10 Reasons Why Chrome OS Will Outshine Nokia, Linux on Netbooks

Google's Chrome operating system is poised to hit the Web. But can it beat out competing Linux distributions? You bet, especially on netbooks where Google will make a special push because it believes Chrome OS is ideal for lightweight PCs.

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Google's Chrome operating system might not be live just yet, but already its promise is sending shockwaves through the industry. When the OS is released, Google has its sights set firmly on netbooks, as the company believes its software could be provide an ideal operating system for the small, lightweight PCs as users surf the Web, check their e-mail and perform very basic tasks.
As Google attempts to make its case to netbook owners, it needs to face Nokia and other Linux distributions that also are trying to gain market share in a space that, according to Microsoft, it controls with over 96 percent market share. It won't be easy. But it will happen.
Here's why:
1. Google Is a Household Name
Say what you will about Linux and Nokia, but neither is a household name. More often than not, people aren't including Linux in the discourse when they're discussing PCs. And unless the discussion has something to do with mobile phones, most people aren't talking about Nokia. But they do know Google. They use a Google service almost every day. And if given the choice between Ubuntu and Google Chrome, there's little debating that the majority will choose Google's OS.
2. Linux Scares People
Linux might not scare the advanced tech guru, but for the vast majority of users who don't have that kind of expertise, Linux does scare them. It's not Windows and they don't know how it works. Attaching a Google name to Chrome OS will help allay some of those fears. It will also get some users to switch.
3. Neat New Ideas Get Attention
Although some might believe that a particular Linux distribution is better than Chrome OS when it's released, it's doubtful that the majority of users will care. Neat new ideas are rewarded when they first launch. From there, those that don't like the experience will drop off. But until then, most of the people who will be choosing an operating system other than Windows will be waiting to see what Chrome OS will offer. And once they realize just how unique it is to the operating system market, Ubuntu will be the last OS on their minds.
4. The Other Distributions Aren't So Great
Linux is a fine operating system when used on a standard notebook or desktop. But in my experience, the OS doesn't translate as well on a netbook. The experience is buggy. Several accessories that I try to use on the OS don't work. And for the most part, it's an awkward experience. Moving from Mac OS X is easier than moving from Windows, but in either case, using Linux just isn't as user-friendly as I might have liked.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...