So is ChromeOS a desktop winner? I think not.
When Google announced their ChromeOS there was a flurry of comment and opinion on what this could mean for the GNU/Linux user and the future of free software. Our esteemed editor, Tony Mobily made a bold statement (albeit framed as a question) at the time that Google’s ChromeOS could turn GNU/Linux into a “desktop winner”. I’m not sure that it’s true.
Whatever happens of course the fact is that when somebody of Google’s size and impact enters a market, there will be winners and losers, losses and gains. Now that the dust has well and truly settled let’s have another look at the potential impact of ChromeOS.
The need for a desktop OS
Even the most ardent web-centric user will struggle to argue that there will not be a continuing need for a ‘real’ desktop OS for some time yet. When it was suggested here that GNOME and KDE has shot each other out of the market, there was considerable response to the contrary. As others have pointed out, some applications of software require more than the current batch of web-tools can offer.