Google Enters the OS Game, Announces Google Chrome Operating System
Article by George Norman
On 08 Jul 2009
Nine months ago, the Mountain View search engine giant took on the web browser world by launching the Google Chrome - Chrome 2.0 being the version that is currently served as a stable browser for people all over the world to use. Now Google has announced that it plans to move forward with the development of the browser, and I am not talking about Chrome 3.0 which has recently been updated on the dev channel. No, Google has officially announced that it plans to turn Chrome into an operating system (OS).

“We designed Google Chrome for people who live on the web — searching for information, checking email, catching up on the news, shopping or just staying in touch with friends. However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be,” explained Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management and Linus Upson, Engineering Director.


You can expect to see Google Chrome OS in the second half of 2010, when it will be used to power netbooks. At least that is what Google plans to do: open-source the code of the OS later this year, develop a lightweight operating system to power netbooks, make netbooks powered by Google Chrome OS available to consumers next year. In this regard Google is already talking to partners and OEMs about bringing out Chrome OS-powered machines and will soon start working with the open-source community as well to see how to properly develop the OS.

The overall goal is to come up with an operating system that is safe, simple to use, and last but not least, fast. You will be able to use Google Chrome on x86 (32-bit) processors and ARM chips.

“We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds,” added Pichai and Upson. “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.”

What about Google’s already in place OS, the Android? According to the Mountain View-based company, the two operating systems are separate from one another. The Android OS has been developed with the goal of powering smartphone, set-top boxes and even netbooks. Google Chrome OS on the other hand is being developed for the web-centric user that spends most of his or her time online; these people use anything from netbooks, laptops and even desktop systems. It is true that in some areas the two operating systems might step on each others toes, but Google believes that giving the user the benefit of choice will “drive innovation for the benefit of everyone.”

Tags: Google, Chrome, Google Chrome OS, Operating System
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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