Poll: Will Chrome OS stand a chance against Windows 7 next year?

So, it’s official. Google will release an operating system for x86 netbooks next year. Chrome OS will be based on a Linux kernel and will (apparently) be little more than a platform for the Chrome web browser and standards-based web applications. Already, a number of netbook makers—Acer, Asus, HP, and Lenovo—have started working with Google, and they may have systems ready for the launch in the second half of 2010.

That raises the question: can Chrome OS really compete with Windows 7? Microsoft’s next operating system should already have a sizable chunk of the netbook market by the middle of next year, especially since Windows 7 Starter no longer has that oft-criticized three-application limit. Do you think Google can woo users with a bare-bones operating system and web apps, or do you expect Chrome OS to be relegated to bargain-basement systems? Feel free to voice your opinion in our latest poll. You can vote either below or on our front page.

In our previous poll, we tried to get a sense of how many TR readers have, or will soon have, iPhones in their pockets. Out of almost 5,000 voters, just over a quarter (26%) have iPhones now or will by the end of the year. A handful of those users (2% of the total) plan to trade in their iPhone for a non-Apple device, though.

Another interesting tidbit: even though the iPhone 3G has come down in price to $99, only 1% of non-iPhone users say they plan to get one. However, 8% say they’re getting a $199 iPhone 3GS before the year is through.

Comments closed
    • PeterD
    • 10 years ago

    Chrome OS is not meant as a direct competitor for Windows, so asking
    “Will Chrome OS stand a chance against Windows 7 next year?”
    is a bit misleading.
    Chrome OS aims at new things, eg. netbooks and small devices.
    And in that area Chrome OS could have a big chance, and is inevatibly dangerous for Windows, because it can stop Windows from growing into a new market.
    By the way: everybody complains about the price of Windows 7.
    I think the price of W7 is high because MS is already taking into account that the growth of the number of copies of W won’t be that big anymore, because of competition in niche markets from all kinds of new things: Linux and Chrome OS on netbooks, Android on phones, and so on.
    MS knows they have to limit themselves to consolidation of their market share, and to getting most out of that marketshare.

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 10 years ago

    lol at all of the “windows 7 will be the last dominate os from ms” commnets, makes you all look stupidly retarded……

    Everyone who talks about trying to give MS the smack down will learn the same hard lessons MS has learned about OS security and backwards compatibility……….

    • greeny
    • 10 years ago

    Nothing new to see here, everyone will try it, not find it familiar then the masses will run xp on their netbooks and windows 7 on their laptops/desktops.

    I use windows xp windows 7 and linux all for different things but if I ever let any of my friends on linux even to use just firefox they dont like it and want back on windows. People dont like change and thats that.

      • jstern
      • 10 years ago

      Yup. And it’s not so much that they don’t like change, it’s also having to figure out how to do things that is second nature with Windows. People don’t want to waste a second figuring out how to do something that they are used to doing without thinking.

    • vikramsbox
    • 10 years ago

    Some food for thought about how start up cos can prefre GCOS to windows OS-

    l[< http://tech2.in.com/india/news/internet/startups-give-google-thumbsup-over-microsoft/76952/0<]l

    • vikramsbox
    • 10 years ago

    There are lies, damned lies and there are statistics.
    How would we define if GCOS did well against Win7? By the number of pre-shipped OEM machines? Or by number of downloads from their servers? Or by number of users who actually end up using it? This last statistic would not be available anywhere.
    Would any of these ‘hits’ guarantee a satisfactory experience by the user and tell us how long the user retains GCOS? No.
    A sizeable portion (not major but still sizeable) of all freeware downloads are basically curiosity or compelled downloads that don’t end up in prolonged usage. Paid software, even if its not the best, ends up being used more, simply because money is paid for it. Linux, FF, TBird, OpenOffice, and others- all have actual adoption rates less than the number of downloads.
    All in the numbers game. A lot depends on user experience, software availability and ease of configuration.

      • poulpy
      • 10 years ago

      While I agree that total downloads != userbase one would argue that when it comes to statistics you’d also have to clarify Microsoft’s ones.

      MS has been stuffing Windows licenses for almost every single PC sold by OEMs for decades now.
      Those copies were a hidden cost and part of Microsoft’s statistics but completely irrelevant of whether you already had windows, were going to use it at all or even wanted it in the first place (not to mention what you had to go through to get your money back if it worked at all but that’s another debate).

      You can make statistics say what you want them to, always good to take with a pinch of salt and not just at face value.

