Google Chrome OS Aims to Cut the Cord
There is a lot of buzz about Google Chrome OS. In an eWeek article, IDC analyst Al Hilwa says that it'll take nearly 10 years before there is wide spread adoption of the operating system in the enterprise.
I think it'll be longer, and equate it to consumers "cutting the cord" and going totally wireless.
As mobile phones become more and more reliable, consumers will start ditching their land-lines and going totally wireless. In fact, one in every five homes have ditched the wired devices in favor of their more powerful and useful mobile cousins. However, while one in five is a decent size number, it does show that there isn't wide spread adoption of going totally wireless in the home. Connectivity and reliability is still an issue in some parts of the country and if you're like me, you feel the comfort of being connect to 911 and other important services if you have a land-line.
I think this same mentality will play out with Google Chrome OS. Consumers are used to having hard drives. We are used to having data and applications stored on our PCs or Macs, while doing "work" in the cloud, i.e. web-based email, apps, games, etc. For example, there isn't a robust photo editing suite online. I can't see parting ways with Adobe CS4 for a cloud-based suite. The power just isn't there yet. For most consumers though, while they live in the browser, the mentality of "cutting the cord" is still relatively new as it relates to computing.
Not until there is as a robust offering with applications, utilities, games, etc. online, the adoption of hard-drive less machines won't take off. It's a process that will take more than 10 years mostly because of the volume of consumers who are slow to adoption the latest technology trends. When it comes to the enterprise, I think the adoption will take even longer. Security is a major issue and until IT managers feel absolutely comfortable with their data living in a location that's not 100% controlled by them, it'll take some time before this approach to computing is adopted.