More Analysts Dismiss Google Chrome Operating System

Dennis Faas's picture

Google's Chrome operating system (OS) took one step closer to wider release recently when the company announced it had begun shipping netbooks equipped with the operating system to selected beta testers. But despite reports (mostly from Google) that Chrome will trump Windows' speed and security features, at least one analyst says there's nothing for Microsoft to fear just yet.

In a presentation to announce Chrome OS' move toward more rigorous testing, Google CEO Eric Schmidt pointed to the operating system's faster startup and installation times, in addition to impressive security features, as proof that his company is ready to compete in a market space traditionally dominated by Microsoft and Apple.

Google Chrome OS: Not Much Impact in the "Near Term"

But Aberdeen Group analyst Andrew Borg thinks it will take a very long time and a lot of good fortune before Chrome OS will have any dramatic impact on Windows.

"I don't think there'll be much impact in the near term," Borg said.

"The notion of a cloud-centric operating system vs. a file format-centric operating system does make a lot of sense. But it requires ubiquitous broadband connectivity and widely accessible cloud storage. I don't think we're quite there at the utility or appliance level, which is what you need to replace the Wintel laptop concept." (Source:

Borg isn't alone in taking this position. Researchers for IDC recently reported their belief that Chrome OS will fail to even crack Windows dominance in the netbook market, despite the fact that the Google operating system will be specifically targeted at these devices.

IDC believes Windows' share of the netbook market will remain steady at about 95 per cent until at least 2014. Chrome will battle with Android and Linux for the leftovers, researchers say.

Acer, Samsung Ready for Chrome Operating System

Google, of course, does not agree with these sentiments. Not long ago one of its executives, Linus Upson, was heard saying approximately 60 per cent of all businesses could easily switch out Windows in favor of Chrome OS.

Google also points to the commitment of hardware makers Acer and Samsung to produce Chrome-based netbooks by next summer. Collectively, these two companies represent more than one-third of the total netbook systems on the market.

Still, these reports from Aberdeen and IDC will not help build up good feeling around the Chrome name. Neither will a recent study by Computerworld that finds the most recent version of Google's Chrome web browser falls short of the performance improvements boasted by the company. (Source:

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