Chrome OS and IT Platform Longevity

So, re: the previous item about Chrome OS not appealing to me, personally, in the least — that clearly doesn’t mean it doesn’t appeal to anyone. Obviously, it does. But how many? On our podcast, Dan Benjamin and I have talked about it being targeted at the corporate enterprise market. I opened a new bank account a few weeks ago, and I noticed that the guy from the bank did so using a web browser on a PC running an old version of Windows. Presumably, running a web browser that accesses an intranet web app is the sole purpose of that computer. Are not such machines prime candidates to be replaced by cheaper, easier-to-maintain Chrome OS machines?

In theory, yes. But Marco Arment raises some interesting points regarding the profound conservatism of corporate IT:

In the context of replacing business software platforms, longevity is a major requirement. For Chrome OS to be considered by any reasonably large business, their IT decision-makers are going to want to know that Chrome OS is going to be around and supported by Google many years from now. Support means, at least, that compatible hardware must be available, software licensing must continue, and security issues must be patched.

And any reasonably competent IT executive can plainly see that Google, for all of their algorithmic might, isn’t known for product longevity.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010