Chrome OS alternatives

Chrome OS
Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system designed by Google to work exclusively with web applications. Google Chrome OS is initially intended for secondary devices like netbooks, not as a user's primary PC, and will run on hardware incorporating an x86 or ARM-based processor.
Chrome OS alternatives are:
Windows, Android
Here are the latest news about Chrome OS:

20.05.16 Android apps support coming to Chromebooks

Google announced support for Android apps on Chromebooks — with little to no extra effort on the part of developers. That means your employees can have access to the broad ecosystem of Android apps in Google Play for Work on their Chromebooks, managed centrally with access controls. For example, they will be able to view and edit Microsoft Word documents in the Android version of Microsoft Word. Administrators can manage these Android apps now from that same Chrome admin console: allow or restrict Android application installations, and you can even allow particular Android apps for certain users and not others. The feature will become available in early June on specific Chrome laptops. Later this year it will be available for many more Chrome devices.

2012 Google Chrome and Google Drive come to iPhone/iPad

Remember how it was on Windows? First, Google released the browser - Google Chrome. Then it quietly turned the browser into the operating system and now, it like a cancer is trying to replace Windows by itself. The same thing happened on Mac OS. Recently Chrome also has become the default browser on Android. And few days ago Google (saying that Chrome is already the most popular browser in the world) has launched Chrome for iOS. However, Google's plan to replace all the operating systems by the Chrome can be broken by the Apple's mobile platform. The fact is that Apple has limited the capabilities of third-party browsers on the iOS beforehand. In fact, all third-party browsers on iPhone/iPad can work only as add-ons to the native browser Safari (using its secure Javascript-engine). In result - they work 2 times slower than Safari. Also, Safari is the default browser on iOS and it can't be replaced.

Thus, Google's dream about Web-oriented cross-platform operating system may come true only through the court, which would remove these restrictions.

In addition to Chrome, Google has released Google Drive app for iOS. It allows to sync folders or specific files between PC, online account, Android-smartphone and now iPhone / iPad. The app for iOS also allows to view many file types, but you can edit them only using online Google Docs, which don't work offline and open in Safari browser (because of described above reason).

However, as you know, Google recently acquired the mobile office suite QuickOffice, so soon we can expect the native apps for editing documents on iOS.

2011 Google Chromebooks to support Windows-apps

Google Chromebooks Windows
Though the iPad is punching the laptop market, Google Chromebooks are progressing quite well and there is no reason to stop their production (like HP Touchpad). Furthermore, Google continues to make Chromebooks enterprise-ready: last week Chrome OS added support for VPN, secure Wi-Fi and virtualization client Citrix Receiver, which allows to run any Windows-based application on Chromebook. But even before these business-critical features were added, Chromebooks were already deployed in such companies as, Groupon, Logitech, National Geographic, Konica Minolta. Obviously, the Google's offering - Google Notebook for for $28/month - is really cost-saving. In addition, Google has found another perfect market for their Chromebooks - public computers:

In fact, today many hotels, stations, airports, an organization in which visitors have to wait - install public computers to improve their service. And people use these computers only for Internet access. Chromebooks are perfect for this task. They are cheap and safe (people won't fear that computer is infected with spyware, which can steal the password).

Google Chromebooks Virgin
Google has already partnered with global Intercontinental Hotels Group for providing Chromebooks. In addition, Google came up with an idea to lend aircraft passengers Chromebooks for their flights. Such service already provided in the US by Virgin America. Of course, such flights also provide on-board Wi-Fi.

2011 Google Chromebooks - netbooks for business

Google Chromebook
Today, Google has finally introduced the first commercial netbooks with Chrome OS - Chromebooks. They are manufactured by Acer and Samsung and will be available since June 15. As promised, these netbooks work only with web-applications. They launch in 8 seconds, require no software installation and updates, no anti-virus software, because viruses simply don't work on Chrome OS. The main interface - is Chrome browser, which enables you to access any web-app or site (including flash-sites). Moreover, Chrome OS allows to cache web-applications and work with them offline. It also features in-built file manager that allows to access local files. In general, everything looks as beautiful as had been expected since the first Chrome OS presentation, except one moment - the price.

The cheapest model from Acer costs $349 and it's without 3G-module (only with Wi-Fi). Samsung will launch two models: Wi-Fi-version for $429 and 3G-version for $499. Of course, it's cheaper than the iPad, and other tablets, but it's not so cheap compared with regular (Windows) netbooks. Thus, there is no reason for consumers to run to the store and stand in line waiting for a Chromebook.

But business-users have a reason to buy these devices. First, because for business customers Google offers leased Chromebooks for $28/month (currently only in the U.S. and some European countries). This can be an excellent option for startups and companies with rotative number of employees.

But even without this leasing opportunity, Chromebook - is very attractive device for companies that use web-applications. It's potentially a huge cost-saving in IT budget. Yes, Chromebook is not cheaper than traditional windows-netbook or average desktop computer. But it completely kills the expenses for antivirus software, consequences of the virus attacks and computer administration costs at all. All the IT administrator has to do - is to give Chromebooks to employees. That's all. No software installation. No updates. No maintenance. No troubleshooting. If employee loses Chromebook - he just gets the new one and in 8 seconds, he can continue working with his apps and data.

2010 Google wants to make sys admins happy before putting them out of job

Google Chrome
As the popularity of web-applications growing, the power goes from operating system to browser. The role of the browser is increasing even more thanks to HTML5 implementation that removes third-party plugins (like Flash). That's why the Chrome browser and browser-based operating system Chrome OS - are strategical products for Google. And, of course, one of the most important objectives is their deployment in the Enterprise. Though Chrome was created with security in mind, so far it really could not even be a consideration for most large corporate IT departments, because of the lack of admin features. In many companies, it was even forbidden by IT, and because of this a year ago Google developed the plug-in Chrome Frame for Internet Explorer, which allows you to embed Chrome into IE bypassing system administrator. But now Google has decided not to play catch-up with the sys admins and released today Google Chrome for Business.

Chrome for the business comes with MSI-installer and allows to use standard deployment tools to install the browser for all managed users and supports different security policies (e.g. enable/disable extensions, control the the password manager, set the proxy server, etc.).

It is interesting that a month ago, Linus Upson, Google’s Vice President of Engineering in charge of Chrome, said that "we hope that Chrome will put corporate sys admins out of their jobs because everything will just be updated automatically over the web." Of course, in this case he meant Chrome OS, but the Chrome browser - is the first (and big) step towards the Chrome OS.