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Google Announces Chrome Operating System

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 43 comments

Just when you think all Google has up its sleeve is the removal of some beta labels, the company unveils its plans for an operating system based around its Chrome web browser.

After rethinking browsing, Google has decided to do the same thing with operating and late Tuesday the company announced that it was working on its own open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks.

Details are scant at the moment. We know that it will run on both ARM and x86 chips, and we know that we'll see netbooks running the software in the latter half of 2010 (Google says its already talking to partners). Because they're stripping everything down and going back to OS basics, users won't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. According to Google, "It should just work."

"The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel," writes Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management at Google. "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," he explains, adding that, "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."

For those of you wondering what this will mean for Android, Google assures that this is a completely separate project. The Chrome OS is created for people who spend most of their time online and is designed to power computers of all shapes and sizes, from netbooks to desktops. Google does concede that there are areas of the two that overlap but goes on to say that choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone.

Check out the full blog post about Chrome OS by clicking here.

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  • 13 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 8, 2009 3:41 PM
    that looks LIKE THE MOST EPIC

    POKEBALL

    EVER
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    sublifer , July 8, 2009 2:59 PM
    People do use netbooks while not connected to the internet... so what are people supposed to do with a ChromeOS netbook when they don't have an internet connection? It'd just be an over-sized paperweight.
  • 2 Hide
    doomtomb , July 8, 2009 3:04 PM
    Everything web-based: good for netbooks but not for more powerful laptops and desktops. What happens when your security is compromised because you foolishly did EVERYTHING over the web. What happens when your internet is down in your area? Your operating system stops working?

    We all know, this is good for competition and what-not but Google is interested in gaming and what-not. They just want a piece of the pie and Google is slowly taking over the world, one computer at a time.
  • -1 Hide
    doomtomb , July 8, 2009 3:05 PM
    Argh I need editing just like TH >_> I meant "Google is NOT interested in gaming"
  • 8 Hide
    Hanin33 , July 8, 2009 3:14 PM
    more players... more competition... some choice is better than no choice.
  • 7 Hide
    Netherscourge , July 8, 2009 3:19 PM
    Will it be free?
  • 2 Hide
    Cache , July 8, 2009 3:25 PM
    But will it run games? If I can't enjoy my PC to its fullest, I'll stick with what does--even if I have to pay Redmond through the nose for it.

    Still, I'm excited to see what options they will have for this, as netbooks are only the tip of the iceberg (a platform I expect them to expand from very quickly).
  • -4 Hide
    Upendra09 , July 8, 2009 3:25 PM
    if Apple got on this, they would dominate the market.

    As for google i like it, i would definately trust the OS, but would still stay with windows. if i got a new comp maybe i would use the chrome OS. The browser is awesome so the OS might be too.
  • 5 Hide
    cimtaurus , July 8, 2009 3:29 PM
    CacheBut will it run games? If I can't enjoy my PC to its fullest, I'll stick with what does--even if I have to pay Redmond through the nose for it. Still, I'm excited to see what options they will have for this, as netbooks are only the tip of the iceberg (a platform I expect them to expand from very quickly).

    Says open source...doesn't necessarily mean free but I would guess they advertise on your OS to make cash rather than charge you for it. Let's face it, the primary model that Google uses is ad based revenue so it wouldn't be a far stretch for them to ad base your OS.
  • 0 Hide
    cimtaurus , July 8, 2009 3:30 PM
    bah quoted wrong guy...meant to answer the question : will it be free?
  • 2 Hide
    lowguppy , July 8, 2009 3:31 PM
    Designed from the ground up... with the Linux kernel as the ground.

    An OS that doesn't load many services has advantages. I just doubt it will have an API that can do more than web-based gaming.

    I'm guessing it will have local apps that run using browser friendly code so that you can use it while not on the internet.

    Still, can't really judge it until we know more. I look forward to seeing it, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • 13 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 8, 2009 3:41 PM
    that looks LIKE THE MOST EPIC

    POKEBALL

    EVER
  • -2 Hide
    ktasley , July 8, 2009 3:49 PM
    Just a thought,

    who thinks that this is another step towards a fully inter-net based computing environment? and glocal culture?

    and who thinks that might be a really scary world? with limitless advantages
  • 2 Hide
    killerb255 , July 8, 2009 3:54 PM
    Maybe this could finally give Linux a decent amount of operating system marketshare. Google is a big name and can put a dent in the current Microsoft share.

    The reason I couldn't wholeheartedly recommend Linux to casual computer users is because it's not user-friendly enough for them. Granted it can be MADE to be (i.e.: Ubuntu), there are still certain things in Linux that can only be done through a terminal (mounting a flash drive, anyone?)

    If Chrome OS can be user-friendly enough for casual users, tweakable enough for geeks (which it should be--it's using a Linux kernel), and can run common apps without jumping through loops*, then we may have a winner!

    *: By "jumping through loops," I mean using Windows emulators, Wine, or substitute programs. Granted the substitutes may be acceptable (i.e.: GIMP), marketing that to the end user is like saying Dr. Thunder is just as good as Dr. Pepper.
  • 0 Hide
    bigbadbrad , July 8, 2009 3:58 PM
    doomtombWhat happens when your internet is down in your area? Your operating system stops working?


    "The Chrome OS is created for people who spend most of their time online"

    How are you going to check Facebook or send email when your internet is down?
  • 2 Hide
    Shadow703793 , July 8, 2009 4:13 PM
    So basically, this is just like another Linux distro. Distro's like these already exists, except by Google doing it more people are exposed (publicity) to it.

    Hopefully Google will be able to make this OS more user friendly to the average computer user. At the same time I hope Google doesn't change the distro (ie minimal command line,etc) too much as to alienate old Linux gurus.
  • 1 Hide
    jacobdrj , July 8, 2009 4:43 PM
    Why do this? What value will this add to the marketplace? Not criticizing, not rhetorical. Honest questions...

    Support (and inexpensive support) is key here.
  • 0 Hide
    sublifer , July 8, 2009 4:53 PM
    CacheBut will it run games? If I can't enjoy my PC to its fullest, I'll stick with what does--even if I have to pay Redmond through the nose for it. Still, I'm excited to see what options they will have for this, as netbooks are only the tip of the iceberg (a platform I expect them to expand from very quickly).

    it will play all the web-based games you can handle (no crysis Haha) I'm sure they'll have java support but you'll have to wait and see about flash support though.
  • 0 Hide
    sublifer , July 8, 2009 4:56 PM
    bigbadbrad"The Chrome OS is created for people who spend most of their time online"How are you going to check Facebook or send email when your internet is down?

    but what if you want to write a novel or read a pdf article while you have no internet connection? Like on a plane or train trip or on vacation in the islands?
  • 2 Hide
    damoisture , July 8, 2009 4:59 PM
    gOS, anyone?
    http://www.thinkgos.com/
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