With the announcement last night that it will launch a lightweight OS optimized for Web apps that run on Netbooks, Google has set its sights on a future that’s already become reality for many Web professionals. In that future, the browser is the de facto OS, running connected e-mail, productivity apps, and other chores while leaving only odd jobs (albeit important ones) such as security for the system software to handle.
“It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be,” wrote Google exec Sundar Pichai in a blog post late yesterday.
For the interactive marketing community, the move is a validation of what they’ve always known. If Chrome OS finds traction with hardware makers, it will bring the universal digital ad platform — the browser — to the forefront of the user experience. Of course that shift has by and large already taken place, with the exception perhaps of e-mail, and in particular business-based e-mail. Indeed, one impact of the shift to lightweight, browser-driven computing hinted at by Google’s new move is that B2B marketers could find it easier to run messaging campaigns.
But the company has a long road to walk before it can deliver on that promise.