The saga of Google’s Chrome OS platform has seen plenty of dramatic twists — but from the get-go, most tech-observers have been too busy scoffing at the software to notice the rich narrative unfolding around it.
Bring up Chrome OS with most pundits — be they professionals or the social-media-dwelling variety — and you tend to hear the same sorts of reactions:
- It’s just a browser. You could open up Chrome on your Windows or Mac machine and have the same thing.
- It’s fine if you don’t need to do anything real on your computer.
- Why hasn’t Google gotten rid of it or combined it with Android already?
Each one of those reactions is equally misguided, as those of us who have actually spent a meaningful amount of time living with Chrome OS know. Chromebooks offer a level of simplicity and security not present with traditional operating systems; they’re capable of handling the full range of tasks the majority of people perform on computers nowadays; and all the “Android-Chrome OS merger” speculation has been off-target from the start.