Chrome OS. Could you live in the cloud?

I’ve been following Google’s press conference revealing more about their upcoming Chrome OS. Their focus seems to be on a lean stripped down web based OS which is basically a browser that runs everything inside it. It’s designed for netbooks with only solid state storage. All data is stored in and synced with “the cloud”.

Could I adapt my work patterns to this paradigm? I’ve thought about it a bit, and realised I am already beginning to go that way. Google state they expect Chrome OS to be used in “secondary” machines. I have recently ressurected my old nearly dead laptop by installing Ubuntu. I use it as a secondary machine, and I have hardly any local data or programs on it. Firefox, and a few web apps like Spotify for music (there is no stored tunes on the local machine) and some twitter clients.

I don’t do much document processing on this machine, but I dare say I could use Office live if I were running Windows, or Google docs for the few documents I do work on. I think to completely live in the cloud the online versions of MS Office would have to mature, but that will probably be sooner rather than later.

I think for what Google have stated there aims are for the Chrome OS it could easily work. I think I spend about 80% of my computer time use web apps of one sort or another and would welcome a fast booting web-focussed machine as  a secondary (although probably primary in terms of hours used) machine. I would still need a fully featured off line machine for the other 20% or so (creating some more complex Office docs, photo storage and editing etc, but even these might easily transition to the cloud soon).

I will watch the Chrome news with interest.


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