Chromium OS Goes Open-Source
Article by George Norman
On 20 Nov 2009
This summer Google let the world know that it is working on a new operating system meant for the user that spends most of his time online. The operating system – aptly named Chrome OS because it is a natural extension of the Chrome web browser – would power anything from netbooks to desktop computers (eventually - netbooks first), would be fast, light and would connect the user to the web in just a few seconds.

Everything you do in Chrome OS is cloud-based: launch apps from the cloud, save data to the cloud and so on. Instead of installing and running applications locally, you just connect to the internet and they are available to you online. In the same manner, instead of saving data to your local hard drive, the data is stored to the cloud – this way you can access it from anywhere you want as long as you have access to the internet. If you have more questions about Chrome OS, check out this FAQ.


Chrome OS is not yet ready to be released, and we were not expecting it to be. After all, Google said it would open source the software later this year and it would release Chrome OS in the second half of 2010. The second half of 2010 is a long way away, but that later this year part is not. As of November 19th Google has open-sourced the Chrome OS project.

“We are open-sourcing the project as Chromium OS. We are doing this early, a year before Google Chrome OS will be ready for users, because we are eager to engage with partners, the open source community and developers. As with the Google Chrome browser, development will be done in the open from this point on. This means the code is free, accessible to anyone and open for contributions. The Chromium OS project includes our current code base, user interface experiments and some initial designs for ongoing development. This is the initial sketch and we will color it in over the course of the next year,” announced Caesar Sengupta, Group Product Manager and Matt Papakipos, Engineering Director.

The Chromium OS release that Google announced includes the following:

Tags: Google, Chrome, Browser, Chrome OS
About the author: George Norman
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