Google announces Google Chrome Operating System

Mac mini - More Mac per square inch“It’s been an exciting nine months since we launched the Google Chrome browser. Already, over 30 million people use it regularly. 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,” Sundar Pichai, Google VP Product Management and Linus Upson, Google Engineering Director, report via The Official Google Blog.

“Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we’re already talking to partners about the project, and we’ll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve,” Pichai and Upson report.

“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,” Pichai and Upson report. “It should just work.”

MacDailyNews Take: We already have an OS that just works. It’s called Mac OS X. And it even runs real apps, too; not just web apps. Cue the calls for Apple to release OS X for generic PCs in 3,2,1…

Pichai and Upson continue, “Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.”

“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,” Pichai and Upson report. “While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.”

“We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear — computers need to get better,” Pichai and Upson report.

MacDailyNews Take: Computers already are better, you just have to be smart enough to Get a Mac.

Pichai and Upson continue, “People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up. They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them. They want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files. Even more importantly, they don’t want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates. And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet.”

“We have a lot of work to do, and we’re definitely going to need a lot of help from the open source community to accomplish this vision,” Pichai and Upson report. “We’re excited for what’s to come and we hope you are too. Stay tuned for more updates in the fall and have a great summer.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Anything that further damages Microsoft’s stifling grip on the majority of personal computers is A Good Thing™ in our book. However, as Mac users, we already have the superior computing experience that Google sounds like they’re trying to deliver, so we have little use for an embryonic, unproven OS running on a network computer that’s trying to deliver but a subset of what we already have. Google’s trying to bring a more Mac-like experience to the Windows sufferers when Macs already exist. We’re not big on reinventing the wheel. It’s Android all over again; just get an iPhone already. (You’ll even have apps.)

Again, some will ask, “Who needs another poor man’s Mac? Why doesn’t Apple just release OS X Snow Leopard for generic PCs?” Of course, it’s not quite that easy (supporting reams of often shoddy hardware configurations is a nightmare, just ask Microsoft), but Apple could do it correctly by working with select PC box assemblers to license OS X for Apple-certified hardware that maintains quality levels. Certainly, the PC box assemblers would stampede over each other for the chance to license OS X for their hardware.

Apple has long had enough revenue streams from other products to take whatever hit to Mac hardware sales might occur. Plus, there might not even be a decline as expansion of the Mac platform might actually increase Apple’s Mac sales as the great unwashed awaken to the painfully obvious fact that A Life Without Walls Precludes the Need for Windows.

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