If you thought, or indeed hoped, that the Google Chrome OS would be a thoroughly modern marvel running web apps only then you are about to be disappointed. It would appear that even the brave new future of the OS cannot escape from the legacy of Windows.
According to a Google software engineer, one Gary Kacmarcík, Chrome will support legacy Windows applications. In a Google Groups posting Kacmarcík writes that the "Chrome OS will not only be great platform for running modern web apps, but will also enable you to access legacy PC applications right within the browser" through the miracle, or curse depending upon your viewpoint, of chromoting.
Chromoting is best thought of as being a remote desktop application for a cloud computing powered device I guess. Here's that 'official' Gary Kacmarcík posting in full:
"We're adding new capabilities all the time. With this functionality (unofficially named "chromoting"), Chrome OS will not only be great platform for running modern web apps, but will also enable you to access legacy PC applications right within the browser. We'll have more details to share on chromoting in the coming months."
And there was me thinking that the Chrome OS had been designed to be a cloud-based thing, to run web apps without the overhead required by legacy software? So maybe the question, when it comes to running Windows software under Chrome at least, should not be how but rather why. C'mon people, do you really want to run legacy Windows apps on your shiny new Chrome-powered device?
I can't help but think that this is less a case of brave new world for Google and more a matter of being scared of Microsoft, or rather scared of not appealing to that legacy Microsoft-using market. If Google really wants to succeed with Chrome as an alternative OS then it needs, in my not so humble opinion, to make a clean break and not pander to the Windows apologists.