As much as I have issue with Chrome OS and the fact that a browser based OS is limiting, I understand the appeal. Its reflects the reality that the majority of people using a computer only really make use of the browser.
How many times have you (if you’re the designated tech support) had someone refer to Internet Explorer as Windows or talked about Chrome or Firefox as if they were actual operating systems. For many the PC or the Mac is simply the portal to access the web. They may use a program or two but its mainly the web.
Add to it the things many heavy computer users, including myself, take for granted that a lot of people think are overwhelming. Windowing, Multitasking, Menus. How many computer screens are out there where everything is pasted to the desktop because it was easy. Better yet how many people out there have issue with the idea of the “Desktop”?
Its into this niche Chrome OS and Chromebooks seek to be a solution. They are the successor to the Netbook, the cheap and affordable small laptops most bought because they were cheap. The emergence of tablets killed them off but the Chromebook has kind of taken its place. This is especially true now that the OS looks like a cross between Windows and OSX.
I think the future of mass consumer computing is going to be one ChromeOS is suited for. It is a future where people want thinner and lighter computers which are more appliance than workstation and provide an experience light on the PC power user side of things. Think maintenance free.
This is a problem long term for Windows. Windows has earned a reputation for confusion, heavy maintenance, and insecurity. It is heavy with legacy and is open to the point where those not looking get into trouble. The Mac sells itself on its approachable nature, PCs have relied on being open and customizable. The question is now what does the PC and Windows have to do to make it in the new world?
Well that’s why there’s always a third movie (Complete the Trilogy).