10 Things Chrome OS Needs to Break into the Enterprise

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-03-08 Print this article Print

A version of Google's Chrome OS tuned for business users might be made available to enterprise customers in 2011. But if the OS is to be successful, Google needs to improve its appeal to corporate customers. Take a look at the essential features Chrome will need to make it in the business world.

Reports are suggesting that Google Chrome OS for enterprise users will be available in 2011. Google has yet to make a definitive statement on it, but it seems rather likely that the search giant will work toward offering the service sooner rather than later, so it can capitalize on the burgeoning netbook market in the corporate world.

The enterprise has waited too long to find a viable alternative to Windows. And although it still has a long way to go, Chrome OS might just be that alternative.

But before we crown Google's Web-based browser a Windows killer in the enterprise, it's important to consider what it needs to feature to even get close to competing with Microsoft's operating system.

Windows is the dominant player in the enterprise. It's relied upon by companies looking for increased productivity and compatibility with applications. Simply put, Microsoft has cornered the corporate OS market, and Google will need to work hard to break into it.

Let's take a look at some of the features Chrome OS must boast when it's eventually offered to businesses.

1. Speed

If there's anything that corporate employees really want, it's speed. They want to be able to perform tasks as quickly as possible, so they can get on to the next one. Currently, Windows is a little slow. Google can capitalize on that. If Chrome OS runs quickly enough on a netbook, the company could use it as a marketing tool. Make it fast, Google. That's step one.

2. Power

Chrome OS will be running on a netbook at first, so we can't expect too much power from it. That said, corporate employees need more than an average, run-of-the-mill consumer-friendly netbook. Even on a mobile PC, corporate needs are greater than those of consumers. Google needs to realize that and improve its operating system accordingly.

3. Compatibility

It's extremely important that Chrome OS work with legacy products companies are currently using. It's understandable if older devices or peripherals don't work, but some products will be necessities for companies. Part of the reason for Microsoft's dominance in the corporate space is its compatibility with all the hardware and services that companies currently employ. If Google even wants to make a mark in the enterprise, it needs to work on compatibility.

4. Strong support

Companies will undoubtedly have trouble with Chrome OS. Since its something totally different from Windows, employees will run into issues that could cripple their productivity. That's precisely why a strong support system is so necessary. IT professionals need to be able to contact Google with issues and have the Web company respond with actionable solutions. Microsoft's customer support might not be the best on the market, but it works. Google's must work too.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel