This week's announcement of an entirely web-based operating system in Google Chrome OS has sparked a lot of discussion. Google's strategy for now seems to be to invade the netbook space, an area where an offering like Chrome OS could do well. Netbooks, by their very nature (and name) are designed around internet use and there are very few day to day activities that you can't do in the "cloud." The unanswered question is where google will go with this product after netbooks. They have alluded to branching into the desktop market but there are still a number of areas where a purely internet based OS won't work, for now.
Since reading about C.O.S. I have been wondering what market opportunities are out there if suddenly the web becomes the operating system. What areas of computing still demand a rich desktop environment over a web application and what could be done to move past that. A few things came to mind.
The next area of computing that came to mind is a bit more consumer oriented - music. Yes Pandora rocks. So does Last.FM, but their service isn't really the same as say iTunes. In order for the web to become THE computing platform we would need a hosted service where you could listen to your music library, make playlists and browse new music. Also... and here's the fun part... we have to figure out how to sync this to an iPhone / iPod / Zune / whatever.
The last, and possibly most obvious one, is gaming. A service like OnLive would help but who knows when that will be out.
So what other areas of computing currently need a traditional OS?