Is Cloud Computing Ready for Prime Time?

Last week, I reported that Google has introduced its Chrome OS to developers. This week, there were many reviews and articles published about the new Chrome OS as developers took the source code and implemented it on a number of different computing platforms. You may recall that I mentioned that Chrome boots in only a few seconds. Turn on your computer and you are ready to work within the blink of an eye. So why does Chrome OS boot up so quickly, while Windows and Mac OS X provide enough time for a snack while waiting for the system to boot? The reason is that Chrome OS is designed for cloud computing. It’s essentially an operating system that acts as a Web browser. The only software installed on a Chrome OS machine is the Chrome operating system. All other software that you may need is accessed on the Web. Chrome provides access to popular online email services, social networking services, and of course Google Apps. Windows and Mac OS X have to slough through the loading of all kinds of installed apps and security packages before they can allow you to start working. Chrome OS needs only to load itself.

So the important question for Google and Google investors is this. Will cloud computing be ready for prime time when devices running Chrome OS hit the market a year from now? What do you think? Are *you* ready to live life online with no installed apps? It seems likely that Chrome OS will do well in the mobile device market on platforms like netbooks, tablets, smartphones, and the like. But it may take a little longer before the market is ready for cloud computing on work PCs. Ready or not, it is likely that Chrome OS is pointing the way to the future of PC operating systems.

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