Now some 15 years later after many flavours, Google now offer the option but not just a feature push, but on a slow, methodical gradual feature addition which has seen the progress from VOIP/IM chat into video, into group video into a public contact phone book (aka Google+) of today. Then into a rebrand and now just polishing to the lowest common denominator of user in userbility (I personaly prefered ealier Gmail and chat clients, but that's me and other quirky geeks I suspect).
So why is this big or important more too the point. Well If you view ChromeOS and its features to a modern revamp of the `dumb` terminal (that were not that dumb and could do Various terminal standards and on mainframes even form validation for numeric and alpha feilds and size of input back in the 80's.
Now duringt he 80's a company called SInclair released there next ZX Spectrum replacement which ICL modified and released the OPD (One Per Desk). This was featurewise in mahy respects what a user today wants in a terminal, even had phone built in, though no video back in the 300baud data days.
So too me I see ChromeOS and the slow but sure feature set grow, as the new terminal for the cloud - aka cluster/distributed mainframes we use thesedays. After all everything goes in circles, even technology approach. I know people can and do view webbrowsers as the terminal of our times and yes, many would be right, but if you step back a level you would want something with a little more, though not much more and a good interface and mobiles have opened up the whole touch-screen interfacing (was around in the 80's, just not as cheap and usable) and for many tasks, work very well. But bigger screens always will help upto a point and a real keyboard (although still stuck in a layout that seems like forcing some backwards outdated layout onto new people and children even today, think keyboard-religion). It is with that all in mind for me that make ChromeOS seems like the `dumb` terminal of our times and remember `dumb` terminals are never dumb.
Now when you can add via a MCU/bridge external VC setups and studios into a hangout is when Google will be truely and finaly solidifying a technology that serves our times and needs and if anything else. Least help stop the UN and other World leaders flying around the World to lecture us mear peons why the climate is in a mess and how we should do our part about carbon emisions, whilst they then fly to the poles for photo shoots to add onto there stories of why climate change is happening.
That is what Videoconferencing can truely offer and can, but its main issue has always been taking it serious compared to a jolly/plane flight/travel for so many mentality wise, again think the same mentalities that give us QWERTY keyboard-religions.
One day, but after over 15 years I hope this keeps the momentum and slow but sure approach google has taken so far into Videoconferencing/VOIP. Until then we will always have `dumb` terminals and mainframes be they touchscreen clients or clustered machines called a cloud.