Is Google Chrome OS Good Enough for Business?

Late last year when Google introduced the first Chrome OS notebook, the Cr-48, it offered developers, journalists, and curious fans the chance to beta test the browser-as-operating system as part of the company’s pilot program. Before the big announcement, Google also approached a select group of companies, offering them a fleet of Cr-48s to test for enterprise readiness. American Airlines, Cardinal Health, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Kraft, Logitech, and Virgin America are a few of the corporations taking part in this experiment to discover the benefits (and limits) of cloud computing.

Google touts the core elements of Chrome OS—apps and data in the cloud, little local data storage, automatic updates, multi-layered security—as a revolution in computing for both consumers and businesses. However, these same elements are cause for concern for both groups, particularly when it comes to security and administration.

So is Chrome OS a smart move for your business or should you pass?

Is Google Chrome Good Enough For Business?

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  1. SPM Says:

    I think you are missing the point when you talk about Google services with regard to cloud data. For large enterprises, the cloud will not be Google’s services but their own corporate servers and enterprise wide web based corporate applications and data interfaces. They may well decide to use Google’s services for email, with Postini email backup onto their own servers, or Google docs to compose documents before uploading them to the corporate server, but it will be the corporate server that holds and backs up the data – Google docs will just be a scratch pad used to compose them. What Google stores in this context is the same as what your laptop hard drive stores in terms of data – it is no way an enterprise data store, and security is way better than storing it on your local hard drive.

    With regard to letting Google take care of the IT admin work, I have had first hand experience of this. It is a massive work and cost saver, and it should be welcomed by IT departments. It gets rid of the tedious low level desktop maintenance issues such as software installation and updating, and allows the IT department to focus on what it should focus on – servers, backups, security and enterprise applications, information sharing etc.

  2. Selden Says:

    “As the Chrome OS pilot program winds down…” ?

    As a pilot program participant, it feels like anything but. Not much happened with Chrome OS between mid-December and the end of February, but two beta channel updates were pushed out in March, providing better trackpad support, and a small bump in speed. A LOT more development is needed; Bluetooth and GPS are built-in, but not yet supported, speed is still an issue (especially with Flash content), and Chrome OS desperately needs a better file manager and more access to local storage. Overall, I’ve been very pleased with Chrome OS (for a beta, it’s been remarkably stable since the pilot program began in December), but a lot of work remains to be done. The fact that the Cr-48 came with a 2-year data plan with Verizon suggests that Google sees this as a longterm pilot.

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