RootsTech 2014

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chrome OS -- the third operating system?

I believe this may be the first time I have written about Google's operating system named Chrome OS. First, it is important to distinguish the operating system from the browser of the same name.  A browser is a program that runs on your computer to provide you access to the Internet. An operating system is the program installed on your computer to operate the entire computer. Obviously, the most popular and used operatings systems are Windows based with well over 90% of the computers using Windows. Apple's operating systems are a distant second with about 6%. See NetMarketshare.com. Statistics on operating systems are difficult to interpret because every release and update of an operating system is considered to be a new operating system. So, you don't just get statistics for Windows vs. Apple, you get numbers for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and etc.

Finding accurate statistics on operating systems' usage is further complicated by the fact that there is a further distinction between the types of computers. Desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones are all considered separately because they run different operating systems.

After doing a rather extensive review of websites monitoring the statistics of operating systems, I couldn't find any significant market penetration listed for Chrome operating systems.

Presently, the only computers that come pre-loaded with Google's Chrome operating system are those sold under the Chromebook label.

The main limitation with the Chrome OS discussed in the online world is that the operating system only works completely when it is connected to the Internet. There is also a lot of discussion about the availability of compatible software. Presently, its usage is entirely limited to online genealogy programs. None of the popular genealogical database applications run on Chromebooks. I'll keep monitoring the situation and report any changes.

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