What’s with all the Trojan Horse references recently? It seems Google’s releasing apps that run on (only) their chrome browser’s source code, but which will run separate from the browser, thus creating a Chrome OS atop the Windows or Mac OS that it runs in. It’s a great plan to shift people subliminally over to the Chrome OS while also building up the Chrome ecosystem, but it comes with a major caveat.
Google’s Chrome OS is basically to desktops what Windows Phone is to mobiles. It’s young, daring (Windows Phone was the first to have a flat, text-based design, when everyone was copying Apple’s icon-based paradigm) and needs voluminous developer support in order to hit critical mass. (Essentially mirroring the 3rd-horse (horses again!) dilemma that Windows Phone faces.)
But it’s got something going for it that Windows Phone can’t dream of having:
- 42% of people use Chrome as their default browser.
- All Chrome apps will run on Chrome source code, thus necessitating a Chrome browser download.
- Also, since Chrome already exists on a majority of Windows and Mac computers, (which is a huge headstart), most people won’t differentiate between adding a Chrome app or any other app, since they’ll all run outside the browser.
This is exactly how Google wants it to be.
Or another way to put it:
Their only challenge is to excite enough developers to write apps that can blow away the most used apps like MS Office, Photoshop or VLC.
And that, as always, remains the key to generating an ecosystem as opposed to only building an operating system.
More details at The Verge.