Blog Post

Google Predicts Rise of Web OS in 2011

With the launch of ChromeOS, Google (s GOOG) chief executive Eric Schmidt has realized his long time dream of building a network computer, one that taps into the Internet and offers browser-based-network-hosted applications. My view, when it comes to the ChromeOS? Google should forget chasing the consumers and go hard after the corporate market – especially after verticals that need low-cost, zero-maintenance machines dedicated to a few tasks.

It looks like Google is headed in that direction. Yesterday, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company announced that IT administrators can deploy and optimize the Chrome browser to meet their specific corporate needs.

Today, we’re announcing that Chrome offers controls that enable IT administrators to easily configure and deploy the browser on Windows, Mac, and Linux according to their business requirements. We’ve created an MSI installer that enables businesses who use standard deployment tools to install Chrome for all their managed users. We’ve also added support for managed group policy with a list of policies and a set of templates that allow administrators to easily customize browser settings to manage security and privacy.

Coincidentally, manageability and security were two questions raised.  Today, Dave Girouard, president of Google Enterprise in a blog post, vividly paints the company’s cloud-future. He writes:

While many IT vendors have now adopted (or co-opted) the term “cloud computing” to describe a wide variety of technologies, most don’t deliver on the true promise of the cloud. Hosting single-tenant server products in a data center is not cloud computing. Nor is requiring customers to install thick client software. In a 100% web world, business applications are delivered over the Internet and accessed in a web browser.  Devices like notebooks, tablets, and smartphones are portals to the data that help people be productive from anywhere, at any time. 100% web is a dramatic shift from how companies have traditionally purchased, deployed, and managed IT. But the more we talk with customers the more we realize that this is the change they’ve been waiting for. If 2010 was the year of the cloud, 2011 looks to be the year of nothing but the web.

Google, he points out, is doing so through its various initiatives – Google Apps, App Engine, Chrome OS, Chrome Browser and Android. To most of you, this might seem plain as a day, but it’s refreshing to see Google articulate its big picture vision about the cloud and web-based computing.

The graphic on its blog post, which points to the company’s blog, makes it clear it’s in battle with Microsoft (s MSFT) in this battle and in the end, it wants to end the PC past.

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18 Responses to “Google Predicts Rise of Web OS in 2011”

  1. A good place to start re: enterprise adoption would be robust full-device encryption for Android devices, plus additional (more robust) encryption options for specific files, file locations, and application outputs; also, the ability to specify policies on passwords, storage, and applications loaded/stored on the device.

    Not until the access device and client are secure can enterprise be comfortable (and I use the term loosely) allowing authenticated end-users to access its internal information.

  2. You seem to be pimping for Google more often than not these days…
    Google is an advertising company on the internet that excels in search and ad sell. There is a huge line of failures that are increasingly reminding one of Microsoft in the 90s.
    Google’s demise or rather its eclipse is coming slightly sooner than MSFT – if MSFT held the keys to the empire for 20 years, then GOOG really has ruled only for 2 years or less..
    GOOG is going to ruin its search business in its haste for domination in other areas where they clearly have no imagination or ideas.

  3. Is this the era of the thin client that Sun Microsystems once predicted?

    I always thought the purpose of Google’s OSes was to stop Microsoft from extending its desktop monopoly into mobile. In that respect, Android has succeeded spectacularly.

    Like with the PC, in mobile there was always a place for a vertically integrated platform (Apple), along with a generic OS with commiditized hardware (Android).

    If Microsoft was savvy, it could have taken Android’s place as the generic OS. But Microsoft blew it, and Windows Phone 7 is selling so badly I believe it is already Game-Over for Microsoft in mobile.

  4. More hype from an advertising firm. Google would *like* everything to be on the web so it can be indexed, munged, and used to provide targeted advertising. Larry Ellison, Scott McNealy had similar ambitions for thin clients. The reality is that thin clients are good for some things and lousy for others.

    There’s also this fantasy that the Internet is available everywhere all of the time that sort of gets blown apart when faced with the reality of needing to do things when the Internet is not available. At that point, you’ve got a fancy doorstop if all of your apps and data reside in the cloud. I’m not sure what part of that reality continues to elude Google, et al., but it sure seems to be good at it.

    When Google, et al., pony up a ubiquitous wireless network that never goes down, I’ll be more interested in their fantasy. However, having worked in the telecom business, I’m fairly confident that it won’t happen during my lifetime.

  5. That’s why there’s also hope for “webOS” from HP. it’s the same thing, an ops system who’s native applications are web applications.

    love my Palm Pre.. can’t wait to see the next HP device


  6. Especially cash-starved local and national Government departments, medium to large organizations who do not want the constant pain and costs of OS and application upgrades. The downside for Google is privacy and security which are big issues for organizations.

  7. Lucian Armasu

    I think Chrome OS will be adopted quickly by many enterprises that want to take advantage of the cloud and save a lot of money in the long term. Now we just need some solid and cheap (under $300?) laptops that will come with Chrome OS later next year.

    And hopefully sometime in 2012 they’ll also make some laptops with a quad core ARM chips for even better battery life. Chrome OS doesn’t depend on x86 “apps” like Windows does, so the quicker they switch to ARM the better.

    • Don’t you think MS-Office is an important requirement for enterprise customers–at least a large number of them? Given that the alternatives provided by Google are far behind MS-Office in terms of features at this point in time, why would enterprise users switch to Chrome OS?

  8. Om, I agree with you that Google should go after the corporate users. However, Google also needs data input from users in order to build the base of its statistical computation. The more users, the better.

  9. Rick Mainstreethost

    I think Google should stick to it’s main service and worry about the other stuff later on. I know it is very competitive out there with companies trying to launch new apps and other technologies. Just need to slow down.