It was reported late last week in a blurb that Google security Engineer Will Drewry had some pretty good dirt to dish about Chrome OS and its plan for the business market with a business machine due in 2011. Up until this time, there wasn’t much being said regarding Google’s plans for enterprise other than the fact that Docs is available and there are companies actively integrating it into offices around the world. But at the World Mobile Congress last week CEO Eric Schmidt was asked during his presentation what the future revenue growth areas for the company were going to be.
Without hesitation, he said the enterprise market.
For the time being, Google is only making a slow amount of headway in providing software solutions for businesses. But the early adopters that have made the switch from Microsoft’s Office over to Google Apps are seeing benefits. Google has been amenable to companies about making changes to the software, often times even on the fly. And at $50 per user, even a larger organization like Genentech has decided to make the switch. Even the popular Linux operating system, Ubuntu, comes with Google Apps as standard instead of OpenOffice.
But Google for the enterprise market is still an early adoption technology. It has the potential to take off but expect to see companies that like to take risks to get involved first. Also, small and mid-size companies would be able to see a switch have a more immediate impact over conglomerates.
Integration companies that consult with businesses on technology such as Google Apps find that a Chrome OS for business would prove to be a solid IT decisions. Jim McNelis, CEO of Dito LLC, which provides Google business solutions and migrations from Microsoft and Lotus products was upbeat when asked about an operating system that is specific for corporate use.
“I think it’s great. Chrome OS will increase the adoption of Google Apps across the board by providing a robust platform built for Google’s web applications”, said McNelis. He also expects an offline solution for situations where network connectivity is absent. “Presumably, there will be native Google Apps and complete offline sync, not to mention other tight integrations yet unseen.”
Native Google Apps? I’m getting the sense that much like Microsoft’s mutli-tiered operating system solutions (Windows Starter, Professional, etc) Google will have different flavors of Chrome OS that all could possibly have different hardware specifications. The reason I think this is that a netbook for surfing a web that is ever more interactive has different technical requirements than a tablet or a managed thin client strictly for business use.
Regardless of strategy, Google knows that captivating the corporate market is going to prove profitable. Many business users simply do not have a need for Windows, and administrators pretty much always have to lock down features on the system in order to keep the computing environment from becoming compromised.
Instead of fitting a square peg in a round hole Chrome OS can step in, be compliant with security policies and ready to deploy, most likely at a competitive price when comparing other enterprise options.
And just like the popular app markets for mobile phones, the most profitable applications will be developed for the business user. Why? Because in business, if an app is useful there is a profit incentive to pay good money for it. If it help peoples be more productive or effective on the job there are big bucks that will be paid out by companies.
You can take a look at Techrepublic’s top 10 business apps for the mobile market right here to get an idea what types are popular and how much they go for.