Google on Tuesday said that it would release Google Chrome operating system in an “attempt to re-think what operating systems should be”. Naturally, the OS from Google will be open source and featuring just basic functionality. Potentially, Google’s OS may rival Microsoft Corp.’s entry-level operating systems, but without infrastructure, such competition may not end up with Google’s win.
The company itself said that Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year Google will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and Google is working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year.
Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS, the company stated. Google stressed that it is designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get end-user onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface of Google Chrome OS is said to be minimalistic, hence, it will not look like Microsoft Windows Vista/7 or Apple Mac OS.
“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,” a statement by Google reads.
The most important thing about Google Chrome OS is the fact that it would rely on Web-based applications, a completely different architecture that is currently offered by companies like Apple or Microsoft. Basically, Google Chrome OS is Google Chrome browser running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. Application developers will have to develop Internet-based apps to address Google Chrome OS as well as all the other platforms, including Windows, Mac and Linux.
Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the Web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems, explained Google. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.
Thanks to its Linux roots, Google Chrome OS may lack evident disadvantages of the Android: the lack of support by software, drivers, hardware, etc. However, without a strong support from commercial software developers, Google Chrome OS will hardly be able to compete head-to-head with Mac OS or Windows, at least, in the mid-term future.