Google and Chrome OS have suffered through a somewhat tumultuous life together. When the search giant announced the operating system, it was supposed to be the kind of product that would transform Google’s business, change the way companies and educators did their jobs and put serious pressure on Windows. Chrome OS, Google said, would be the cloud-based answer that everyone has been waiting for.
But now that we’ve had time to actually use Chrome OS and see the products running the software, the operating system has done nothing to fulfill Google’s promise.
Quite the contrary, Chrome OS has been exposed for what it really is: an ancillary, unnecessary operating system that has no place in the software world. As ambitious an idea as it is, Chrome OS feels like little more than an afterthought at Google and among one-time prospective customers.
So, it’s time for Google to kill Chrome OS. Although it won’t admit it, Google probably feels that way, too. The company recently announced that Sundar Pichai, Chrome’s head, was taking over Android. The move wasn’t announced as a way to kill Chrome, but it could be a first step. Let’s hope so.
Read on to find out why Google should kill Chrome OS.
1. The cloud isn’t ready
There’s no indication right now that the cloud is ready for operating systems. As Chrome OS has shown, it’s too hard to always find a connection to the Web, and offline features, while welcome, just don’t work as well as the company would prefer. Chrome OS just might be ahead of its time.
2. Developers don’t care
Developers don’t really seem to care about Chrome OS. Sure, they’re making some applications for the Chrome browser, which helps. But nobody has gotten rich on selling Chrome apps. So now it’s nearly unheard of for software companies to intentionally build programs for Google’s operating system. That’s a huge problem.
3. Focus on Android
Google’s Pichai shouldn’t be wasting his time on both Chrome and Android. Although Google is a major company, it’s a prudent company. And prudent firms have a fiduciary responsibility to focus their resources on projects that matter the most. Right now that’s Android, not Chrome.
4. The devices are sub-par, to say the least
Looking around the Chromebook market, it’s hard to find too many products that really deserve a customer’s attention. The latest launch, a Chromebook Pixel, is boxlike in its design. Its screen leaves much to be desired and the fact that it doesn’t come standard with LTE in all models is ridiculous. Other vendors are delivering even worse products. The hardware simply does nothing to prove the value of Chrome OS.