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Can Google Chrome OS Be Used as a Hosting Server?

Can Google Chrome OS Be Used as a Hosting Server

Google announced its latest operating system offering and it was received with mixed results. The main reason for this was the confusion surrounding the actual purpose of Google Chrome OS.

Stripped down

Unlike its counterparts, Windows and Linux, Chrome OS is a stripped down lightweight Linux distribution based on Debian that’s sole purpose is to be used by those who use their computer mainly for the Web. It takes a minimalist approach to operating systems and resembles the Chrome web browser.

Rival

The marketing purpose of Google Chrome OS is to rival the operating systems produced by Microsoft and Linux. At this time, Microsoft controls the market share of desktop operating systems with Linux bringing up the rear. What neither of these big hitters in the OS arena has tackled is the population of computer users who simply use their desktop or laptop to peruse the Internet and tend to spend a majority of their computer time online.

Cloud Computing

The best way to describe this new operating system is to explain the concept of cloud computing. Cloud computing, in a nutshell, is the saving and retrieving of data that does not reside on one’s computer or server but rather online at places such as Salesforce, Google, Rackspace, and Microsoft. The perfect example of this idea at work is Gmail. Rather than using a desktop e-mail program, users of Gmail use a service online that sends, receives and saves e-mail correspondence online.

The Google Chrome OS will rely completely upon cloud computing. Instead of installing and using desktop programs such as MS Office, Outlook 2007, graphics software and more, the users of this operating system will connect online and use Google Docs, Gmail, SketchUp and much more. All the data created will be saved in the cloud and not on the users desktop or laptop.

Possible Applications

One predicted and quite possibly very strategic move on the part of Google would be the free incorporation of the operating system within netbooks. Netbooks have had quite a bit of success over the past couple of years. Placing Google Chrome OS as the main operating system could prove to be a very lucrative operation as Google’s ad revenues could jump with the purchase and use of these netbooks.

Conclusion

So, to answer the question of whether or not the Google Chrome OS could be used in a hosting environment – the answer is uncertain. As the Google Chrome OS works in a cloud environment, any and all data would not be saved to the server but rather to the cloud. The operating system would have to be modified to work with cloud applications whose sole purpose is web hosting.

As Google has released the OS’s source code under open source licensing (Chromium OS), it is a matter of time before some enterprising web developer takes it and creates further applications for the operating system. However, until then and for the moment, the Google Chrome OS is simply a desktop/laptop operating system designed for heavy Internet usage and nothing more.

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