Google plans its own "Chrome" operating system

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Arguing that today's most popular computer operating systems were designed in a age that preceded the worldwide web, Google said Wednesday it plans to release its own OS for web junkies that redefines "what operating systems should be."



Described as a natural extension of its relatively new Google Chrome browser, Chrome OS is being developed as a fast and lightweight operating system that will boot quickly and get users "onto the web in a few seconds."



Like its Android operating software for mobile phones, Google said it plans to open Chrome OS's code a bit later this year to allow the community of open-source developers to help shape and mold the new software.



The Mountain View, Calif.-based company said it plans to deploy Chrome OS initially for tiny notebooks called netbooks, with the first such devices running the new software expected to hit the market during the second half of 2010.



Since Chrome OS will run on both x86 and ARM chips, versions of the software that will function on full-fledged notebooks and desktop systems are also part of Google's forward looking plans.



The search giant describes the system's architecture as "simple," consisting of Google Chrome running within a new, minimal windowing system atop a Linux kernel that's designed to stay out of a user's way.



"We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear -- computers need to get better," Google said. "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."



Developers looking to author applications for Chrome OS will be able to do so using standard web technologies, and all existing web-based applications should also run on the software. Similarly, any application written for Chrome OS will also run in any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux.



Google is also placing an emphasis on security, and claims that it's "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."



Chrome OS won't require extensive configuration or the need for constant software updates, the company added. It also promises to make users' data accessible to them "wherever they are" so they "don't have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 107
    rmcelligrmcellig Posts: 2member
    I have been dreaming of this type of OS for years. Something that is fast reliable, secure and above all else, a paradigm shift from the past. I have been a dedicated Mac user since 1988. This new OS from Google looks very promising. Bring it on!!!!
  • Reply 2 of 107
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Oh please....
  • Reply 3 of 107
    2 cents2 cents Posts: 307member
    That's great but I make my living using InDesign, Quark and Photoshop. Then there are all the other ancillary apps like FileMaker and tens of others, which help me run my life and business. And while I think google is great, their current apps, although certainly welcome (mostly because they are free) they are not killer by any means. In fact, I am unimpressed by quite a few of them. So, color me unconvinced.



    Of course 20 years from now, this may all change but 20 years from now, google may have gone the way of the buggy whip.
  • Reply 4 of 107
    javacowboyjavacowboy Posts: 820member
    What will be key for this new OS is whether they can work out deals with OEM's to pre-install it. People don't buy operating systems. They buy computers with OS's installed on it. This is why Windows and OS X has succeeded where Linux has largely (but not completely) failed.



    Despite Microsoft's lock on the conventional non-Apple PC market, a Window (no pun intended) has opened up for competitors). Netbooks are small and lack computing power. There is no Windows OS that is designed to run efficiently, aesthetically, and that makes sensible use of the smaller screen real estate on netbooks. Intel's Moblin OS is one solution, but as far as I know it doesn't run on ARM. There is a niche that GoogleOS can fill.



    The initial success of Android proves that Google can negotiate deals with OEMs to get their OSs on devices. If Google can sign up at least a few netbook OEMs, then it can help take away the market share of low-end commodity computing devices away from Microsoft. Microsoft will then be stuck in the middle between the high-end Apple and low-end netbook/mobile device markets.



    Microsoft still has a lot of traction in the enterprise, but they're becoming increasingly out of touch with the needs of the consumer market, which as Apple knows well is an entirely different beast.
  • Reply 5 of 107
    wobegonwobegon Posts: 764member
    The more competition the better, but it sounds as though Google Chrome OS and Android are going to be competing against each other.



    Quote:

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



    Anyway, it seems apparent that Google is setting itself up to be the new face of Linux and they're targeting netbooks, where Microsoft has been unable to go with Vista.



    Windows 7 is fundamentally the same OS as Vista, so it's going to have an interesting time competing with Google's FREE alternatives in the cheap netbook category, one of the only segments of growth in the over-saturated PC market (the other growth sector being the premium computer market in which Apple's Macs are doing very well).
  • Reply 6 of 107
    touchetouche Posts: 3member
    If this will have the ability to VPN into our data center, I think some of our employees would love something like this since we are mainly virtualized.
  • Reply 7 of 107
    A very thin layer of polished metal to cover the ugly metal beneath. Great name there... Must have borrowed Microsoft's marketing geniuses.
  • Reply 8 of 107
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post


    That's great but I make my living using InDesign, Quark and Photoshop. Then there are all the other ancillary apps like FileMaker and tens of others, which help me run my life and business. And while I think google is great, their current apps, although certainly welcome (mostly because they are free) they are not killer by any means. In fact, I am unimpressed by quite a few of them. So, color me unconvinced.



    Of course 20 years from now, this may all change but 20 years from now, google may have gone the way of the buggy whip.



    I tend to agree. What they are talking about here is really not that revolutionary, it's the old thin client system again although probably not Java based.



    Chrome OS sounds like an excellent OS for a netbook, but then Android is as well, so I see this as more an evolution or a re-focussing of that effort than it is anything really new. It's also pretty obvious that if it works, then Android will become a subset of the same thing. It's almost as if they just announced "Android Pro."



    On the other hand, and to play devil's advocate ...



    Programs like InDesign and Photoshop are over-designed by orders of magnitude in terms of what is actually needed to get the job done. Even for professionals.



    It's hard to argue that even the most intricate and detailed large professional projects really need half of what Adobe has ended up stuffing into Photoshop for example. At the very least, a set of smaller tools each directed towards a more focussed task would be a better design than the bloatware we currently have on offer.



