After much speculation Google introduced Chrome OS this week, a feature-stripped operating system aimed at netbooks that's built around the company's browser and relies on web applications. Actual data and programs are stored and run online, while local storage is only meant to be used to speed up those processes.
Google made it clear that Chrome OS is not intended as a replacement for Windows, OS X or Linux. Though that could change in time, initially it will be targeted at netbooks and smartbooks, where it makes the most sense. While Chrome OS might not be the game-changing piece of software some were expecting it to be, it offers a very interesting glimpse at the future Google envisions, one where all your computing is done through the browser.
Web applications like Gmail and Google Reader already run well enough to replace some of their desktop counterparts, but we're still ways off from matching the functionality of more complex applications like video or photo editors, not to mention video games. Then again, looking at ambitious projects like OnLive, one has to wonder if it is a matter of when -- and not if -- we'll want to move our whole digital lives into the cloud.
Regardless of the success Chrome OS may or may not see initially, it seems like an early step towards making bigger things happen. Taking away from the numerous applications and implications of cloud computing, we want to know your thoughts on those tasks affecting you immediately, your current PC tasks and habits either at home or the workplace.
From simple things like relying on Google Calendar instead of Outlook, sharing data with your colleagues or backing it up on a cloud-based service. How do you see these affecting you today and what are your expectations for cloud-based applications a few years from now? Discuss.