    • tfp
    • 10 years ago

    I’m waiting for the Google OS is nipping at MSFT heels write up, just like the Bing vs Google write up.

    • dragmor
    • 10 years ago

    Where is the no they compete in different markets?

    Google is making a thin client for its cloud network. Microsoft is still making its PC OS, totally different things.

    • Kurkotain
    • 10 years ago

    By the way, i’m a chrome user, but since i haven’t used firefox in a while i intended to download it to give it a spin, but when i tried to download it from chrome, the browser crashed on the first try.

    hilarious…but who’s got the blame?

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    I think it’ll do about as well as Android (phone) and Chrome(browser) does. Which means about 1-5% share after a few years, but not very much more, and very slow growthg{<.<}g

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 10 years ago

    From the 3rd world to the entire world….
    No, we will be keep pirating Windows forever….

    • sweatshopking
    • 10 years ago

    it cant win. No games. Case Closed. Unless they support Direct x, it is game over. netbooks nobody games on, so maybe there. but overall, not going to happen

      • alex666
      • 10 years ago

      The overwhelming majority of computer users do not “game”.

        • indeego
        • 10 years ago

        Online gaming (browser based) is more popular than all console and PC gaming combinedg{<.<}g* s[<*- I made this up. Might be true though in terms of hours played versus revenue.<]s

          • KilgoreTrout
          • 10 years ago

          This confirms my finding that 54% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 10 years ago

    “Will Chrome OS _[

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      Linux was on netbooks originally as an option but quickly got creamed after XP was availableg{<.<}g Price apparently isn't everything, although I find this strange since obviously cost is somewhat of a factor with people buying netbooks in the first place.

        • poulpy
        • 10 years ago

        You could start to explain that by:
        – people tend to stick to what they’ve learned and they learned IT under Windows. So they’ll most likely keep using it because they don’t want to invest time in learning again / they’re scared of change / the guy at the department store said so / etc…
        – AFAIK Linux netbooks are slightly cheaper but come with less RAM and/or less storage capacity which -for the small price difference- could make the Windows version more attractive.

        Just my 2 cents..

          • ssidbroadcast
          • 10 years ago

          Yeah that’s true, the custom *nix netbooks were doomed from the start in-part because their hardware offering was inferior, and because people valued the familiarity of Windows Xp. While the latter won’t be the case in this poll, Google would do well while negotiating with vendors like Acer and Hp that they make Chrome-OS netbooks _[

          • indeego
          • 10 years ago

          That is a risky strategy. Novell certs are pretty useless these days, whereas they were all the range in early 90’s.

          Look at how a large swath of the mobile developer community went over to the iphone within 2 years of introductiong{<.<}g One could profit immensely by being first to market on a new platform like Chrome.

      • sydbot
      • 10 years ago

      Bingo. Google’s OS will do fine for computers you never have to put any other software on. But until that OS has a (free) program for every little transaction and transformation I can conjure up, Windows will have to do.

      So netbooks cause they are too dang slow to do anything else on.

    • stmok
    • 10 years ago

    Its too early to tell…The details are not here! No source code to look at! No demo! Nothing! Its all talk!

    As far as I’m concerned; if you’ve got nothing to show, I’m taking you with a grain of salt.

    I’d prefer to make judgment when Google has something worthy to show.

    • Xenolith
    • 10 years ago

    Totally different niche. The target of Chrome OS will be appliance devices, not you typical home computer, laptop, or even netbook.

    Since this is open source, it may possilbly fork into something bigger. But going by the intitial focus, don’t expect deep penetration into your typical computer market.

      • leor
      • 10 years ago

      They could just be getting a toe hold before they move onto something bigger. If they can pull off something like OSX, MSFT could be in trouble.

    • bjm
    • 10 years ago

    Maybe I’m wrong here, but I think a lot of people are misreading the direction Google intends to take their Chrome OS and are not seeing the larger scope of their strategy. When you look at Google’s entire product offering, you see only devices which hook into and benefit from their strong net-based services.

    As I mentioned in another thread, the “other OS” that Google is pushing here is essentially the Internet, and everyone is already programming for that. I’m not seeing that Google is planning for any exclusive or platform-locked APIs here. Unlike Microsoft, Google doesn’t depend on having its users locked to their own platform. IE8, Firefox, and Safari have been focusing on fast Javascript engines. It’s not totally inaccurate to say that Google Chrome had a lot to do with that. Google won’t benefit from having “Chrome OS exclusive” software. What will ultimately benefit Google is improving the software infrastructure of Internet/Web2.0/AJAX/Cloud/(enter whatever term you wish here)-based software that it becomes universal enough that the hardware does not matter. I see the Chrome OS as another extension of that strategy – a device to allow greater delivery of net-based applications.

