Google has recently announced that it is doing some interesting arithmetic, that is Google Chrome (the Web browser) plus Linux equals only Google Chrome. While I find the math somewhat suspect, I understand their goal. Google wants to unseat Microsoft as the primary on-ramp to web-based or cloud computing applications. Can the company's strategy work?
Well, the answer is a somewhat weak "yes." If, and only if, an individual's entire computing experience can be delivered from the 'net, Google's software combined with industry standard devices could be an acceptable on-ramp.
If the computing experience requires access when disconnected from the 'net, Google's approach would only be marginally acceptable. If an individual is hooked on personal productivity software, personal financial software, media players, and does everything from mind mapping to writing music, software from quite a number of other suppliers would be a necessary add on. Google's Chrome (the operating system) appears at first glance not to be a friendly place for other software suppliers unless they are able to reproduce their applications using Chrome APIs and development tools Google supplies.
I'm not sure that Google's math will add up to an overwhelming success in replacing Windows, Mac OS and/or Linux as the operating system for on-ramp devices.