Chrome OS for Graphic Designers?

Published on Nov 20th, 2009 by Jeff Yerkey

google-chrome-1The big news this week about Google unveiling its new Chrome OS has all the tech pundits trying to read the tea leaves of personal computing’s future. If you haven’t heard, Chrome OS is a very lightweight operating system from the search giant that will divinely drop all of its OS, programs and your documents down from “the Cloud.” My hero John Gruber at Daring Fireball today wrote:

“The idea of a computer that does a lot less — leaving out even things you consider essential, because you can still do those things on your other, primary computer — is liberating. That’s the opportunity, and that’s the idea behind Chrome OS and Litl and even Android and iPhone OS.”

He goes on to make the analogy that instead of having two cars, maybe you need a car and a bicycle. That is, a big day-to-day real computer and a small, lightweight Chrome OS netbook that you can take anywhere without fear of losing your data or hassling with constant program upgrades.

Sounds neat. Especially if you don’t need to get any real work done.

But I am a graphic designer. I spend my days on a Mac Pro tower with two 1-terabyte drives, 8 gigs of RAM and Adobe Creative Suite 4. Will I be able to edit a 40MB corporate identity image on Chrome Photoshop? Or tweak that custom animation in Chrome Illustrator and then import it into to Chrome Flash?

And how about when I save that 40MB image file back up to the cloud 4 – 5 times an hour on a 250kBps/up data rate line from that hotel in Cincinnati? I may want to think twice before hitting that command-S!

Don’t get me wrong, there is a market for netbooks. They are cute and adorable and you can order a Vivienne Tam one. But I think we designers, photographers, sound designers and video producers will need to keep lugging our MacBooks well into 2011.