Google Chrome OS – Coming to Your Netbook


Just when you thought it was safe to assume that Google’s netbook OS would go to Android, Google drops a wtf-scatter-bomb and announces a Chrome OS. Seriously? Talk about left field. Initial skepticism will, most likely, be pretty heavy on this one. Google already has a perfectly good phone operating system that not only is growing daily in user base, but has been talked about being a netbook OS since its inception.

Chrome will be open source like its bigger brother Android, continuing my bewilderment about why they just didn’t stick with Android. And if all goes to plan we will see our first Chrome-based netbook released in the second half of 2010.

Although, I’m digging what they’re going for and how they’re going to accomplish it; so much so that I want to plagerize this paragraph for your reading pleasure:

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.

To have an entire OS boot up in seconds is quite the benchmark to set, but unsurprising in that it’s going to be a very barebones OS with most of the work being done, stored and modified in the Google Cloud. A very good move for the minimalist hardware nature of netbooks. It should just work? Where have I seen that before…

There is a lot to this new OS; so much so that I’m becoming a believer after rereading the article a few times while writing this article. I would check out the blog post in the following link to see what I mean.

[via Google Blogspot | Thanks, Devolio!]

Tyler Miller

MyTouch Accessories Galore!

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  1. will google chrome support the zynga poker site it keeps telling me it doesn’t support the texasholdem

  2. WTF is Google thinking ??? They have Android as a great platform to build a desktop OS with. Chrome Browser itself can’t get more than 0.1% of market and they think Chrome OS will be a hit ? I wouldn’t want my desktop to look like a browser… And imagine JavaScript becoming the langauage to write mission critical Apps ? Writing PhotoShop in JavaScript would be the silliest thing…This is so A$$ backwards and has FAIL written all over it… Want to know what are Google execs smoking these days ???

  3. Who’s talking about Photoshop? This is clearly intended for people who “spend most of their time on the web”. You should have read the article.

    By the time the OS is ready anyway, we should start seeing some interesting HTML5 apps: web workers, local cache… web clients will get much richer in a few years!

    And by the way, Chrome has already reached a 2% market share…

  4. Not if you count in HTML 5.0 and persistent connections bro… Moreover, you are only limited to HTML for display, heavy lifting can be done by anything else server-side at Google. I get where they are going, taking over M$-s business by playing the same game in a different pitch entirely. Next step will be google-clouded 3-d games in the cloud with the advent of fibreglass broadband, mark my words and then all you need is a basic workstation and a Google account. Scary actually!

  5. It’s not going to be a typical OS that installs to your hard drive. It will be more of a jumping point for Netbooks and computers designed to have little onboard resources and function mostly on cloud computing. All the Chrome OS versions will be cloud enabled according to CNN.

  6. Chrome actually has between 2-3% of the browser marketshare, and depending on where you get your info from, it’s already surpassed Opera and Safari.

    Photoshop actually already has a cloud version of its software, Photoshop Express, and it’s powerful enough for most users.

    As an Android game developer I’ll still be focusing on Android, but I’m glad to see Google try and push HTML 5 forward as I’m also a web developer. Will be interesting to see how much this changes things.

  7. This is not about apps or anything else. It’s about creating a very low level OS to run the Chrome browser and that’s pretty much it.

  8. Isn’t Android light enough to be able to do cloud computing ? Yes, you can do Html 5 on Android and also program in an Enterprise class language – Java. And yes I have used Photoshop Express – its a Flash app(not Html 5) and it sucks in every possible way. And if Chrome OS is going to support Flash, and Java, and HD Video and what not, its no longer a lightweight OS as claimed. Not counting Gmail, I am not gonna trust my Private Data to Clould – even if Google is hosting it. Oh BTW its 2009 and I can’t get Fiber in my major city in US. Imagine two-third of the world considers 512 kbps as broadband – which ironically is the best market for these cheap Netbooks. May be in 10 years time we have a market for such OS…

  9. Why don’t Google write a lightweight Android plug-in for Browsers along with Android OS for Netbooks. That way they can spread their Application Stack much faster and to a wider user base. Anyway I think Google is playing with the Cloud computing hype, and even if they do release it, it will be in perpetual Beta just like the rest of their Apps.

