Google Chrome OS Success May Be Dampened By Silverlight
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Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet is proposing an interesting idea about what’s going to happen once Google releases its Chrome OS, and it’s different than what most people are predicting. She thinks Chrome won’t look so great once it takes the stage in late 2010.
Why? Firstly, the Google Chrome OS is optimized to run on netbooks as an “extension to Chrome,” the browser by Google. It’s meant to fully integrate Web apps with the desktop, improving the user experience.
However, Microsoft has its own extension to web browsers, one that attacks IE, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome in one fell swoop – Microsoft Silverlight. Silverlight 4 is coming out in mid-2012, and adds support for data binding, enterprise networking, and printing. All of this is meant to appeal to not only bread and butter consumers but enterprise app users as well.
Furthermore, Foley says sources told her Silverlight is going to merge with the Windows Presentation Foundation programming model:
“Now that the two share the same compiled assemblies, tools and the like, that idea isn’t really so far-fetched. Until that happens, Microsoft plans to continue to offer both WPF and Silverlight, steering developers of more complex, resource-intensive applications toward WPF and Web-centric app developers toward Silverlight.”
On the other hand, Google execs have made no comment about whether Silverlight will be able to work on the Chrome OS, prompting Foley to imagine that Google sees Silverlight as “more foe than friend of the Chrome OS.”
So, what’s the point of all this? Foley believes that, despite the fact that Silverlight isn’t an OS, the Google Chrome operating system is starting to look a lot like a glorified browser. While Silverlight can run on PCs and phones in the near future, Google Chrome is “a dedicated Linux-based netbook OS that will only work with certain predesignated peripherals.”
Chrome OS may end up being more of a Silverlight competitor than a Windows one, if what Foley says is true, which should certainly dampen some predictions of its raging success.