Through a feature dubbed "chromoting"
Google has bold plans for Chrome OS: it wants to build an operating system that relies solely on web applications. This strict requirement means that the only native app in Chrome OS is the Chrome browser itself. Even things like printing will be handled in the cloud. Still, there are plenty of desktop apps today that don’t have an equivalent in the cloud. It now looks like Google has an answer to that issue as well through a technology dubbed tentatively “chromoting.”
Through this feature, users will be able to access applications that run remotely on Windows, Mac or Linux machines from within the Chrome browser. In a sense, it’s similar to the way remote desktop services work, though the focus, it seems, will be on single applications rather than the entire desktop.
The Register was able to piece together the details of this feature. So far, the only semi-official confirmation and explanation for the tool comes from a Google engineer, Gary Kačmarčík , who told a developer in an email: "We're adding new capabilities all the time. With this functionality (unofficially named "chromoting"), Chrome OS will not only be [a] 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."
From the looks of it, Chrome OS users will be able to use this to connect to applications running on their home PCs. It’s an interesting idea and one that solves the issue with application support, but some are wondering if Google isn’t overshooting with chromoting.
Chrome OS, as it stands, is designed for netbook PCs. These devices are small, typically with a 10-inch screen and a small keyboard. They’re great for mobility but not so great for having any actual work done. However, Chrome OS will eventually end up on other devices, tablets for example. A tablet acting as a kind of thin client for more demanding apps is an interesting case for chromoting.
Still, any remote connection is going to add latency to the controls, which will make applications that require precision, things like Photoshop, unusable. But these are just the kind of apps that can’t be replicated in the cloud just yet. Even so, there are apps, which don’t have this issue and being able to access them on your light, Chrome OS-powered tablet from your couch sounds pretty good.
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