  10. btw not everyone has to run heavy applications such as the CS4 suite. most people just use the computer internet purposes therefore this OS would suit them. its not all about you

  11. Very little is still known at the moment about the Google Chrome OS but interesting points not covered in this post are that there will be a level of integration with Android and I would be very surprised if Android apps will not be compatible with the operating system.

    Also as I understand from the limited info around the interwebs this isn’t going to be purely cloud operating system, the reason I believe they won’t be using Android is that Android was specifically designed for handsets and smaller devices.

    Personally can’t wait for this to be launched and knowing Google there will be something magic in there that will make this completely viable to use, as long as it includes browser and is able to run Eclipse I’ll be happy =o)

    @Jason they have now actually taken most Google Apps (Gmail, Docs, Spreadsheet) etc from the Beta =o)

  12. I think you guys are overrating this Chrome OS thing. First off, other than Search and Google Earth/Map I haven’t seen anything compelling from Google. Mediocre, yes but out-of-charts no. Remember Orkut ? didn’t fly. Then OpenSocial, another mess. Now they are onto Wave. Google is like an insanely rich kid who dabbles in a lot of cool things but never really perfects it (except Search). They should first focus on Wave, Office, Android, O3D, etc and make them top of the line, then may be onto something as ambitious as an OS.

  13. Looking at the number of netbook users compared to users of other devices (Desktops, laptops, PDAs, and phones), I don’t see this doing any real damage to Microsoft. The OS may be fine (and even better than all alternatives) for netbooks, but it has no expansion potential to laptops or desktops. For those, I want driver support for my fancy hardware. I spend a significant amount of time online, but it’s not all I do, and that’s Chrome’s single purpose.

    You can see some of the mainstream response at http://www.newsy.com/videos/google_gears_up_for_os, but I question just how much mainstream impact this OS will really have (not to say it’s insignificant for netbook users. I expect it will be great for many of them).

  14. Darrick, the Chrome OS will be successful because it’s free, and Google is a recognized name. They can push it on two fronts:

    1. The manufacturers, because it’s a free OS it costs them less than Microsoft to put on a system while microsoft is like 50 dollars to put their OS on a system.

    2. The Consumer, Google is a recognized name and if they deliver a quality product that is easy, and quick, then they can adequately compete with the right marketing.

  15. Their approach is smart though.. They’ve first expanded their markets and after moderate success they are sliding into the OS industry by having their product on netbooks. first.

  16. “Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS…”

    Google Fanboys are out in full force ! It’s still a non existent operating system, and has yet to show anything other than a Blog Post about its future. Chrome OS focusing on speed, simplicity and security does not imply Linux/MS/Intel(moblin) etc cannot deliver in these areas ? It took Linux two decades to make it to Netbooks and it was wiped out by MS almost overnight. What magic will google bring in one year ? BTW Free does not make it great automagically.

  17. ChromeOS + GoogleApps = All your data are belong to us ;-)

  18. If the Chrome OS has the ability to run something like Java applications (not web applets, but local applications, kinda like Dalvik), and/or just run actual Android-Dalvik applications, then I could be interested.

    If it can be used like a splashtop OS (ie. just run Chrome OS for basics, and then hit a “boot my regular OS” to run beefier/regular applications), then I’d be interested in that.

    Add in the touch screen UI, screen rotation abilities, and possibly 3G support, and I’d love to see this on a convertible tablet netbook that has built-in 3G. That would be AWESOME.

    Though, at that point, it’s kind of “Android with a different browser, and a slightly different user interface”. But that’d be ok with me.

    But, without those things (Java and/or Dalvik, splashtop OS capabilities, touch screen UI, screen rotation, possibly 3G), I doubt I’d be very interested.

  19. software design on handsets are very much different from notebooks (memory constraint, power constraint, screen size, inputs…), so much that it warrants a complete redesign.

    ppl seem to forget that microsoft has two OS’s (windows mobile IS a different operating system). apple has two different OS’s (iphone does not run os x).

    so why are we making a big deal out of google’s second operating system?

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