Chrome OS could run legacy software remotely

One of the distinctive attributes of Google's upcoming Chrome OS is that it doesn't run third-party applications locally; everything is web-based. What if you need to run a "legacy" app that lacks a cloud-based spin-off, though? A user in the Chromium-discuss mailing list has gotten some juicy information from Google's Gary Kacmarcík about Chromoting, a Chrome OS feature that could resolve that problem:

"We're adding new capabilities all the time. With this functionality (unofficially named "chromoting"), Chrome OS will not only be great platform for running modern web apps, but will also enable you to access legacy PC applications right within the browser. We'll have more details to share on chromoting in the coming months."

Asked if Chromoting has anything in common with Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection, Kacmarcík replied, "Yes. 'something like...'" More information will come to light "later," he added.

The folks at PC Magazine speculate that the feature might be little more than a new label on existing remote desktop functionality. That is, the user might be able to log on to his Windows PC remotely from a Chrome OS netbook and use applications there. Alternatively, Google could offer a more elaborate service, letting users run software directly on its servers for a fee. Either scheme could suffer from latency issues and bandwidth bottlenecks, though.

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