Linus Upson, Google's vice president for engineering in charge of Chrome, recently made some bold comments about his company's upcoming operating system. Google has apparently done some research and found that 60 percent of Windows PCs used in the corporate world are exclusively used for tasks that can be handled in a browser environment. Google wants to hit Microsoft where it hurts.
"Mr. Upson says that 60 percent of businesses could immediately replace their Windows machines with computers running Chrome OS," according to The New York Times. "He also says he hopes it will put corporate systems administrators out of work because software updates will be made automatically over the Web. But the vast majority of businesses still use desktop Microsoft Office products and cannot imagine moving entirely to Web-based software or storing sensitive documents online — at least not yet."
Corporate IT departments aren't going to immediately jump on Chrome OS, and it's not simply because they tend to do things slowly. Upson hopes the OS will put corporate system administrators out of work because software updates will be made automatically over the Web. The system administrators who decide whether to move to Chrome OS or stay on Windows are obviously going to stick with the latter if their jobs are at stake. They will come up with every reason and excuse not to ditch Windows. At the same time, CFOs and CEOs will be eager to move to Chrome OS if it means streamlining IT operations.
Google is planning on releasing Chrome OS on netbooks in the first half of 2011. As part of the "consumer launch," Acer and HP will push out various hardware offerings but none of them will be for businesses. A Google-branded Chrome OS netbook (think Nexus One) will reportedly launch for "friends and family" in December. The search giant says that the main way to differentiate between its two OS offerings is form factor: Android is for touch, Chrome OS is for keyboards.