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Online Innovation July 8th, 2009
It has been rumoured for a little while now that Google was working on developing an operating system, perhaps to compete with Microsoft’s well-known Windows OS or even the freely distributed Linux open source OS.
Yesterday officially in Google’s blog, Google Announces Chrome Operating System.
They call it a natural extension of the Google Chrome Internet Browser. Normally an OS provides the foundation, and utilities like a browser would be extended from there, so the statement seems little strange. In fact, it seems Google has done it backwards! Browser first and then an OS!
According to the announcement, the Chrome OS is light weight, open source and initially designed to be used for netbooks, which is planned for consumer usage in the second half of 2010.
"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. 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 — 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 mentions that they are talking to potential partners, so we will see how much impact this has and how much it unseats Microsoft’s foot-hold in the PC operating system market.
With Microsoft launching Bing recently, it will be very interesting to watch as the competition heats up between these two.
Microsoft powers up their Internet presence, while Google adds to their computer arsenal.
Seems like Microsoft and Google are increasingly operating under the same markets!
It seems at this point that the Chrome OS is only slated to be available on Netbooks. These are mini laptops that are mainly used just to surf the net. Like most products however, this will serve as a starting point to build software that works well for people. The initial release is expected in 2010. I would fully expect this to grow siginificantly (and for Microsoft to have a legitimate competitor) by 2012.