news.com have a video of the Google Chrome OS press conference today up on their site here.
The thing that impresses me most about this is that Google are trying hard to move in a direction to make computers commonplace devices that perform specific tasks – you need to browse the web? Check. Want to read a book? Check. Want to browse photos on your camera? Check. Read your email? Check. It seems at long last we’re actually moving towards the computer being a device that performs specific tasks that the average person needs to do, rather than being a general purpose device that is the jack of all trades, but is so complicated that your grandparents have no idea how to make work.
The average computer user doesn’t want to mess with drivers and installs, and configuration and playing around with configuration options etc. They need a device to just turn on and use. Windows is hopeless in this regard, and Vista and Windows 7 have gone way off into the woods and lost direction. Mac OS X is far more about enabling the computer to perform tasks without the user knowing too much about what is going on – Mac OS X does an awesome job of hiding the complexity of the computer itself and just enabling the user to perform tasks. Having just watched the video above though, I think Google are going to nail it with Google Chrome OS and take it another step beyond Mac OS X. Will it be for everyone? No. Is it for power users? No, probably not. But if you need a computer to check your email, surf the web, and upload photos from your camera to some online photo album, I think Chrome OS is definitely going in the right direction.