    Again, Sun may have been the company to first coin the phrase “The Network is the Computer,” but Google is currently the company best executing that vision. When looking at Google’s entire application portfolio, you can clearly see that is what they are aiming for.

      • WaltC
      • 10 years ago

      What they aim for and what they may get are entirely separate items…;) I’m really not impressed with the idea that Google is implementing SUN’s philosophy any better than SUN was able to implement it. What I mean by that is that I use and enjoy the Internet as much as the next guy, but it doesn’t constitute everything I do with my computer.. I do a lot of local computing with my computer, too, as do a lot of people.

      The way I see it is that the computer’s for computing, the Internet is for communication and information, and the network is the glue that pulls them both together. That’s why I don’t believe that “the network is the computer”–it just isn’t.

    • snakeoil
    • 10 years ago

    ridiculous i phone user, don’t let your mom and steve jobs decide what you like. instead of getting an iphone ultra get a life.

    • potatochobit
    • 10 years ago

    sister in law and her husband went out and each bought the 99$ iphone once they saw my iphone 3gs

    • Clint Torres
    • 10 years ago

    Brand new OSes tend to do very well in the marketplace…NOT!

    Do you see anyone using this on anything other than a netbook?

    “I’ve got my brand new Quad-core beast and I’m rollin’ with GCOS, beeyotch!!”

    • WaltC
    • 10 years ago

    Yet another Linux derivative. Yawn. What’s the purpose of comparing an OS like Win7 to a Linux derivative? On the basis of simply hardware and software compatibility alone, they are not even comparable. I think something like Google is prepared to try here is far more directly comparable in both of those terms to OS X than to Win7.

    I’m constantly astounded by the folks who seem to think that all that matters in a computer OS is web-browsing, emailing, and word processing…and that things like hardware and software compatibility are irrelevant. To me, the latter two categories are what make an OS valuable in the first place. Not to mention ongoing development and support, etc.

    OTOH, it will be interesting to see what Google does here–which I imagine will amount to about what it’s done with Chrome to date.

    • phez
    • 10 years ago

    You forgot to mention the 76% of us who won’t get an iphone at all.

    • Krogoth
    • 10 years ago

    This is the beginning of the end of MS’s dominance in OS market. Windows 7 will likely be the *last* dominant MS OS.

      • adisor19
      • 10 years ago

      Huh ? The beginning of the end was Vista.

      Adi

        • Krogoth
        • 10 years ago

        Google has enough clout to make *nix more mainstream then any previous attempt. This what will really bring MS’s dominance to an end.

        Apple certainly will never do it, because they already cater to a nice niche. IBM will never go mainstream, since they always stick with businesses. OSS community is too divided among themselves to make a serious attempt.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 10 years ago

          Apple niche keeps growing.

        • WaltC
        • 10 years ago

        Actually, most people, including me, were certain that Windows 1/2/3.x was the beginning of the end for Microsoft…;) I was using an Amiga in those days, and certainly thought it so. IBM believed it for awhile, too, with OS/2. It’s been the “beginning of the end” for Microsoft for well over a decade in the minds of a lot of people. And yet, Microsoft is still growing and growing and growing…;) That probably has something to do with the effort and investment Microsoft puts into hardware and software compatibility, support and development, and in how well Microsoft has listened to its OS customers since 1995. Windows ’95, as quaint as it seems today, shocked me at the time because I didn’t think Microsoft had it in them. Win ’95 was a lot better than I thought it would be, and it seems to me that Microsoft has been on an upward curve ever since.

        Like with IBM and OS 2, lots of would-be OS developers over the years have found it far easier and cheaper to support a very limited set of hardware and software in comparison with the mammoth support in both areas that Microsoft has traditionally engaged in. Today, they are either out of business completely or else marginalized to a very small percentile of the market. Few of them have the stomach to do what Microsoft has done over the years in terms of R&D, and hardware and software compatibility.

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        Your female parental unit.
        </countertroll>

      • PeterD
      • 10 years ago

      Maybe MS may counts its blessings because Google’s Chrome OS didn’t exist back in 2007.

        • WaltC
        • 10 years ago

        One thing you have to say about Microsoft–they’re tenacious…;) They weren’t happy with their search engine until they hit Bing, and what I’m wondering is just how committed an OS competitor Google will turn out to be. I guess we’ll know in a couple of years…;)

      • Kurotetsu
      • 10 years ago

      End of Windows’ dominance in netbooks and cellphones, of course (not that they ever had any true dominance in those areas). Everywhere else? I won’t be holding my breath at all.

