Google Chrome OS Sets Off Customer Experience War

Google recently created quite a stir when it introduced its new operating system (OS), Chrome OS. Here’s how Google describes its new OS:

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds.

My take: Will Chrome OS destroy Microsoft? No. Will Chrome shake up the PC market? Yes; especially when it comes to customer experience. Here are a few lessons that Microsoft and others can learn from Google’s announcement:

  • Ultrasimplicity is powerful. Most companies compete by adding features to their products. As a result, offerings (like PC operating systems) get bloated beyond the needs of large segments of customers. That’s why there are many opportunities for radically simplified offerings. This approach, which I call Ultrasimplicity, is one of five disruptive customer experience strategies.
  • PCs are just about passé. The world of large desktop and laptop PCs is past its prime. Computing will increasingly happen on smaller, networked devices like iPhones, Kindles, and netbooks. These portable computing devices will need to be designed like fashion accessories and provide near immediate access to functionality.
  • Unmet customer needs are gold. Companies should assume that they aren’t meeting customer needs. With this perspective, firms will continuously hunt for those unmet needs and actively cannibalize their existing products before their competitors do. That’s why one of the principles of Experience-Based Differentiation is Obsess about customer needs, not product features.

The bottom line: Chrome OS will refocus the “computer industry” on customer experience

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

9 thoughts on “Google Chrome OS Sets Off Customer Experience War”

  1. Yes, I too liked the emphasis on speed and simplicity – a machine that boots up in a matter of seconds would surely be a winner.

    The Chrome browser is quickly gaining market share on the same ticket – no themes or skins, just a really quick, well-designed browser.

    My only reservation would be the reliance on online storage and editing of documents. I use Google Docs as often as possible, but I think most users are more comfortable with something on their device.

  2. Though I agree that computing is moving more and more towards small devices like the iPhone and Kindle, you must also consider the need for large, HD experiences.

    As much as mobile computing is growing, so is online video and immersive online experiences, and, quite frankly, I’m not satisfied having these experiences on an iPhone or Netbook, especially when I am sitting in front of my large HDTV.

    Of course, perhaps I just answered my own question… as a networked HDTV is likely the solution.

  3. I love my windows machine for development but also I like to booting up a mac when I just need to look something up. I also love firefox for development and the tools but for pure fast web surfing Chrome is beautiful, better than Safari, though often less supported. I will be checking Chrome OS out.

    Leon – Yes lots of users are more comfortable storage on their own device like my favorites the A:\ or flash drive.

    Oh I hate work share drives email it or put it on the web.

  4. I myself think google chrome will be great for netbooks, which is it’s purpose as far as I know, since it’s going to be a core internet surfer.

    I did hear that google chrome collects a lot of information about users’ internet surfing, however…

    1. Social Phobia Blog: Can I call you SPB for short? 🙂 If I were to design an operating system around the current usage of computers, then it would likely be highly optimized around the Internet experience. So Chrome OS makes sense in that regard. As for the collecting of personal information, I’m not sure that’s necessarily all bad. It depends on what they do with it. Using knowledge about people’s activities to deliver a more tailored experience seems like goodness. Profiling individuals and sharing that information with advertisers or other organizations doesn’t seem quite as good. Hopefully they’ll stick with the former and stay away from the latter. Thanks for joining the conversation.

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