Chrome OS to support "legacy PC apps" via remote access

By on June 14, 2010, 11:07 AM
Google's upcoming operating system is designed around the cloud, powered by web-based applications running on the browser rather than traditional software installed locally on your computer. While this is an interesting and forward-thinking approach to computing, it's also very restrictive and could very well prevent Chrome OS' from gaining any real traction. According to a message posted in the Chromium discussion group, however, a workaround might be in the works.

It's still unclear exactly how it will work, but basically it appears as if Google is developing a feature which would allow you to control "legacy PC applications" running on other computers from within the browser itself. The technique is being unofficially called "chromoting" -- a mix of the words "Chrome" and "Remoting". Google engineer Gary Kačmarčík confirmed the remote access bit although he wouldn't share any firm details until "the coming months."

So far two possibilities for how 'chromoting' might work have been suggested on numerous sites. The most likely scenario is that it offers a web-based remote desktop client, allowing users to log in to their home PC and access applications there. Alternatively, Google could offer a more elaborate service, letting users run software directly on its servers for a fee.

Obviously, such remote access tools are nothing new -- Citrix and others have been offering similar functionality for years. But it's still interesting to see Google building this into Chrome OS and we're curious to know just how easy to use and well-integrated with the browser it will be.




User Comments: 4

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Guest said:

Why is this news? "ChromeOS to include rdesktop and vncviewer just like every other Linux distribution in the last decade".

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

All I can say is, they better be ready for a major crapstorm of technical support nightmares if they go with something that requires ANY kind of port forwarding or modification of router configurations. The vast majority of users (and, coincidentally, a huge target demographic for Chrome OS) have absolutely no idea how a router works, or that you even CAN configure the thing... Make these people learn and do work to use the product, and you'll get it shoved back in your face.

And really, who wants to be forced to have another PC just sitting in the wings waiting for you to be able to run basic legacy programs? At that point, why not just say "screw it" and go Win7 or actual full Linux distro on a netbook, and cut out all the middleman crap?

I'm really hoping this is just being misunderstood or just misreported... If not, Google is blowing off both of their feet before they even start the race.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

So far what I'm understanding is that if I want to play any games I have to have another computer running them? Or is this anticipating that wonder game service that will deliver the performance of my hardware over the internet, which will make my need for video cards and water cooling obsolete?

Guest said:

"At that point, why not just say "screw it" and go Win7 or actual full Linux distro on a netbook, and cut out all the middleman crap?:

Exactly brotha, this seems to be an esoteric workaround solution looking for a problem.

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