Jun 20, 2011 1
Having recently spend some time hands-on with the Google Chrome OS using the CR-48, I began to think about how this platform can be used in real-world application. As a someone who spends all day working on a workstation, the Chrome OS is not an ideal solution, but I began to see that for a lot of people Google’s offering could meet a majority of their needs.
Here are 5 instances that Google Chrome OS can be deployed right now with a certainty of success:
School and public libraries are at an interesting cross-roads. Information is managed digitally and an increasing focus of libraries is providing access to web-born data and content. Managing the hardware for these institutions is expensive and plagued with management issues. Cloud based applications, enhanced user management and an operating system that can “clean-start” for every user will make web access cheaper and more sustainable for libraries and community learning centers.
Facing the same problem as libraries, schools can deploy thin-client solutions that allow administrators and parents access to what applications students are using and revoke access during certain periods of time (think no chatting during school hours). Content management can also be enhanced with workgroup solutions that can provide group access to papers and assignments via shared mailboxes and segmented access. Information about usage can also be measures in aggregate to define success scenarios so findings can be quantified and shared.
For field forces and sales teams, an always up-to-date platform is ideal. The nature of Google’s web-based application system means that everything from customer data to sales figures will be real-time. Internet connectivity can come by way of wireless cellular access (built into many of the new thin-client hardware). Log-in requirements will also help corporations manage access to confidential data on a case-by-case basis. For regulated industries, not having local application to update means that compliance to change is certain.
As medical records and patient management change to meet new EMR (Electronic Medical Record) standards, having integrated solutions will be critical. Although traditionally client-based, properly secured network solutions like those at the core of Google’s Chrome OS can help patient care specialist in and out of a hospital setting capture and record patient data at every touch-point in there care experience. By having very little data on end user devices means that there is little patient data on the device to lose in the event of a crash or theft of a device.
Airports and Airplanes
Access to a captive audience for prolonged periods is an advertiser’s dream. A traveler presented with use of a device for the duration of their journey can present a massive opportunity to an ad-based income model like Google’s. Having a controlled platform like the Chrome OS will provide airlines and security officials a level of control not present with the current use of WiFi and cellular connectivity. Chrome is the new first-class premium that replaces your blanket and complimentary headphones.
Chrome is competing with the tablets for a share of market. Apple’s iPad in particular has a strong foothold for the secondary device and thin-client marketing. The biggest advantage to Google’s offering is a near maintenance-free solution for administrators. For anyone in IT support, the idea of managing even the thinnest Windows installation is a bit of a nightmare. The constant updates, determining conflicts, anti-virus solutions, crashes, etc, etc. I don’t see a computing utopia through Google’s thin client solution, but it does offer a certain amount of freedom in it’s simplicity.
The second advantage is a user-profile solution that allows all of the user’s preference and application needs to be synchronized via web account. This allows users to use any machine and get an identical user experience. Even in the event of a compete hardware failure, all that will be required is access to another Google Chrome OS device and the user is back in action.
There are other points that make the Chrome OS practical (and also a hindrance), but in general, many of the issues surrounding computing for public and private sector business are based in system and user management-both are modernized in the Google Chrome ecosystem. I mentioned a few use cases, but the possibilities are vast. The form-factor of current iterations of the Chrome OS hardware presents no learning curve and familiarity that puts people at ease for quick adoption.
Read more about Chrome OS and what role it plays in the evolving computing space by reading my previous entries:
A View of the Google Chrome Store, Dec-2010
Impressions of the Google Chrome Operating System, Nov-2009