Google has just released its vision of the computing future with a new laptop that runs the company’s own operating system, Chrome OS, based on its popular web-browser. Rather than consider data storage on a hard disk as the primary capability of a computer, Google’s new laptop routes software applications and raw data storage through the Internet. The Chrome OS notebook, or Chromebook, starts in about seven seconds, will have ten hours battery life (depending on the hardware developer), and each time you turn it on, the software will check online to see if there are any updates.
What’s the Big Idea?
We are entering the post-PC age. Apple’s release of the iPad stakes a big claim as to what that age will look like; so does Google’s new laptop concept. Both devices see the Internet as the central focus of computing; it seems in the very near future most data will be stored remotely and software, too, will exist in the cloud. Google’s new idea, which still relies on having a keyboard, is perhaps more conservative than Apple’s, but its almost exclusive focus on the Internet seeks to eliminate the I.T. department, thereby creating a computer for people who hate computers. That would be no small accomplishment.