Could 60% of businesses really dump Windows for Chrome OS?

This article from ZDNet is interesting:

The latest information comes from a New York Times report that cites its source as Linus Upson, Chrome chief and Google vice president of engineering. The new report says Google recently deployed new systems loaded with Chrome OS to internal Google employees, including Sergey Brin. The Google co-founder reluctantly made the exchange.

However, the kicker in the Times story was this: “Mr. Upson says that 60 percent of businesses could immediately replace their Windows machines with computers running Chrome OS. He also says he hopes it will put corporate systems administrators out of work because software updates will be made automatically over the Web.”

Keep in mind that the Times is paraphrasing Upson here and not quoting him directly, but this is an extremely ambitious goal that is being attributed to Google’s head honcho of Chrome OS. It’s also a loaded statement and it’s worth trying to unpack it.

The Chrome OS is aimed at computers that are essentially just Web browsers and don’t store any of their data locally but keep it all in the cloud — especially Google’s cloud. So, Upson’s statement is assuming that most companies won’t just be using Chrome OS but will also being using Google Apps (or a competitor such as Zoho) for handling all business email and documents.

The other part of Upson’s statement is that because the Chrome OS will automatically handle all software updates behind the scenes without user intervention that it will “put corporate systems administrators out of work.”

It’s interesting to hear Google make a brazen statement like this, since this has previously been suspected to be one of their motives but has never been stated openly. The public revelation aside, systems administrators do a lot more than just push software updates so this statement is pretty inflammatory from that perspective.

Now the article goes on to state that they think it’s not true and that it’s crap.

I am not so cynical. I think there is lots of room for a paradigm killer.

Apple and Google could easily kill the conventional PC as we know it and the cloud (to me) seems like the platform that could make it happen.


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