“What is truly revolutionary is that the for the first time ever the hardware vendor (Google) is taking complete ownership and control over the maintenance of the operating system. Local users (or even domain administrators) are not responsible for installing service packs, malware filtering, disk management, or driver updates. It’s a sealed system that is cryptographically signed to ensure a verified and trusted boot process.”
This is a major feature of thin clients. There’s less for the end user to do to actually use the machine. It works very well for all of use using mostly web servers to actually do stuff. It’s still not the best for content-generators but the world is a write-once, read-often kind of place. For businesses and organizations large and small seeking to increase performance/dollar, this could be just the thing. Expect M$ never to have monopoly in this space.
It’s still a FLOSS world on the client and lots of FLOSS is used on the servers but it’s not happening in Google’s data-centres. What’s the point of opening the code when none of us can compete on price/performance with Google? It comes down to trust. If you trust Google, you get cheaper/faster IT. If you don’t, you can still build your own infrastructure with lower performance and higher cost. In the past many trusted M$ and agreed to slavery. At least Google seems a benevolent monopolist in comparison. If that changes, the world can still make its own software and share but what about data-centres? Will society create shared data-centres, cutting out the likes of Google? I don’t see it in the short term.