Google demos Linux-based open-source Web-dependent Chrome OS

MacMall 96 Hour Apple Sale“Google has unveiled its Chrome OS. In a webcast launch at the company’s California headquarters today, Sundar Pichai, vice-president of product management, said that the Linux-based operating system was fully open, ran applications only in its browser and stored all data in the cloud,” Rupert Goodwins reports for ZDNet UK.

“Speed, simplicity and security were the key components of the design, said Pichai. “It takes seven seconds to boot to the login, and three seconds to hit an application. We’re working very hard to make that faster.” All applications are web applications, he said, with the browser running each in an tab isolated from other applications and the system, and there was nothing for users to install or maintain,” Goodwins reports. “‘All Chrome OS data is in the cloud,’ Pichai said.”

“In the demonstration of the operating system, applications ran in tabs along the top of the browser component, could also be opened in panes and minimised. “Any web app is a Chrome OS App”, said Pichai: an Excel spreadsheet was shown running in Windows Live,” Goodwins reports. “Media and games can be played offline, and Chrome OS would support HTML 5’s offline capabilities, he said, but it was primarily designed for online use.”

Goodwins reports, “Chrome OS will run on both x86 and ARM chips, but to be a Chrome OS netbook the device would need to use hardware approved by Google. It will issue reference designs based on components, such as wireless interfaces, that the company knows to have proper driver support… Pichai said that Google was working with ‘all the top partners’ on commercial devices, and that the initial focus was entirely on netbooks with keyboards although there may be other form factors later.”

Full article here.

Google’s Chrome OS UI concept video:

Direct link to video via YouTube here.

MacDailyNews Take: Google’s quest to become “Microsoft, But Better” continues unabated.


  1. ..not *quite* timesharing of old, of course, since the executing code runs on the local machine, rather than on the host with the user using a dumb terminal, but the paradigm is not dissimilar.

  2. Yeah… whatever… this is an OLD CONCEPT of everything is on the MAINFRAME and you just have a DUMB TERMINAL to access it..!!!!

    I will never trust “the Internet” with all my personal stuff…. totally nuts….

    The Internet is the least secure place ever, nor do I trust Google with snooping through all my stuff to show me the right ads.

    AND what if the “Internet” is down???? U R TOAST

    1984 at its best…. BIG BROTHER is not only watching but OWNS ALL YOUR STUFF!!!

    Imagine a hoard of mindless drones depending on the BIG computer for everything.

    Never for me!

  3. I believe that the whole “cloud” thing is useful in limited situations. Like Google Maps, it is useless unless you have an reliable, fast internet connection. This kind of thing is a great fit for those people who, as the article eludes to, use netbooks, which already have limited hardware capability, and thus the only way to add function is through use of the “cloud”.

  4. Appealing to the lowest common denominator does not necessarily translate to intelligent use of the OS. To attain intelligent use of an OS requires a mixture of Hard drive, CD and cloud storage systems. (e.g MobileMe) Only then can you hope that the community using your product will develop software to augment and compliment your OS thus increasing your OS’s appeal. (e.g Apps) in relation to iPhone SDK.

  5. Nope. Don’t want. I want to keep my files private, my files accessible quickly, my music as mine, my browser history as mine, ad-nausium. It’s a long way off before you can get high end games and applications running off the internet. ChromeOS is going to be great for internet cafés and for people who want a cheap netbook. But it won’t serve as a full computer OS until we have atleast 5Gb direct internet connection with low contention ratio’s and low latency.

  6. a single security problem, and all of everyone’s individual data is everyone’s data.

    sorry – i trust no company, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Sun – no company to hold my data FOR me.

    Other People’s Hard Drives = they have your data and it can get out.

  7. For certain types of users (i.e. those with minimal needs and minimal content), this could work. But since it’s basically a web OS (see the mention about offline use not being the focus), how is this different from a mobile OS?

    As mobile devices (i.e. phones) become more powerful (hardware-wise) over the new few years, they’ll be the netbooks of the future. Then Google will have a dilemma: they’ll have split the market into Chrome users and Android users.

    Long-term, I don’t see this as a good strategy going forward. Google would have done much better to roll both OS strategies into one: a single web-based OS that would work for both mobile devices and as a desktop OS. That would be a huge market and could attract developers interested in hitting both.The way Google is doing this, it’s too split and confusing: develop for Chrome or Android?

    Google is really starting to resemble Microsoft: just throw a lot of darts on the wall and see what sticks. That’s unlike Apple, which actually has long-term strategies.

  8. I don’t like this concept, even though I find it a little bit interesting. They should do the Operating Systems out there more compact, simple, secure and efficient. I think Snow Leopard is going in the right way. I hope Mac OS 10.7 to be the lightest and fastest OS ever!

  9. I think this could be huge.

    You don’t want your important files in the cloud? Shouldn’t be problem – a drive for external local files will surely be possible.
    You’re not connected to the web? Shouldn’t be a problem – only need a setting for making local backups of all important files, which sync to the cloud when you get connected again.

    Could be that Google is about to frog-leap both Microsoft and Apple in the coming years, with this more “simple” OS.

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