Friday, July 10, 2009

Google Chrome OS Rolls in Summer 2010

Just as Microsoft was poised to continue its netbook dominance with Windows 7, Google announces an operating system of its own, Google Chrome OS, which will run on both x86 and ARM systems.

The emphasis of the OS is the same as what netbooks were originally designed for: light, Web-based computing. Obviously, Windows XP wasn't designed for such a scenario, but its relative light weight, low cost, and familiarity have made it a big hit with netbook buyers.

Google's new open-source OS will almost certainly beat XP and Windows 7 on cost, and will be lighter weight, but there's no telling how it will be to actually use—and the failure of Linux on netbooks shows that people want to be able to use their netbook OS right out of the box.

Google's blog entry about the OS says:
"The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the Web. 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."

According to Google, the Chrome OS runs "within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel," and will eventually run on everything from netbooks to full desktop PCs. That's the key differentiator between the full-blown Chrome OS and Google's Android, which will start appearing in netbooks in the next few months (Google says there will be areas of overlap for the two operating systems, netbooks being the main one).

From a developer standpoint, the Chrome OS is good news, because there's basically no new platform to write for—any browser-based app will work with Chrome, just as it will in any browser on any OS.

Google says it is already talking with "multiple OEMs," and that we can expect Chrome netbooks to hit store shelves in the second half of 2010—yup, you've got a year to wait. Will you have Win7 on your netbook by then?

from PC

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