Google Should Kill Chrome OS: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2013-03-21

Google Should Kill Chrome OS: 10 Reasons Why

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.

Google Should Kill Chrome OS: 10 Reasons Why

5. Too much competition is never a good thing

Looking around the software space, there might be too much competition for Chrome OS. Both Apple and Microsoft are delivering software platforms that do much more without cloud interference. On the hardware front, there are better, thinner and more affordable devices available that trump Chromebooks. The competition is too heavy for Chrome OS.

6. Been there, done that

The idea of a thin client being used as an operating system replacement is certainly nothing new. In fact, it has been tried time and again over the last couple of decades. Yet all of these efforts failed. When will Google realize that Chrome OS is just another in a long line of failures?

7. Google has been trying hard

Let’s not sit here and say that Google hasn’t tried to get Chrome OS off the ground. The company has for the last year or so been working diligently at improving the market recognition of Chrome OS while improving its feature set to attract more customers. If Google wasn’t trying, it’d be easier to say it should keep going. But for now, it doesn’t make much sense.

8. Niche markets don’t seem to care

The best chance of success for Chrome OS is the enterprise and education markets. But there’s one problem: those markets don’t appear to care one bit about Chrome OS or any of the features in it. Google did a bad job of attracting the enterprise to Chrome OS, which is now sitting dead in the water because of it.

9. The Linux community is apathetic

The allure of Chrome OS at launch was that it was open source and would appeal to Linux users. The trouble is Linux users aren’t spending much time trying to improve the operating system. In fact, Android and other Linux distributions appear to be the centerpiece of their focus. If Google doesn’t want to kill Chrome OS, it better hope the Linux and open-source communities start paying more attention.

10. Windows is still very much a necessity

Windows is still a huge necessity in today’s operating-system market. In fact, the software is relied upon by consumers and enterprise users, government workers and educators. Google tried to bite off more than it could chew by taking on Windows. Now, Chrome OS is going nowhere unless Google makes the merciful move and kills it off.

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