Google's evolution follows an interesting trend. And if the line holds true, I think we can guess what comes next after the Chrome OS.
I tweeted as much earlier yesterday, (with a timeline error or two; blame the doctor's office) but I'll recap it here and extrapolate out further.
Google began as a search engine using the stanford.edu domain (1996); emerged as Google.com, a Web site (1997); as a toolbar (2000); then evolved into a home page (2005, later rebranded as iGoogle in in May 2007); followed by the mobile version of its Android operating system (Nov. 2007); then the Chrome browser (2008); followed finally by the Chrome OS in July 2009. In between, Google has rolled out a number of services that it has lumped under the heading of Google Apps".
In each iteration, I think it's fair to say that Google has pushed out" of the PC, jumping up layer by layer from the Web to the browser to the OS, and taking a larger and larger share of your attention span. I'm not really sure how to graph a trend like this, but I think Google's evolution is fairly directed.
(You may see a post or two today with attributions to sources close to Google. This is another. For whatever reason, Google representatives declined to talk on the record, letting the company's blog post represent the public position of the company. That, unfortunately, leaves many other questions for Chrome OS that Google has yet to answer.)
Google apparently feels that it's not enough to wait for a minute or two to allow your PC to boot up for a menial task like accessing your email or surfing the Web. A lightning-quick Linux-based OS would allow users to quickly access the Web, which is where the majority of the user's interaction occurs, at least in Google's world.
Google's already announced an operating system for mobile devices, and now netbooks; could we see a full-fledged Chrome OS desktop? A Google server OS? The company already has search appliances, and probably uses a custom OS in its servers, although Google has never said.
I get the sense, at least from the people I've spoken to, that Google simply wants to push the Web, and its advertising, in front of as many people as possible, and as quickly as possible. For that reason, a server OS might be tangential to that goal.
This story appears courtesy of PC Magazine.
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