December 06, 2010, 12:05 PM — Tomorrow is the big day for the long-awaited Chrome OS as sources are suggesting that Google will unveil its netbook-only OS at the Chrome event on December 7 in San Francisco.
Rumors of the OS's unveiling -- and the possibility of a Google-branded netbook -- have been quashed by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who claims Chrome OS won't be finished for at least a couple more months, but Engadget reports that a Chrome-powered netbook (Chromebook) will, in fact, be revealed tomorrow.
The future of the netbook is wildly uncertain. Does the Chrome OS and the Chromebook stand a chance? Here are three omens of certain failure -- and three reasons it can succeed.
The Failure of Chrome OS
Wake Up: Netbooks are Dead
One question for Google: Have you been sleeping for the past year? Aren't you aware that netbooks are essentially dead?
Since the rise of the tablet -- especially Apple's nearly unbeatable iPad -- netbook sales have dropped to embarrassing lows. They're selling in the negatives ; something I didn't even know was possible. Quite simply, tablets are the future of personal mobile computing, and Google itself is pouring a lot of its resources into bolstering Android as a tablet OS.
If Google eventually decides to push Chrome OS into the tablet sphere, it will begin to eat into its own Android profits and could bring both operating systems crashing down.
Useless without Internet Connection
Chrome's Web-based OS -- while not the first on the market -- is a progressive idea that taps into consumers' increasingly cloud-reliant operations. While a Chromebook wouldn't be entirely dependent on the Web, most of its functionality would require an Internet connection.
Therefore, a Chromebook, in order to be useful at all, will need a built-in 3G or 4G connection as well as Wi-Fi to ensure road warriors can use it most of the time. Emphasis on most. But what about on an airplane? Or when you're rambling through the deep disconnected woods of Pennsylvania?