Migrating from Windows 7 to Chrome OS: A Comparative Analysis for End-Users

Topics: Operating system, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Pages: 5 (2108 words) Published: April 14, 2013

Migrating from Windows 7 to Chrome OS: A Comparative Analysis for End-Users

Jesse A. Ruler

Davenport University

Migrating from Windows 7 to Chrome OS: A Comparative Analysis for End-Users

Since the 1990s, Microsoft Windows operating systems have remained a dominant force in the world of computing in both personal and professional environments. Although other operating systems (OS), like Linux and Apple’s iOS, have also coexisted with Windows for quite some time, Windows has managed to remain the leading OS of choice, and by a very large margin. According to statistics gathered by W3Counter.com dating back to October of 2007, the estimated percentage of PCs worldwide that were running Windows-based operating systems was around 94.09%. Only recently has this number begun to noticeably shrink; as of October 2011, the percentage has fallen to around 80.21%. But what does this mean? These statistics are one small sign of many that the world of personal computing is beginning to break out of a decades-old mold which has been largely shaped by Microsoft. With the recent surge in popularity of the “cloud” (a.k.a, the Internet), more-and-more of what is done on PCs is being redesigned to run on nothing more than a simple web browser. As everything done on most personal computers continues to move from separate, locally-installed programs, into web-based applications that can be run within web browsers, is there really a need for end-users to have more software installed on their PCs than a web browser alone? Or is the capability of a fully web-based environment not yet suitable for everyone? While cloud computing may be a quickly rising trend, life in a web-only environment may not yet be a perfect fit for everyone. For end-users considering the move from a more familiar Windows-based environment, to one such as Google’s Chrome OS, there are fundamental differences between the systems that ought to be considered before choosing one platform over the other as a primary operating system.


While there are many components unique to each end-user’s particular needs, the areas covered in this research will focus on 4 key areas that are important to most people in terms of everyday use. These areas include hardware support, productivity software, entertainment, and security. Considering the pros and cons of both Windows 7 and Chrome OS within each category is important for end-users to consider before deciding to switch. Hardware Support

To begin with, there is no other aspect that is more important to end-users than the physical devices used to interface with the virtual elements that combine to create the complete end-user experience. The hardware is important, as without having a sound piece of equipment, all the other pieces of computing are not possible. With that said, the variety of out-of-box hardware available for both Windows 7 and Chrome OS are worth evaluating.

Being the established OS of choice, Windows 7 comes with an ample variety of traditional options when it comes to desktop or laptop PC’s. Nearly all come installed with Windows 7, and given the broad range, most end-users should have little difficulty finding a desktop, or laptop, or whatever gadget that suits their particular preferences (Branscombe). All of the major hardware manufacturers, such as Dell, HP, and Toshiba, currently build computers that come installed with Windows 7.

With Chrome OS being very new to the market, the out-of-box hardware options are a bit more limited. In December 2010, Google produced 60,000 prototypes of their “Chromebook,” laptop called the Cr-48. These were not made available to the public market, and were used as testing units for chosen focus users (Wikipedia). As of June 2011, there are now 2 other Chromebook models available on the market: The Series 5, by...

References: to this source were used for general statistics, and information regarding the Windows 7 operating system in general.
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