Google announced today that it is going to launch a Google Chrome Operating System. There were rumors about Google OS from years and finally they announced that is was real. The Google Chrome OS will be launched as an open source operating system and will be available in second half of 2010, first it will make appearance in Netbooks and later may be extended to laptops and desktops.
We designed Google Chrome for people who live on the web â€” searching for information, checking email, catching up on the news, shopping or just staying in touch with friends. However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we’re announcing a new project that’s a natural extension of Google Chrome â€” the Google Chrome Operating System. It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.
Google Chrome OS is an extension to the Google Chrome Browser running on top of a Linux kernel. There are several Linux distros available, including the most user friendly Ubuntu but none of them could challenge Windows, will Chrome OS would do that?. Blogosphere is buzzing today about the news, some say that it is going to be a Windows killer.
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. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web.
Fine, now what about the desktop applications will they run like any other Linux distro out there, or there is no support for desktop applications. If it includes desktop applications then well and good otherwise it will be a fail. We use desktop applications along with Web, we not only use Gmail, Gtalk gadget but we also use, media players, photo editing applications, skype etc. What about these applications. Can u put all of your music collection in the cloud and always stay online. Netbooks may not be ideal solution to run heavy applications but atleast they should support apps like Skype. I never used a netbook so i donâ€™t know much, but I would expect people using netbooks want to do more things than just checking their email or using Google Docs. Google Docs is good for light usage, I do use them occassionally, but for work related things I never touch those apps. If you use Excel and Powerpoint heavily then you may feel Spreadsheets and Presentation are piece of crap.
If you forget about the netbooks Google Chrome OS is just useless for many users, as I said in the previous paragraph users want to do more than checking email or chatting in Meebo. And you canâ€™t stay online every moment, sure there are other solutions like Google Gears or HTML5 etc but they are not widely available and when they break no one really cares. Google customer support just sucks, who is going to provide support for a free operating system when some of the plugins like Gears or something else will fail, cross your fingers and wait for Google to fix it.
We can go on with the shortcoming of the Chrome OS, but the thing is we donâ€™t know how it is going to be, if it is better it will be good for everyone. But looking at the announcement it doesnâ€™t look like it is not a Windows killer.
Some relevant parts of the announcement
And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.
Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple â€” Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.
Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems.
We have a lot of work to do, and we’re definitely going to need a lot of help from the open source community to accomplish this vision.
What do you think about this announcement, Google Chrome OS is a real threat to Windows or is it another half baked product from Google with high ambitions and becomes history after few months?.
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I suspect that this is too important for Google to do half-baked… and since it’s meant not only for netbooks, but for laptops and desktop PCs as well, it will have to support (local) applications, not simply cloud-based ones.
That said, I think Chrome OS will have the look and feel of a browser-centric OS. The Chrome browser was just the first step; it is deliberate and no accident that Google is using the same name for the OS.
This is the kind of browser-centric OS/environment that Micro$oft has been fearing since the time they recognized the importance of the Internet.
The question I have is, how will Chrome OS differentiate itself compared to existing Linux distributions? Better performance, lower power consumption (including more robust hibernation and sleep), smaller memory footprint, faster boot times, larger base of supported applications in its repositories, improved stability, ease of use and/or configuration for non-geeks? If the main thing that Google brings to the party is just its brand power, it’ll certainly help increase Linux adoption amongst Windows users, but I doubt that many current Linux users (including myself) would be motivated to switch.
But if somehow Google manages to reduce power consumption for netbooks & laptops, make sleep & hibernation work reliabily across all of the hardware platforms Chrome OS supports, and/or makes installation of packages (including from source) so easy that anyone can do it, I’d want in.