Home Editorials Google Aiming for Chrome OS to Run Legacy Desktop Apps?

Google Aiming for Chrome OS to Run Legacy Desktop Apps?

First, let me just say that I’m not a huge fan of the whole Chrome OS or whatever OS that lets you do all of your work strictly through a browser. I see the benefits, but I don’t see this as overly practical in the long run. For many I’m sure it will be, but I’m not sold as of yet.

With that said, there’s word out this morning that probably only qualifies as a rumor or speculation that Google is working on a method of allowing users to run legacy desktop apps in its Chrome OS. The process may or may not be called “Chromoting,” according to the Register, which lists a provenance of sources that leaves me with a skeptical eye.

If true, I see this as addressing one of the weaknesses that a cloud only OS has from the get go, and possibly a surrender to that weakness. At the very least it points up that weakness. While quick and easy Cloud operating will be sufficient for many who can exist with email, social networking, and light document creation, there are real tasks that need a real computer and a more traditional OS to accomplish. That’s an obvious statement and I don’t think proponents of a Cloud OS disagree with it much, if at all. That said, if you’re going to build a Cloud OS, go ahead and build it and forget the legacy desktop stuff. In my opinion, the compromises needed to make that work will hinder not hurt any advancement Google’s Chrome OS might bring to the table. Again, if true, this just sound like bet hedging to me.

And to give you the grain of salt to take all of this with, remember I said Apple was hedging its bets with the iPad by offering a keyboard option.

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3 Comments

  1. GoodThings2Life

    06/11/2010 at 3:30 pm

    It does seem pretty pointless to me to trust a 3rd party to provide remote access to an application I could just as easily run locally with better performance and more security and better privacy.

    Reply

  2. Mike

    06/11/2010 at 4:13 pm

    I’m fascinated to see where google goes with all this.
    It is really open ended what a ‘browser OS’ could mean.

    In any event, if this reporting is correct, I think the focus of it has been lost or misconstrued.

    All this really is, is a remote desktop capability built into chrome OS.
    As long as it is a robust implementation, I think this is awsome and welcome news.
    Many people today have multiple machines in multiple locations.
    Giving the OS built in remote capability seems like a powerful addition.

    Windows did the same with Win 7 – if you pay enough.
    Or it is available through its beta service mesh.

    In any event, end of the day, a modern web browser interface provides all the necessary tools to front-end any and all applications.
    There is no reason you could not have an OS with full ability to run native apps of its own – but no real gui layer beyond a ‘browser’.

    Reply

  3. Oliver

    06/12/2010 at 5:40 pm

    I think your article’s headline is completely wrong and misleading. If it’s a remote desktop-like solution, then Chrome OS is Not running any legacy apps any more than my iPad is when I use, say, VNC, to my Windows or Mac laptop.

    Reply

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