Chrome OS: a giant leap for open source software?

Microsoft Trabant

Some argue that Google Chrome OS is a great stride forward for the open source community. Others are afraid that maybe we´re just exchanging the era of Microsoft with the era of Google, making it even harder for open source software to compete with big corporations.

I heard this college professor on the radio a while ago who was talking about Microsoft. He said “What if you got your dream job, with the best possible bonus system, pension, dental plan, the works. Only thing is, you have to come to work driving a Trabant. No negotiating, if you want to work here, you will drive a Trabant.”

He went on to describe that everyone would be saying that´s ridiculous, right? But that, in a way, having to work with Windows is the same thing. Everybody does it, not because it´s the best OS, but because companies take the easiest way out.

Now Google chrome does sound better on paper. I´ve been trying it for a while and it has many advantages. However, Google will probably start pushing its own apps. So Google docs rather than OpenOffice, Gmail rather than open source apps like Thunderbird. That way the open source community will not benefit from Google Chrome OS at all and in the end probably loose out against almighty Google.