are components needed for the web to function properly so they want to make them part of the OS.

    Altough google might push for HTML5, it would be foolish to don’t support Flash/Silverlight. It’s like MS deciding to block Flash content or PDF Readers in their OS. I bet someone would get into legal trouble if that was the case.

  2. That is what i thought at first, BUT they could say that it is not their fault, it is running on a custom linux kernel that doesn’t support flash or moonlight because they aren’t using the traditional X11 windowing, or something along the lines of that.
    Shut them all out as an “unfortunate side effect” of their custom OS

  3. By now Google is as susceptible as MS to legal problems and creating a closed platform is a good reason, although Apply has managed to get away with it for many years. Anyway, I don’t think that’s really Google intention, by the quote that you posted it looks like they recognize they need SL, Flash, etc

    “That’s because many of the add-ons that we need to enable web sites to properly function would need to be moved from desktop applications to become a part of the OS”

  4. I think we will all look back in 15 years and laugh at this current craze of trying to use the web, a system for displaying documents, to do everything it was designed not to do. There’s a reason why the iPhone only took off after they added an App Store and developer API, webb apps are not suited for everything!

    HTML 5 can do a lot of what Flash and Silverlight can do, but Flash and Silverlight won’t stand still. It will probably be over 10 years between HTML4 and HTML5 being widely adopted. Silverlight and Flash and push forward with new ideas much faster.

    The web fine for an online shop or basic email, even a LOB application. But Word Processor or music player? Give me a break.

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