While most of us in the tech community are starting to form strong opinions either for or against the new UI in Windows 8, most casual users have really seen little of the new OS.
This means that we still aren’t completely sure how casual folks will react to the OS. Will they enjoy the change or hate it? I suspect there will be a little bit of both types of reactions from the general public. Microsoft will need to make certain that they have easy to use start-up tutorials in place to take away some of the confusion that might exist for brand new users to the new UI. Will that be enough? It’s hard to say.
We’ve already heard in various posts and comments across the net that many who’ve tried Windows 8 are considering alternative operating systems now that the start bar is going away, could Google be taking this to their advantage in their next redesign of Chrome OS? It certainly looks like it.
The newest version, and first major redesign, of Chrome OS is in the works and will feature a full blow desktop, a windows manager, and will drop the current browser/tab system. The hardware-accelerated window manager goes by the name Aura, and looks a lot like the all-too familiar Windows 7 desktop interface.
I can’t say that full non-Net based apps will exist in Chrome OS, but it is possible I suppose. Who knows, maybe Google is going to take advantage of the confusion that surrounds Windows 8 and its new UI by truly taking a real stab at the desktop/laptop market?
If this is still nothing more than a web-based app OS than I don’t think MS has anything at all to worry about. What if it is more along the lines of Android though, yet tailored towards the desktop market? Honestly, even in this case, Microsoft has a solid position in the desktop world and I don’t see Google causing any kind of major upset here.
Windows 8 is fast, stable, and has all the applications we know and love – in addition to many new mobile-esque Metro apps – regardless of whether or not you are a fan of the new UI in Windows. Unless Google worked very hard to create native WINE (Windows Is Not An Emulator) support, that proves even better than existing implementations in Linux distros, then MS has little to worry about.
Considering how difficult true WINE support that was flawless would be, again MS probably isn’t shaking in their boots, and shouldn’t be.
Still- we’ve seen how the power of UNIX can create a decent OS that is both (mostly) stable and relatively simple to use, such as Apple’s OSX and the existing Android OS. Could Chrome be heading in that direction?
What do you think of the new version of Chrome OS? If it is actually moving towards a platform that supports true native (non-web) apps, would you ever consider it as a Windows alternative? Do you think its familiarity for Windows users will make it more appealing to casual users when the new Metro-based Windows 8 arrives? Share your thoughts below.