The Differences between Chrome OS and Chromium OS
Article by George Norman
On 04 Jan 2010
In the summer of 2009, Mountain View-based search engine giant Google announced that it plans to roll out an operating system called Chrome OS. The operating system, a natural extension of the Chrome browser, would serve the needs of the computer user that spends most of his time surfing the web (initially it will power small notebook PCs). Chrome OS would be safe, simple to use and safe – and it will be released in the second half of 2010.

In the autumn of 2009, Google open sourced Chrome OS as Chromium OS. The Chromium OS project, which is free and open to contributions, includes the current code base, user interface experiments and designs for ongoing development.


It is now early 2010 and ever since news of Chrome OS broke out and ever since Chromium OS went open source, a lot of people have been asking themselves one question: What is the difference between the two? To this question Google has provided a detailed answer. This detailed answer:

“Google Chrome OS is to Chromium OS what Google Chrome browser is to Chromium. Chromium OS is the open source project, used primarily by developers, with code that is available for anyone to checkout, modify and build their own version with. Meanwhile, Google Chrome OS is the Google product that OEMs will ship on Netbooks next year. Specifically, Google Chrome OS will run on specially optimized hardware in order to get enhanced performance and security. Chromium OS does not auto-update (so that we do not blow away any changes you may have made to the code) while Google Chrome OS will seamlessly auto-update so that users have the latest and greatest features and fixes. Google Chrome OS will be supported by Google and our partners, whereas Chromium OS is supported by the open source community, but they fundamentally share the same code base. Google Chrome OS also has some cool firmware features, verified boot and easy recovery, which require corresponding hardware changes and thus also don't work in Chromium OS builds.”

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