Friday, December 30, 2011

Google Should Kill Chrome OS And Push Android

It's time that Google admit that Chrome OS has failed thus far and go with plan B.  While I'm not sure they've got a plan B, I'm gonna provide them one.  Replace Chrome OS and use Android as its featured OS.  And there are a few reasons why doing this would help Google's search business and even put its competitors on the defensive.

The question is whether Larry Page, Google CEO, is Steve Jobs enough to do it.

First, Chrome OS netbooks are stupid expensive.  Why buy one of these when it cannot run apps when you can buy a Windows version that can really rock these days?  Well, the problem is that hardly anyone is buying netbooks anymore as they snatch up tablets.

However, laptops are still important and Google surely realize that.  But what it doesn't realize is that its war with Apple and Microsoft is slowing changing and necessarily tipping towards Google.  Siri will probably come to Macs and Microsoft's copy machines will start churning out its own Siri and let's not forget that it also has Bing.

And the second problem is that people like their standalone apps.  Perhaps someday, we'll learn to appreciate Google's vision of a webapp universe but that day is decades away if we ever come to it.  So, Google needs to be smart and embrace that.  And outside of search, Google has only found success in Android.

So, use it or lose it, I'm saying.

Mesh Android together with Chrome OS.  Layer Chrome on top of Android.  Allow Android to be used by netbook and laptop makers as a default OS instead of Chrome.  Google can continue work on the promising features on Chrome OS.  Meanwhile, millions upon millions of Android users who already know how to operate their smartphones already know how Android works.

They know what it can or cannot do.  So, tie it into a netbook.  And not just netbooks but also laptops as well.  And this is where a Nexus netbook or laptop would come in handy.  Just as Google has the Nexus brand setting the course for smartphones and, later in 2012, tablets, a Nexus computer would be important in telling people that it's okay to their Android apps as laptop apps.

As I sit here going over this in my mind, I can't believe that no one has done what I am about to suggest next.  I would even take a step further by release an Android emulation app for Windows and OS X that allows users to run or mirror Android devices on the PCs.

As you can see, Android is Google's future whether it makes billions off it or not. It's a path and a safety net should one day Apple or Microsoft decides to choke off Google's avenues for making money.  Be it Siri or something else, by spreading Android further, Google can not only make sure it has a place in the still all-important PC market but has an opportunity to hit back at its competitors.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Smart. I wanted to love Chrome OS so much, but everything you've said is spot on. Nice article.