All right, the new year is underway and rather than dwell on making lists of which rocked which category in 2009 – there are way too many categories now, forget the products – I would rather stick my neck out and make a bold/daft/reckless prediction for the best tech product of 2010.
Thanks to various manufacturers’ policies of announce-now-and-release-later, we already know that there are a number of high-profile products that will hit the stores in the new year. We are sure to get the Google phone any day now, the Apple tablet might just follow, and even if neither of them put in an appearance, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 almost certainly will. On the software side, we are expecting a new version of Win Mo and yet more flavours of Linux (and a Windows 7 service pack too, we bet), console lovers can look forward to a Project Knox-powered Xbox…in short, whatever 2010 will lack, it won’t be products. Heck, it might even throw up some new categories.
But the one product that I think will radically change tech as we know is going to be Google’s Chrome OS. The reason is
clear – it is the only product out there that I think is gunning to change the mainstream computing experience. Other products, for all their sales and media coverage, are mainly aimed at niches. Not everyone can dream of buying an iPhone or a Xbox 360, but heck, if the initial indications are anything to go by, most people will be able to get a far better computing experience through Chrome OS. Also, its interface threatens to redefine what we expect from an OS – booting up almost instantly and logging us into our favourite websites within seconds.
Yes, we are unlikely to get cutting edge gaming on it. Yep, we do not know how it will handle device drivers. Yes, yes, yes, we know that security in the cloud can get iffy and that almost all of Chrome’s apps will be cloud-based. But what we do know is that even in its current, severely limited form, Chrome works much faster than any OS out there and unlike most of them, has been designed to work with the Internet. It surely is not irrational to assume that the finished product will be a better one! Most importantly, Chrome is not going to come with a stiff price, and stiffer system requirements chart – this is an OS that has been designed for netbooks, for God’s sake.
In short, I am betting that we are going to remember 2010 most for the emergence of an OS that will make our computing experience faster without adding too much to our bills. An OS that will break down the barrier between the desktop and the Internet, blending each to the other. Chrome will make the network computer. ’nuff said!
Yep, you read it here. No, I was not intoxicated when I wrote it. You may say I am a dreamer, but as the great John Lennon (hats off, please, ladies and gents) said, I am not the only one.