      • Skrying
      • 10 years ago

      Really? Because Google has more failed products than successful ones. Google gets people to the gate but it doesn’t mean they’ll stay for the entire game.

      • kvndoom
      • 10 years ago

      We’ll be using Windows 9 by the time GCOS comes out of beta. 😀

      • Valhalla926
      • 10 years ago

      I’ve noticed something about “Microsoft is doomed” predictions. They are typically made by people that are vehement supporters of the competitors, either Apple or Linux. No one ever shows proof or evidence, just kind of hopes Microsoft will tank and their favorite will take the crown.

      And also, isn’t this just linux with a pretty face? Netbooks started with linux, then were overtaken by XP. I see very little reason why linux will suddenly have a resurgence.

      And I’d rather pay $50 more for a netbook that has a full-fledged OS than a linux distro that looks like a toy, just so I can say I’m different. Remember the original Eee or Aspire One? Their linux distros looked like “my first laptop” by fisher-price. It was hard to take them seriously.

      • blastdoor
      • 10 years ago

      I think Windows will always be the dominant OS for the device we call a “PC”. For non-PC computing devices, however, the story might be very different. MS has had a very hard time pushing into game consoles, music players, and cell phones. I think it’s easy to imagine that MS will never have more than 50% of the smartphone market, and that they might not even ever have the largest marketshare.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 10 years ago

      LOL! That was funny! Wait… It is was not a joke…? *rolling eyes*

      C’mon, man! You serious? Come on outside and see the world. We thought IBM was doomed, still here. HP was doomed, still here. Oracle was doomed, still here. Many others too. MS will be around for a long time, hear me. They don’t tug tail and run when some company challenges them, they put up a hell of a fight. The day MS says, we are quitting, is the day they are doomed.

      But I think this is great for MS cuz now they know that there will be a lesser chance of screwing people. They will make better products and win a crowd or two, but not the whole world again.

    • vikramsbox
    • 10 years ago

    GCOS is just marketing hype. By wooing OEM’s with its clout, Google can cook up some numbers of GCOS usage, mainly indicated by the number of pre-installed OS’s shipped, just like Vista boosted its share.
    But most GCOS users will switch later on, since its not a true blue OS but rather a cloud computing client OS.
    Users of GCOS will be locked to googles cloud computers. Too restrictive.
    Mnay of google’s apps are half baked. Gmail, with its stupid forced conversation view with no alternatives, makes it impossible to use online, and its signouts are not so secure either.
    Google imagines that its software can match the quality its search algorithm (or what it once was).

    • herothezero
    • 10 years ago

    q[

    • dustyjamessutton
    • 10 years ago

    I think Chrome OS will be popular with college students who don’t play games and businessmen and businesswomen who like to stay connected to the office via e-mail, and don’t need much more than what Google Apps can provide. However, that said, Chrome OS will be an OS to do office work on, and not much more than that. Of course, it being based off of Linux, it will probably play basic games, MP3’s, and perhaps…. perhaps it will have the ability to burn music cd’s as well, and of course data ones too. Anything that requires decent 3D acceleration? I guarantee it won’t do 3D well.

    • UberLaff
    • 10 years ago

    We don’t know much about this OS yet but if it’s anything like Chrome we know its going to be really fast with a low feature set.

    The problem with that is almost everyone who I know that’s used Chrome has switched back to Firefox because speed will only go so far if the feature set is below your typical expectations.

    The Web apps Google is hoping to use as a base are still young and its going to take a few more years until this could be considered something to challenge the likes of Win 7 or OS X. It will be a netbook, secondary, niche os until then.

    I still can’t wait to try it out 🙂

      • Kurkotain
      • 10 years ago

      some people don’t need or don’t care for advanced features or customizations, granted, the only feature i miss in chrome is auto-refresh, i’ve been able to adapt to the bare basics, but if i try any other browser it feels like torture because of the speed difference, and for people who only need to write an address and surf the web/ check mail chrome is a significant change because the speed jump is appreciable

    • Rza79
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t think ChromeOS apps will be fast enough (specially on ARM/Atom netbooks) for it to be competitive with Windows 7.

      • Waco
      • 10 years ago

      Uh…what? Why the hell would you think that?

        • Rza79
        • 10 years ago

        Well basically all apps are web-apps using web technologies (Ajax) running inside the browser (or it’s framework anyway).
        This means everything is compiled at runtime!

