Entelligence is a column by technology strategist and author Michael Gartenberg, a man whose desire for a delicious cup of coffee and a quality New York bagel is dwarfed only by his passion for tech. In these articles, he'll explore where our industry is and where it's going -- on both micro and macro levels -- with the unique wit and insight only he can provide.
In an age where products that have never been announced get coverage and even critiqued over rumored shipping delays, it's no surprise that Google received a lot of coverage this week with an update on its Chrome OS strategy. While not quite rumorware, it's a lot like the cloud it depends on: more vapor than substance.
I don't think Chrome would be a bad idea if it were something that was targeted to complement existing PC architectures. Why isn't it? If it's web-based, Chrome OS could and should co-exist with Mac OS, Linux and Windows. It's the idea that Google is promoting Chrome as a PC OS replacement for mobile devices and riding the netbook hype all at the same time that gets me, as does the fact that I need to get a new device to run Chrome OS. That's ridiculous, as are reference design requirements like SSDs instead of hard drives. Worse, trying to merge the PC and phone into some weird new intersection of devices is not what the market wants or has ever looked for. This type of specialized hardware sounds like it's going right into the 'tweener category and we know what happens to those devices. You just have to look how successful netbooks running Linux and Firefox have been to get a sense as to how well this concept is likely to go over with consumers.