    It's also a net negative that we *need* a level of professionals in our society, to operate the software that produces the books and other media that the end users consume, and stripping some of the needless bloat and complication out of the production software is a great place to start in terms of freeing up the whole process.
  • Reply 9 of 107
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post


    What will be key for this new OS is whether they can work out deals with OEM's to pre-install it. ...



    I think its far more intriguing than that.



    Google's motivation is to continue pushing users to Google's online services such as search and docs. I really suspect that they will partner with a telco and offer netbooks with cellular service for ubiquitous internet connectivity. Perhaps the telcos will give the netbooks away with a service contract.



    Google's future is cloud computing. There can be no doubt of that now.
  • Reply 10 of 107
    shaminoshamino Posts: 412member
    I think it's an interesting concept. But it is going to have to support all of the most common web plugins if the browser is the primary source of apps. Are they going to be able to have Flash support? (And a Flash implementation fast enough to play web-games, which usually doesn't exist away from the Windows platform.) How about support for QuickTime and WMV video?



    It's also worth noting that there are already Linux-based netbooks (like the Asus EEE-PC) which come pretty close to this - with a few bundled apps (like OpenOffice) and Firefox as a web browser. Google is probably well-suited to compete against these, but it will be very interesting to see what they decide to do different and if customers care.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post


    That's great but I make my living using InDesign, Quark and Photoshop. Then there are all the other ancillary apps like FileMaker and tens of others, which help me run my life and business. And while I think google is great, their current apps, although certainly welcome (mostly because they are free) they are not killer by any means.



    Fortuntely, nobody is talking about running this OS on your desktop. They're talking about it for netbooks (and maybe also PDAs, since they mentioned an ARM processor.)



    You wouldn't be running InDesign, Quark and Photoshop on a netbook anyway.
  • Reply 11 of 107
    doroteadorotea Posts: 323member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I think its far more intriguing than that.



    Google's future is cloud computing. There can be no doubt of that now.



    Blah, blah blah. Cloud computing = giving others control over your valuable data. Cloud computing = more potential for security problems.



    Of course clouds can turn into tornados. Clouds can become thunderstorms.
  • Reply 12 of 107
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Thin clients have not been successful in the past. Maybe Google can do it, but history is not on their side. I personally think the obsession with server side solutions puts ease of deployment ahead of other, more important concerns. Server side is Fail because:



    - More expensive hardware

    Servers must be reliable enough to run 24/7, and usually have expensive support contracts. Compare with a cheap Dell desktop.



    - More Expensive software

    Software to support multiple users is typically heavily threaded and can have no memory leaks because it must run 24/7. That is a lot harder to write and debug than a simple client side Mac or Windows program that runs a few hours with one user and then quits.



    - More Expensive infrastructure

    A big data centre uses massive power and network resources. Having the load spread over many clients solves this problem.



    I think a sensible compromise is to have client side apps but server side data. Or even better: server side sync, where the data is still local (for best user experience) but all clients periodically and transparently sync it to the cloud.
  • Reply 13 of 107
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,279member
    Really there's nothing groundbreaking here.





    Chrome OS - "for people that want to get on the web"





    Well it just so happens that I can do the same with OS X and I also have

    access to non web centric apps.



    I learned a long time ago with Be OS and then with Linux. If you don't have the

    apps people want to run day in and day out you are a niche.
  • Reply 14 of 107
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    I really don't think it is any longer appropriate for Dr. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, to be on the Apple board of directors.
  • Reply 15 of 107
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,279member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    I really don't think it is any longer appropriate for Dr. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, to be on the Apple board of directors.



    Why not? Chrome OS is open source so it's not like Apple couldn't see any code that was err misappropriated by Google.
  • Reply 16 of 107
    boydbmeboydbme Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post


    A very thin layer of polished metal to cover the ugly metal beneath. Great name there... Must have borrowed Microsoft's marketing geniuses.





    Or, if you have any wed-design related education, you'd know that Chrome refers to the space taken up by the browser's interface (menu-bars, scroll bars, tabs, etc) which Chrome purposefully has very little of.



    Google has strict UI standards, hence I think they are, and should be, proud of the name Chrome.
  • Reply 17 of 107
    I just hope the GUI doesn't look as terrible as most everything else Google touches.
  • Reply 18 of 107
    majormattmajormatt Posts: 1,077member
    There is more to life than reading email, surfing the web, and watching YouTube videos. I like all my apps on my Mac. It's not like its hard to do any web activities on a Mac, I can do all of them within seconds, too.



    What is there to gain, really?
  • Reply 19 of 107
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MajorMatt View Post


    There is more to life than reading email, surfing the web, and watching YouTube videos. I like all my apps on my Mac. It's not like its hard to do any web activities on a Mac, I can do all of them within seconds, too.



    What is there to gain, really?



    You're right, there is more to life than that, but what if that's all someone wants?



    Think of it this way: This OS (and operating systems like it) are providing the basic, and most used functions of computers today. These things are crossing the realm into freeware, where you are no longer forced to purchase Windows, or an overpriced Mac, just to make use of these basic functions.



    I understand this is an Apple site (and MajorMatt, I'm not calling you a moron) but the moronic things already said in this thread tell me to stay away from this discussion. All logic and reason will be thrown out the window in favor of looking like the biggest Apple fan.



    I don't see why anyone would say anything negative about this news.
  • Reply 20 of 107
    gustavgustav Posts: 824member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rmcellig View Post


    I have been dreaming of this type of OS for years. Something that is fast reliable, secure and above all else, a paradigm shift from the past. I have been a dedicated Mac user since 1988. This new OS from Google looks very promising. Bring it on!!!!



    Uhm... have you forgetten BeOS? Everyone else has too.
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