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    I predict it’ll penetrate netbooks but no more than 25% and will be relegated to more popular than Ubuntu on desktop but no more than double it’s market presence so about 3 or 4 % outside of netbooks where it moves from that point is up to google.

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    Not a chance and Google knows it. They are just testing the waters, but it won’t fly off.

    • designerfx
    • 10 years ago

    we don’t even know how the OS will perform and all that. I think it’s a bit early for this kind of guess. Give it a few months and then poll.

    Really they may as well just improve android as that has been shown on laptops before, so I don’t get why they want to make another OS instead. Improving android helps their cellphones, their whole android market, and for putting android on desktops.

    Thus I find this whole thing a bit of an odd situation. They are doing great at taking the windfall from MS though, not that MS has a whole lot. windows 7 has gotten little more than a yelp from most publications or otherwise in comparison to vista, so that should give people an idea of how badly they’re really doing.

      • PeterD
      • 10 years ago

      What do you exactly mean with your last sentences?

    • Hattig
    • 10 years ago

    I can see ChromeOS working well with ARM based NetBooks, but only it they’re under $200. Otherwise I can see Win7 Starter netbooks selling from $300 up.

    I might do 90% web surfing on my netbook, but I use a stand-alone messenger (meebo is nice, but …), skype for audio/video, and bits and bobs. I also have a copy of my music library on there, so I want a standalone media application.

    • ew
    • 10 years ago

    I think it could be great for Joe-six-pack type users. “Yes, but only in netbooks” seemed to be the option that encompasses that demographic.

    • Cova
    • 10 years ago

    Yes – Chrome-OS will stand a chance, and will do quite well. No – it isn’t even in competition with Windows 7 or OSX or other full desktop Linux distro’s. The iTouch is proof enough that there is a large market of people wanting a small/portable device with internet access and that that devices ability to run typical desktop software doesn’t matter. These Chrome-OS based devices will be perfect for things like the cell carriers selling a 3-year plan with a reduced-price netbook and a always-on 3G connection.

    Could also potentially be a very good fit as a business desktop in certain industries. eg. a giant call center with a few thousand people taking calls and plugging peoples details into some web-based call-tracking software. Basically a web-based thin-client, though the hardware would be perfectly capable of running a remote-desktop application as well.

    • danny e.
    • 10 years ago

    ugh. reply is hard.

    • AlvinTheNerd
    • 10 years ago

    GCOS will compete mostly because of the hype. The other reason is that it is doing the OS right.

    The OS SHOULD be a barebone setup. It shouldn’t come with everything under the sun by default. The only reason this was popular is before you had to pay for a whole bunch of small pieces and the all in one payment was better. In open source, that isn’t an issue. The OS should be very basic with just enough to install the applications I want. While the excesses don’t harm the desktop beyond the announce to the user, they harm the netbook’s performance.

    Linux has mastered the art of a barebones default that you can add anything you want on top to customize it as long as the software is in repositories. The problem has always been getting popular software into its repositories, with Google you are going to add that advantage.

    I think GCOS is going to become a potent netbook and business OS.

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 10 years ago

    MacOS X has been doing really well. There are a lot of people who don’t care about gaming. Plus, Microsoft is seems to be trying to kill PC gaming.

    • Vasilyfav
    • 10 years ago

    Next up, will solar-powered airplanes replace the internal combustion engine next year? Stay tuned, more at 11 !

    Seriously, this poll has got to be the dumbest thing I’ve seen on TR in 2009. The scopes of windows 7 and Chrome OS are so vastly different, that netbooks are only a small intersection of their respective deployment areas. Chrome OS will be a cute little alternative to W7, since netbooks aren’t likely to become the dominant PC market any time soon.

    But, since this is coming from Cyril, who’s known to have a giant hard-on for netbooks and nothing else, this is to be expected.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 10 years ago

      I disagree. 7 is much wider in scope, but it does compete with Chrome OS on the netbook end. I’d say Chrome OS will be more popular on cheaper netbooks, but 7 will be on more mainstream netbooks and other machines.

      There will be overlap, they certainly are not after totally different markets in netbooks.

      • danny e.
      • 10 years ago

      who’s Cyrl?

        • jstern
        • 10 years ago

        Well, from the things he said he must be talking about the person who wrote the article. I will check to see if I’m right.

        I was.

        • Vasilyfav
        • 10 years ago

        I’m sorry for making a typo during my nerd rage episode 😛

      • danny e.
      • 10 years ago

      I think Scott has as much or more love for the netbooks.

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