The new Google Chrome OS has been getting a lot of attention recently. In short, it will be a light weight operating system for netbooks that rely on applications residing in the cloud, such as Google Docs. Nothing gets installed or updated on your machine. It's the complete opposite of traditional operating systems such as Windows.
So why is this such a big deal?
As Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management for Google has stated, "Every capability you want today [in native applications], in the future it will be written as a web application." The future of applications will be in the cloud. You're currently already using the cloud when you use web-based applications such as Gmail for email or Flickr to store photos. This is just the beginning as high profile applications like Microsoft Office are slowly migrating to the cloud as well.
By using applications online, you'll be able to access information anywhere from any device that has access to the internet. Dependency issues on specific machines at work or home will be a thing of the past. From an infrastructure point, the cloud can also be beneficial in areas such as cost, collaboration, maintenance and flexibility. However, these benefits also draw issues and concerns regarding the privacy and security of your data, since it is no longer locally managed and in your control.
As other applications and ideas continue to evolve in the cloud, the web will become an even more integral part of our daily lives. It will be interesting to see how Chrome OS will be adopted. It may not be the end all solution, but it's certainly heading toward the right direction of how we will be interacting with content and accessing information in the future.