by February 2, 2011 0 comments

There has been a general sense of unease, as there usually is, when a new OS is to hit the market. This time is no different and it has again stirred a huge debate on Chrome’s value in India. No one however, went back to the source and asked a few questions about this new animal to put us, and you, at ease.

The positioning in India

Today, more and more services are accessed through the browser and with the emergence of on-cloud applications, the need for on-device software is now almost obsolete. ‘The Chrome OS is built to the future need of the home user,’ Whittaker clarified. The connection stalemate would eventually stabilize and faster Internet access would suit the needs of the home user but until it doesn’t, ‘business users will be the immediate beneficiaries’. The usage and the audience are defined by the partners who will market it to the crowd they see fit. Google’s audience is everyone who can access the Internet through 3G, Wi-Fi or whatever Internet connection they can get their hands on.

Chrome OS, an extension of the browser?

‘It can be called a high-performance browser,’ Whittaker said. The OS is moulded into the hardware mechanism in a way that as soon as the machine is turned on the browser is operational. ‘The distinction between the browser and the OS is almost none, we blur the lines’. The machine when switched on provides no local experience; within seconds the browser is running the cloud based applications through the browser.

Chrome OS was collating user information, sending all data back to HQ during the pilot period. Will this continue after launch?

The feedback system was restricted to the pilot phase only. ‘I don’t know (if information will be relayed back), I am sure it won’t,’ Whittaker explained. The feedback system, that was feared to be sending back data stored locally to generate advertisement, won’t do so. ‘Our Ads story is no different (from the current),’ the keywords will be picked up non-obtrusively and will have the shut-off feature.

Ducking the apps market?

‘The OS allows no installations,’ Whittaker said. ‘If you want to use MS Word, you can use the Word processor counterpart on the cloud.’ The experience remains the same but the apps run on the cloud. ‘We have followed the online apps trend and the OS fits that niche perfectly.’ The Local Apps portal has been ignored for the online experience. The online apps allow for constant connectivity. ‘Your machine could die on you and you could get on another machine from anywhere in the world and access the same data.’

Why Chrome when there is the Android?

Android is targeted at the mobile platform. There are ‘obvious similarities because of the Linux kernel’, but the ‘hardware (for Chrome) really makes it pop.’ Android taps the local apps market for a more mobile user while Chrome is heavily dependent on the cloud. Chrome provides for a ‘quick, safe and efficient access to the web.’

What are the sales figures expected worldwide and in India?

None as yet. The product is still being tested and ‘we are going to be, in typical Google fashion, giving it away to everyone.’

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