Chrome OS hijacks Windows

Google have demonstrated a business nous to add to their reputation for innovation wizadry.  Simply put, they’ve found a way to hijack Windows, and all you have to do is download Google Chrome Canary, here to do it.

For those of you who don’t know, Canary is effectively Google’s Chrome browser of tomorrow. It shows the features which they’re thinking about releasing.    Canary has plenty of beta functionality to keep everybosy interested.

Being Google it’s, of course, free.

So, download Canary, add whatever apps you want from the app store, and you’re off.  If you have a Google account, and you sign in, and the browser will download your apps and settings for you.

Now comes the fun part, click on the menu icon, then click on ‘Relaunch Chrome in Chrome OS mode’.

You’ll get a little start menu next to your Windows start menu.  Like any start, it’ll contain all of your apps, in a single click.  Best of all, this travels with you, so any computer you use will reflect your apps and settings as on as you log in.

In one step, Google has turned every Windows PC into a Chromebook.  The hope is clearly we all use Chrome apps and are so enthralled that we migrate to Chromebooks permanently.  Inevitably, that will then allow Google to sell more ads.

whoops, who snatched my image?

Chrome start bar in Windows

If you’re an individual, working on your home PC, you can stop reading here.  Enjoy the new toy.

If you’re looking at this during work (tut tut), then read on, because this new feature represents a huge problem for businesses.

The scenario is as follows, you download the new features, you essentially turn any computer you work on into a Chromebook.  Lovely.

But if you’re a security administrator for a living, you’ve just lost a huge amount of control over what your coworkers are doing with the hardware that you so lovingly provided them.  Your coworkers are effectively running their own computer.  No more stopping them installling apps, because you can’t, you’ve been made redundant.

In this age of cloud apps, that means you’ve lost control.

Sure, many of the apps need an internet connection, and in the office at least, you can control that through firewalls etc.  Here’s the thing, many apps don’t need a permanent connection.  Overall, it’s a losing battle.

So, well done Google, you’ve given everybody a great way to avoid work and terrified corporate IT security.  We’re going to make some popcorn and watch!